The Problem with Hillary Clinton and the DNC
A funny thing happened on the way to Hillary Clinton’s presumptive nomination as the Democrat candidate for president: most Democrats don’t seem to care that her likely nomination was obtained by highly questionable means.
During the primaries, there were many well-documented instances of voter suppression and fraud on the part if the DNC, under the leadership of chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Across the country, election fiascos were commonplace, with Hillary the beneficiary. According to one comprehensive and well-researched report, “24 out of 26 discrepancies in exit polls are in Hillary’s favor, exceeding the margin of error in 11 primaries. The probability of this happening is 1 in 77 billion.” In other words, the odds that there was no fraud are virtually nil.
Progressive Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders, whose birth state is New York, was deprived of an estimated tens of thousands of votes in his home town of Brooklyn. There were many problems in other parts of the state as well, with emergency lawsuits filed over the massive purging of voters from rolls. Many independents who switched their affiliation to Democrat in order to vote for Sanders showed up to polling places, only to find out that there was no party affiliation listed on their registration, which prevented them from voting.
In Ohio, voters were automatically purged from rolls if they hadn’t voted in 8 years, without any notification. Arizona’s own Secretary of State admitted that election fraud occurred there, costing Bernie an estimated 22% of the vote.
In multiple places, including Rhode Island, New York, Arizona, and Puerto Rico, a fraction of the regular polling places were open, or hours were shortened, forcing long lines and preventing some from voting at all. Provisional or absentee ballots were issued in many primaries when regular ballots should have been available. It’s been well documented that these alternate ballots have less chance of being counted.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The voting irregularities are so vast, there’s no way of knowing who actually received the most votes. Since most of the irregularities favored Hillary, it casts serious doubt on the legitimacy of her presumed nomination. In the past, it was Republicans who were notorious for engaging in such unsavory tactics. According to The Electoral Integrity Project, the US scores 26th out of 66 democratic countries in the world for integrity of its elections, behind Micronesia, with one of the lowest voter turnouts of any developed nation.
As these sham primaries unfolded, I occasionally posted about them on Facebook. My posts were met with derision and open hostility, not just from virtual acquaintances, but by friends and professional peers. I was called delusional, emotionally unbalanced, a conspiracy theorist, and a sore loser. More than one person said that if I didn’t get in line behind Hillary, that it was the same as a vote for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Another said, “I can’t believe you would want to disenfranchise the majority of Democrat primary voters who voted for Hillary. This was a primary election and Hillary won. There is no evidence of a stolen vote.” This, even though I posted multiple links that documented evidence of election fraud in the same conversation thread. What about MY disenfranchisement from a party that intentionally cheated my chosen candidate out of the nomination? It’s my duty as a responsible voter and citizen to bring attention to improprieties when I see them. To turn a blind eye and say nothing amounts to complicity and acceptance of the deep corruption that plagues our electoral system.
These comments came not from Republicans or Trump supporters, but from fellow Democrats. I have actually received more support, consensus and intelligent response from Republicans for pointing out these disturbing election irregularities.
A friend in California (who was handed a provisional ballot instead of a standard ballot when she voted in the primary), regarded my posts about election irregularities in that state as patently false, even though it was well documented in the LA Times and other reputable news sources. When I asked my friend if she knew if her provisional ballot had been counted, she didn’t seem to know, or care. “Her” candidate won; that’s all that mattered.
According to polls, Bernie and Hillary were in a virtual tie going into the California primary, with Bernie still gaining momentum. There ended up being a 13 point discrepancy between polls and the official results—a discrepancy that favored Hillary. More than a few percentage points of variance is statistically regarded as a sign that fraud occurred. Noted investigative journalist Greg Palast further details the stolen California election in his article “How California is being stolen from Sanders right now.” Instead of being appropriately alarmed by this, my California friend just brushed me off as a sore loser, completely discounting my concerns over fraud as bogus.
A week after the California primary, over 2.5 million provisional and absentee ballots remained uncounted—more than the total amount of votes attributed to Hillary when the mainstream media prematurely declared her the winner. At least three counties have flipped in favor of Bernie as these remaining votes are being tallied. To declare a winner when over a third of the votes had not yet been counted is highly irresponsible. It’s estimated that it will be several more weeks before the vote count is complete.
