In this final article before November 3rd, I’ll present a brief review of final acts engaged in by leftist groups, and/or the Biden campaign itself, to try to influence the election. These acts are parts of a widespread campaign intended to scare voters into either (a) supporting Joe Biden, or (b) not voting at all. In the following paragraphs I’ll comment on six acts that I’m observing during these final days.
Act I: The Virus. People in large areas of the country have now returned to work and school, subject to various preventive measures – e.g., masks and social-distancing – intended to prevent spreading or contracting the COVID-19 virus. Nevertheless, a determined faction continues to hammer the danger of going back to “normal life.” Statistics on new cases of the illness are dramatically broadcast by some media organs, with no mention of how many new tests have revealed those cases. The low death-rates accompanying the new cases are mostly omitted.
Epidemic expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, new darling of the anti-Trump faction, continues to warn that the epidemic will last well into 2021, and possibly beyond. In some comments he has suggested that we might never return to normal. The doc has flip-flopped so many times on masks and lockdowns that it’s almost impossible to tell where he stands on either.
Some communities, including nearby Fairfax County, Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland, are in an uproar because their public school officials are resisting parental pressure to reopen schools and resume normal activities and teaching. Teachers’ unions say they won’t return to work until the incidence of new COVID-cases is reduced to zero.
Students in my acquaintance who are struggling with “virtual learning” complain that their teachers are unavailable for telephone or computerized conferences to clarify math or other topics. One student said her teacher referred her to the textbook, claiming that she was “too busy” for any private conferences. On local radio I heard the leader of an activist group urge citizens to vote against Arlington County public school bond issues. He said schools certainly didn’t need any money for new schools, as they weren’t even using the facilities they already had.
On the business front, lockdowns have caused hundreds of thousands of small businesses to close – many of them permanently – and thrown millions of people out of work, as well. Under Mr. Trump’s urging, we’re recovering from this induced “depression.” But liberal politicians governing some states and cities insist that the ongoing threat of the virus requires continued limitations on business and other activities. It’s easy to see that the advocates of lockdowns tend to be people with no worries about their personal income. This includes government employees, officials and most educators. While they keep scaring the public and damaging Donald Trump, the money just keeps on rolling in for them.
This evokes the old story about mafia-controlled highway construction companies operating in a certain (unnamed) eastern state. After using substandard materials and methods to build the state’s highways, those companies and other mafia businesses broke up the roads by driving overweight trucks over them. This produced more road-building business. (Is this a great country, or what?)
For Democrats, COVID-19 has been the “gift that keeps on giving. They keep shouting that all this was caused by Donald Trump’s mishandling of the virus epidemic. But there are limits to everything. A signature of extremists is that they almost always go too far. Joe Biden is preaching that he’ll lock the country down, if that’s what the science tells him. Does he really think he will draw voters with that message? We’ll see.
Act II: The Markets. In earlier writings I have mentioned investors who hold such large market-positions that their activities can actually move market indexes. Their large-scale selling can cause market-prices to fall; conversely, their large-scale buying can push market prices up. These investors are the great Bulls and Bears of Wall Street. In fact, they are a single group who can be either bullish or bearish, depending on the situation.
If the big guys sense nervousness and uncertainty among investors, or if some worrisome political or financial event occurs, they will jump in with major selling to push the market down. That movement can spook millions of smaller investors to sell, causing a crash of unpredictable size. More and more investors sell, until the scare passes and the crash hits bottom. Then the big guys buy back in at prices below where they sold. Little investors follow, and the market gradually regains equilibrium. Many investors, both big and small, make their money this way. It’s why markets are always oscillating.
In uncertain times, some political factions join the investor-mix to try to damage an opposing faction, or to help their own faction. A presidential election is certainly such a time. Today, it’s obvious that Democrats hope to scare Trump-favoring investors into supporting Mr. Biden by engineering a stock market crash. In 2016 Clintonians made a mighty effort to convince voters that markets would crash – possibly never to recover – if Mr. Trump were elected. In fact, though, the Dow Jones average gained 9000 points (50%) during the first three years of Mr. Trump’s term.
This week, as expected, an effort to crash the markets has proceeded – a move instigated by Democrats with political intent, or by major investors hoping to capitalize on investor nervousness, or by both. The Dow finished the week down by about 6% – a significant drop, but not catastrophic. Of course, the Monday before election-day still offers time to produce a crash big enough to scare some Trump voters.
But you don’t have to be E. F. Hutton to see that a Biden presidency which promises new lockdowns, major tax increases and $11 trillion in new spending is shaping up as a downer for markets and investors. As the Good Book says, there’s a time to buy and a time to sell.
Act III: The Riots. Since mid-year, numerous cities have endured weeks – and even months – of destructive riots which have caused billions of dollars in property-damage, injured hundreds of people, and produced a dozen or more deaths. Much of this destructive activity – evidently engineered by organized gangs – has gone on unopposed by local police, who have been ordered by city mayors to stand aside. Crazed demands to “defund” police departments have also been acceded to by those same officials. Liberal-leaning media organs have declined to cover much of the rioting, leading millions of Americans to believe that conservative media accounts are exaggerations or inventions.
But as news of the riots has gradually emerged, despite left-leaning media’s attempts to suppress it, those politicians who favored the rioting have started warning Trump voters that the violence will continue, and escalate, if Mr. Trump wins. They warn Republicans that rioters will be coming out to wreck their cushy suburbs, and that only Joe Biden can stop them and restore “peace” to the nation.
