Suppressing Voter Turnout: What’s in a Name?

Well, if your name is Garcia, Washington, or Kim there is a good chance you will be targeted in one of 30 states as being a multiple voter and you very well may show up to vote and be denied the most fundamental civil liberty afforded to US citizens. Preposterous you say? Well under a 30-state coordinated experiment called the Interstate Cross Check (ICC) program lists are compiled identifying potential individuals participating in the dreaded voter fraud so prominently touted by conservatives and in this Presidential election a constant feature of speeches delivered by GOP standard-bearer Donald Trump.

In his riveting film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, investigative journalist Greg Palast meticulously outlines the insipid voter suppression efforts undertaken by three-fifths of the states in an effort to forestall the effects of significant demographic shifts in the nation that are threatening white dominance that has held sway for over two centuries. It is highly unlikely that any candidate can secure election to the White House relying on the white vote alone, even if you did not alienate a huge majority of women. Therefore it is critical for those who proffer Making America Great Again, shorthand for returning to a time when blacks and other minorities knew their place in society, to erect obstacles that discourage the participation of Asians, Hispanics, and Blacks.

And while the pretext for such actions are based upon the flimsy and undocumented voter fraud allegations so callously promoted by Republican candidates up and down the ballot it is abundantly clear that the consequences of the ICC project adversely and disproportionately take aim at the very minorities that are poised to deliver huge victories for Democrats.

So what is in a name? Ninety percent of all Washingtons are Black; ninety-one percent of all Garcias are Hispanic; and ninety-four percent of all Kims are Asian. The ethnic bias against these three groups represents a level of abject discrimination that is unlike anything we have seen since the days of the poll tax and literacy tests. Taking America Back to that sorry episode in America’s historical development may not be the stated goal of the program but it certainly is the practical consequence of it.

The childish and sloppy techniques employed by the ICC program mean that if you are Black the chances of your ballot being tossed are 900 percent higher than if you are white. As if that is not blatant enough toss in the Supreme Court’s gutting of the provisions in the 1965 Voting Rights Act banning discrimination (Section 4B) combined with the Citizens United decision allowing for a virtual takeover of our democratic political process by monied interests and it becomes clear that the culprits in the takeover are the very same individuals who have benefitted handsomely from a system that has perpetuated the largest gap between the 1 percenters and the 99 percenters in history. It should come as no surprise that Palast painstakingly connects the dots outlining the relationship between Koch brothers’ funding to the challenge of the Voting Rights Act.

There are many villains in this non-fiction film (Palast refuses to characterize it as a documentary) but the story line is a disgustingly familiar one: namely, those who have need to have more. Compiling lists of names across 60 percent of the states in an attempt to identify potential fraud is little more than “lynching by laptop,” according to an Alabama State Senator who just happens to be black and who participated in the 1965 march from Selma to Birmingham which led to the adoption later that year of the Voting Rights Act.

What we are witnessing today is a sophisticated, high-technology program of electronic lynchings reminiscent of some of the darkest days in our history. What Palast has done is to unveil what many might consider to be a criminal conspiracy to defraud large swaths of American citizens of their lawful right to participate in the democratic process. It is a despicable effort on behalf of those who profit from public policies designed to pad already overstuffed coffers of industrialists and financiers and the politicians who enable such activities to control the destinies of those who pay the most and benefit the least from such chicanery.

“American democracy is a con,” according to Palast and if there is a silver lining it is that “you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Hence if you feel as though everything is stacked against the average citizen, you are probably right. If you feel the election is rigged, well the answer is yes it is. However not in the way that either Trump, a willing co-conspirator in this cabal, or the mainstream media would have you believe. Both would have you believe that the issue is voter fraud. Trump and his media cohorts believe it is a HUUGE issue. The purported liberal media counters that there is no there there, essentially it is a nonissue.

Voter fraud is not the issue. Voter suppression is. Greg Palast makes an important contribution to the narrative that may play out over the next ten days. If anyone is stealing the election it is the billionaire class in conjunction with Secretaries of State (all Republicans) but particularly those in so-called battleground states who threaten the integrity of the vote count in much the same way Florida was manipulated in 2000 and Ohio was manipulated in 2004.

Investigative journalism is not quite dead, maybe on life support, but as Palast doggedly constructs in his penetrating expose for those willing to listen there is still life in what is fast becoming a lost art. That it is difficult for him to get an audience with the MSM is tragic because in the end it is what will actually save us from a system that this election in particular has exposed as “rigged.” If his facts are wrong, prove it, if they are right pay attention to them, but under any circumstance take a look. And that is the name of the game.