Bernie supporters are regularly told that they are dividing the party and setting up the possibility of a Trump presidency. In my experience, it’s the Hillary supporters who are divisive. Instead of acknowledging that there are serious issues of accountability in the Democrat party, they are blind to Hillary’s enormous flaws, including her deep unpopularity and questionable electability. It’s the Hillary supporters who have engaged with me in name calling, derogatory commentary, and dismissing any facts or opinions that don’t match their own. This behavior is historically more typical of Republicans, and only serves to further alienate those of us away from the Democrat party.
Beyond the fact that Hillary bought most of the superdelegates over a year ago, and cheated her way through the primaries with rampant and well-documented election fraud, it’s the collective denial and apathy on the part of most Americans that’s even more disturbing and dangerous. By ignoring the gross improprieties that took place in the primaries, election fraud will certainly occur again in the general election, and on a much greater scale. This time, it may not tip the scales in Hillary’s favor. And these fraudulent tactics will continue on in future elections, growing ever larger, as long as they go unchecked. The real threat to our democracy, and our nation, is that most Americans, particularly fellow Democrats, fail to acknowledge or understand the seriousness and urgency of this problem.
If Hillary loses the general election, it won’t be the fault of Bernie supporters. The blame will lie squarely on the back of the DNC, which shoved a highly disliked and ethically compromised candidate down our throats. Wasserman Schultz made no secret of her favoritism towards Hillary, when it was her job to be impartial to the candidates. Bernie polls far better against Trump than does Hillary, and Bernie has energized a political movement that has not been seen in this country in at least a generation.
Hillary supporters are so blinded by their outsized fear of a Trump presidency, that they can’t see that their own voting rights are being usurped. They can’t see the missed opportunity of supporting a candidate who has championed fundamental changes that are so desperately needed in our broken political system—a system that disproportionately favors the one percent at the expense of everyone else. They ignore the collective frustration of millions who are fed up with the status quo that leaves them further and further behind—the same deep-seated discontent that is largely responsible for the unlikely rise of Donald Trump. Hillary supporters fail to understand that if Hillary can steal the Democrat primary, there’s no reason why Trump can’t steal the presidency, as George W. Bush did in 2000 and 2004. Hillary supporters will certainly care if that happens, but by then, it will be too late.
This is not about Bernie losing; it’s about the nomination being hijacked. If the situation were reversed, the reaction from Hillary supporters would be far different. Back in January, I would have supported Hillary if she had won the primaries fair and square, even though I had serious reservations about her candidacy. After watching events unfold for the past six months, I cannot in good conscience vote for someone who bought and cheated their way into the nomination. I can’t vote for corruption, and I can’t vote for someone who makes me feel violated and marginalized. This is not about being a sore loser; it’s about moral conscience and accountability.
If Trump wins the general election, that’s not on me. The DNC had the opportunity to support and embrace the popular candidate who had the best chance of defeating Trump, and they blew it. Instead, the DNC chose to anoint Hillary, long before the first vote was ever cast. The DNC has shown no regard as to the detriment this has caused to the party, or our nation. Bernie Sanders may have been our last best hope for loosening the corporate stranglehold that has adversely influenced government policy and decimated the middle class.
Hillary represents the status quo and the elite. As evidenced in her tenure as Senator of New York, she has no interest in helping the millions of ordinary Americans who are struggling. Even if Hillary did win the nomination and the general election, she would at best be an ineffectual president; the only person Republicans despise more than President Obama is Hillary. Her presidency would be dogged with distraction and stonewalling, as Republicans would drag her long trail of baggage through the mud, and do everything in their power to render her impotent.
If the DNC and Hillary supporters were truly serious about uniting the party, they would not treat Bernie supporters with derision and dismissiveness. When Bill Clinton looks down his nose and tells Bernie supporters that they will be toast, as he did at a recent rally, he is not unifying the party, he is further dividing it. This condescension and open disdain towards independents is not going to score any points, or get undecided voters to jump on the Hillary bandwagon.
It’s not the duty of these voters to fall blithely in line behind Hillary because she’s the presumptive Democrat nominee, or because Trump would be worse. It’s up to Hillary to convince undecided Americans why she should be president. The common argument that she has experience is not enough. Hillary needs to show that she’s a true leader by being a unifier, that she can effectively work with a Republican-controlled Congress, and that she genuinely cares about the best interests of this country. So far, she’s fallen woefully short on all counts.
Janet Loughrey is a freelance photographer and writer based in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of Gardens Adirondack Style and has written on topics including horticulture, photography, global warming, the environment and politics. Her new book, Saratoga in Bloom, was published in June 2010.