Wednesday, November 04, 2020

USA elections: a banana republic

I went to bed for 6 hours and woke up at 3 am my time (9 pm Eastern Time). The U.S. presidential election began to converge towards a certainty of another Trump victory. Some five states were undecided and the required advantage for Biden would have to be huge, relatively to the counted ballots, for him to win. So all these states were almost certain to go Trump. But Biden needed at least 2 of them if Pennsylvania were counted, or at least 3 of them if not.

However, around 7 am my time (1 am Eastern Time), all the counts got totally stuck. For hours. And after a few hours, some amazing updates appeared that suddenly placed Biden above Trump in various states. Nevada. Then Wisconsin (that state is now claimed to be final, with 20,697 in Biden's advantage, but Trump's campaign requested a recount due to the apparent irregularities). And then even Michigan. It's probably the official story that they suddenly counted some huge batches of mail-in ballots. However, many of us saw an incredible jump like this one (which Twitter works hard to censor). Over 130,000 votes were suddenly added to Biden while the Trump got zero from that batch. What is the probability that such a score, 138,339-to-0, happens fairly and naturally? Maybe they updated Trump a minute later so he also got something, it was just awkwardly reflected in the timing.

But totally discontinuous results like that simply liquidate the trustworthiness of the elections. I am among those who think that the five Democratic governors did coordinate their actions and hugely slowed down the process when and because it became obvious that Trump had won. It is really the only explanation for that insane slowdown that I can produce. The fact that a state (MI) with a fanatically anti-Trump governor is involved adds some extra gravity to these thoughts.

But even if the large numbers of overwhelmingly pro-Biden ballots were real and counted at the correct place (the suspicion of moving them from a state to another state is also very hard to eliminate, especially given the fact that many Democrats delegitimize the unquestionably important system of electors that is deeply imprinted into the U.S. democratic mechanisms), I simply don't think that a presidential election whose result depends on such incredibly flimsy foundations may be recognized by anyone who has any respect for democracy.

A presidential election is an important event in the life of a democratic country. It deserves some respect and effort from a citizen. The citizen should dress up, spend the time by choosing the candidate, by picking or modifying the ballot, and by driving or going to the voting station. If the voter doesn't really do these things, if he deliberately avoids some steps even though he could do all of them, he hasn't done the work expected from a voter and his voice mustn't be considered to be on par with a full-blown voter who actually went to the voting station (and burned some calories from the food and/or gasoline).

So as far as I can say, all mail-in ballots need to be invalidated. And that's true not only because they (and ballot harvesting) have been proven to be an ideal tool (and actually employed tool) for election fraud (and because some states insanely want to wait for another week when the packages sent on November 3rd may arrive). But it is illegimate also because the "voters" who actually deliberately don't move their aß and sit in their basement are simply not full-blown voters who execute their duty on the election day. And if these voters systematically back one side, it is a fundamental problem for the validity of the election. Mail-in ballots are kind of analogous to illegal aliens – masses that are unloaded somewhere from a truck, citizens aren't sure where they came from, and they're claimed to be as good as proper citizens (although they are clearly not) by some political forces who may benefit from this giant lie and from this unloading.

Even if we respect these wild, mostly pro-Biden, swings as "real", it is not clear who will win the 270 electoral votes at this moment because Nevada and Arizona (see reasons to expect a Trump win in AZ) are about as uncertain as Michigan (if not the disputed Wisconsin), despite lots of (clearly not neutral) journalists' deceitful claims to the contrary, and Trump is still very likely going to claim Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, and Alaska. However, whatever the numbers will do in coming hours and days, the perception of legitimacy of these elections can't return.

A smooth solution would be for both sides to agree and to repeat all the November 3rd elections, with a federal ban on the mail-in ballots. Everything else will turn America into a certified banana republic. We're not disputing some well-controlled thousands of standard ballots like the Democrats did in Florida in 2000. We are talking about tens of millions of ballots that are moved from a place to another by post office trucks, sometimes with the help of fishy third parties. Lukashenko was accused by many people in the West (and in Belarus) of having manipulated the election. But we actually don't have 5% of evidence in favor of this accusation, in comparison with the (not waterproof but strong enough) evidence that we have in the U.S. case. As an external observer from a third nation, I must say that the U.S. Democrats seem like vastly more likely manipulators of the elections than the president of Belarus. 30 years ago, I wouldn't have believed that I was going to write such a comment in a few decades but sadly, it did happen.

In the recent Czech elections and all Czech elections that I remember, we knew the "overwhelming majority of the important information" about the results within 2-3 hours after the voting stations closed. The laws and the organization of the process really should make sure that something like that is true everywhere. Delayed essential results from some states make it more likely that cheating will occur; and they are gradually preparing the nation for fraud, just like the frog that is boiled alive because the water is being heated gradually.

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