An indictment of the US electoral system – ‘How Trump Stole 2020’ by Greg Palast

By Scott Costen


DONALD Trump wants Americans to believe their voting system is “rigged” against him.

He levelled these charges, without any supporting evidence, during the 2016 election campaign. And he’s doing it again this year.

Enter the explosive new book ‘How Trump Stole 2020’.

Written by Greg Palast and featuring comics by Ted Rall, it reveals how the system has been cynically and repeatedly manipulated to benefit the president and his party.

Using a multitude of shady political manoeuvres, Republican operatives have suppressed the votes of traditionally Democratic-leaning constituencies: people of colour, the poor, and the young.

“In 2016, Republicans had a problem: there simply weren’t enough white guys to elect Donald Trump,” Palast writes. “So there was only one way for the GOP to win in 2016, and the only way they can win in 2020: eliminate non-white voters.”

Palast describes Trump as an “an orange-stained, gelatinous bag of malicious mendacity, a snorting porcine pustule of bloviating bigot hinged to grasping little griplets, a bloated ball of gracelessness and cry-baby petulance.”

And he claims the president’s 2016 victory was illegitimate.

“Trump didn’t win in 2016. And I’m not talking about Trump losing the popular vote,” he writes. “Trump lost the Electoral College. That is, he lost if you count all the votes burgled, jacked, swiped, shoplifted, purloined, filched, fiddled and snatched from citizens not of a whitish orange hue. And unless we wise up, 2020 will be déjà vu all over again.”

Some of the methods used to disenfranchise voters – strict ID laws and reduced early voting opportunities – are predictable.

Other tactics – such as purging voters who fail to return post cards, failing to process voter registrations, and deliberately creating line-ups at voting locations in Black neighbourhoods – are downright shocking.

“Voting suppression is class war by other means,” Palast writes. “It’s economic; race is merely the marker of underclass in America.”

And this war on marginalized voters may have changed the course of American history.

Palast points out that George W. Bush won Florida in 2000 thanks to the groundless rejection of more than 70,000 ballots cast by Black voters.

And he observes how, in 2016, Trump won a nail-biter in Michigan through the nullification of Black votes and narrowly captured Wisconsin through the suppression of student votes.

Part of the problem, as Rall points out in the book’s comic section, is that states are responsible for managing elections.

“The constitution does not federally guarantee your right to vote,” Rall writes. “Leaving elections to the states was a major screwup.”

Although he’s a fedora-wearing, truth-seeking, shoe-leather reporter of the old school, Palast does not ignore recent innovations.

He and his 20-person investigative team embrace data journalism, using it to build a thorough and compelling case.

What they’ve uncovered is both astounding and infuriating.

Millions of votes are blocked or go uncounted because of the machinations of a small group of people determined to silence Black, Hispanic, Asian, poor and young voters.

During the 2018 gubernatorial election in Georgia, one of the Black voters turned away was 92-year-old Christine Jordan.

She had voted in the same location since 1968, the year her cousin, Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated.

‘How Trump Stole 2020’ is a must-read indictment of the American electoral system and the political and economic forces that control it.


Featured Image: Gage Skidmore @Flickr

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3 thoughts on “An indictment of the US electoral system – ‘How Trump Stole 2020’ by Greg Palast

  1. Dear Scott Costen,

    I can’t agree with you more. We can also agree that the ongoing chaos inflicted by the Trump presidency finally culminated in the infamous riot at the Capitol. You and I can be justified for being cynical, snide, snarky and facetious in characterizing Trump as the symbolic messiah who is going to lead his misguided supporters to glory on Earth and the promised land! It is often futile to reason with such misguided folks. Perhaps only when the country truly becomes autocratic or fascist will they wake up, but then it will be too late.

    Needless to say, due to misinformation and disinformation, 2020 had been a difficult year, not to mention having to deal with the pandemic. It was all quite surreal, perhaps in some ways more bizarre than ghosts and the paranormal (not that I believe in such things). One could indeed say that we live in interesting times, but often for the wrong reasons.

    2021 is more than 75% gone and the GOP is still on trial and has fared no better and seems to be getting (much) worse.

    Consequently, any reasonable person can conclude that the USA has been plagued by ignorance, dogma, falsity, blind faith, spiritual stagnation and epistemological impasse . . . . .

    The best and most dedicated amongst the likes of us are also inveterate teachers of everlasting, transcendental wisdom to save humans from themselves, their self-interests and their destructive ways. I often even have to coin new words to do so. The latest examples are my three neologisms “Misquotation Pandemic“, “Disinformation Polemic” and “Viral Falsity“, as discussed in my extensive and analytical post entitled “💬 Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: 🧠 Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity 🦠“. This post of mine has twelve major sections (plus a detailed annotated gallery) instantly accessible from a navigational menu.

    Then there has been worsening inequality, rendered all the more acute and dire by the rich and powerful via various overt and covert impositions. Social and economic polarizations can further exacerbate the issues of education and wealth, and such polarizations are increasing for the following reason: The USA is very much plagued in varying degrees by misinformation, disinformation, post-truth politics, demagoguery, plutocracy, oligarchy, ochlocracy, kleptocracy, kakistocracy, narcissistic leadership, neoliberalism and globalization, as discussed and analyzed in great detail in my said post, which you can easily locate at the Home page of my website. I look forward to your visiting the post and reading your thoughts and feedback on the various issues broached there.

    In any case, it is going to be an arduous task to solve these outstanding issues, because saving and rehabilitating the USA aside, we also need the political economy of saving the planet. Yet the entrenched and insidious issues of plutocracy have loomed even larger, thus continuing to thwart many efforts mounted to save the nation and the planet. Whilst Pluto has been demoted to a dwarf planet, the planet of America, so to speak, has already ascended to plutocracy. Social and economic polarizations can further exacerbate the issues of wealth, and such polarizations are increasing for the following reason: The USA is very much plagued in varying degrees by misinformation, disinformation, post-truth politics, demagoguery, plutocracy, oligarchy, ochlocracy, kleptocracy, kakistocracy, narcissistic leadership, neoliberalism and globalization.

    The underlying opposition is not so much between the Democrats and the Republicans as between the rich plutocrats and the rest of the population. The Democrats need to (re)form their party to unite the 90% of the people living at an entrenched economic and political disadvantage in order to deal with the Plutocrats. In any case, it is going to be a very tall order for Biden (or indeed anyone of any political persuasion) to turn things around. It would have been much easier if some Republican senators had been far more honest and incorruptible, for they have been very greedy, uninspired, cowardly and lack criminal, moral and political accountabilities. It is all quite a big mess in danger of getting bigger still. Even a global pandemic still cannot unite folks in the USA and wake them up. Perhaps it will take an even bigger crisis to do so, such as a series of climate change disasters.

    Yours sincerely,
    SoundEagle

    Like

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