In past years, Democrats tried to scare older voters by telling them that Republicans planned to take away their Social Security checks. But threats of actual violence brings scare-tactics to a new level. It’s actually a kind of blackmail. If we give in, there’ll be no end to it.
Act IV: Slanted Polls. Grossly slanted polls showing that the election is “in the bag” for the Democratic candidate is a recent tactic used to discourage Trump-supporters into thinking that it’s all over, and there’s no point in bothering to vote. Poll-experts don’t agree on whether the samples used in those polls are deliberately skewed to the Democrat side, or if they are simply employing turnout data from the Obama elections which are no longer applicable. Whatever the case, it’s hard to believe that polls are accurate when they show a barely functional 77-year-old – who promises more lockdowns, higher taxes, trillions in new spending, and a “dark winter” of disease – ahead by 14 percentage points.
Reputable pollsters like John Zogby point out that in the Internet Age anybody can fashion a “poll” and post it on-line. Millions of viewers who see these postings have no idea whether they represent sound analysis, or are simply inventions meant to move voters’ attitudes in a certain direction. This uncertainty, says Mr. Zogby, makes the public distrustful of the entire polling industry and serves no useful purpose. Wildly inaccurate polls are a form of disinformation. Media organs spend far too much time on them.
Act V: Election Corruption. Some claim that Josef Stalin said, “What’s important is not who votes, but who counts the votes.” I don’t know if he said it, but whoever did had a point. Corruption of the casting and counting of ballots has a long history in American elections. As recounted in an earlier article (“Late-reporting Precincts, Then and Now”1), ballot-counting corruption in Illinois put John Kennedy over the top in 1960. And “selective recounts” in Florida came within a whisker of doing the same for Al Gore in 2000. That attempt failed because engineers of the recounts forgot that you need to steal an election in the dark of night, not in broad daylight.
This year, fear of the COVID virus has produced radical modifications of voting procedures in numerous states. Voters in 33 states could obtain absentee ballots by simply citing concerns over COVID-19. And ten other states, plus DC, have mailed a ballot to every person whose name appears on current voter-lists. Most states have also offered early in-person voting at selected polling locations.
These new features have produced widespread early voting – nearly 70 million votes cast, by some estimates – plus large numbers of ballots mailed to voters no longer living at their listed address or, in some cases, no longer living at all. Unprotected, unsecure ballot boxes are placed out on street-corners. Some have actually been set afire. Obviously, opportunities for fraud in this environment are legion.
A fundamental axiom of election integrity is that the chance of fraud is directly proportional to the length of time that ballots are available for handling and examination after being cast. Large-scale early voting, in particular, gives would-be fraudsters ample time to calculate how many votes are needed to push their candidate over the top in the final count.
All this gives voters – especially Republicans – an uneasy feeling about the honesty of such a pivotal election. Some reports indicate that GOP operatives are preparing to do legal battle over corrupt ballot-counting in numerous locations. Let’s hope so. Ballot counting could make 2000 Florida look like Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Finale: Censored News. Democrats have used the October Surprise tactic on many famous occasions. In 2016 they tried to unhorse Donald Trump by publicizing his derogatory comments about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. Mr. Trump had called the Venezuelan beauty-queen “Miss Piggy,” after she gained 60 pounds while holding the international title. Democrat-aligned media hoped the account would cost Mr. Trump the support of American women. But media dropped the story after reports surfaced that Ms. Machado had driven the getaway car in a Venezuelan murder case. (“No acts of vengeance…”)
The new wrinkle is that this year’s October Surprise has come from the Republican side in the form of bombshell revelations of Joe Biden’s involvement in his son Hunter’s foreign “business” dealings. It was already known that Hunter Biden had received millions of dollars from Burisma, a Ukranian energy company, but Joe Biden had always denied any knowledge of Hunter’s business-dealings. Details of Joe’s financial involvement came to light when the New York Post published a report on the contents of a laptop PC, belonging to Hunter Biden, which had come into the possession of former NYC Mayor Rudi Giuliani. The FBI had obtained the PC in late 2019, so they could verify its contents.
Nevertheless, a furious counterattack was launched by Democrats who claimed that the PC was a product of Russian interference in the election, and that Hunter Biden’s business associate, Tony Bobulinski, was actually a Russian agent. (Mr. Bobulinski vehemently denied this in a TV-interview conducted by Fox News reporter Tucker Carlson.) Charges flew back and force, leading Internet giants Facebook and Twitter to freeze the New York Post’s accounts and prohibit any reference to the Biden story. The New York Times, Washington Post and National Public Radio also declined to cover the story. This has made the news cover-up Item #1 on conservative publications and news organs.
Pundits in the Biden camp are sticking with the Russia angle, while Trump-acolytes are denouncing the greatest news blackout in American political history. At this writing, crowds of early-voters are clamoring to change their votes. Congressional backlash finally caused Twitter to unfreeze the New York Post’s account, with just three days remaining before the election.
On November 3rd we’ll find out if these acts – intended to divert voters’ attention away from what the candidates actually stand for – have been successful. We’re condemned to live in interesting times.
Don’t forget to vote.
- See http://thebullelephant.com/late-reporting-precincts-then-and-now/