Election Fraud - Coming to a Polling Place Near You
Just to pick up on Steven D's excellent diary concerning the "magic fractions", and the complete lack of objectively verifiable results in the US election process. This is truly a huge deal, and without a doubt, there is no single issue extant that is more important, or more urgently in need of confronting, if we are to have any hope at all of a positive change in direction in our society.
The fact that election results cannot be independently and objectively verified effectively destroys the legitimacy of anyone installed into a governmental office as a result of such a debased and inherently corrupt election process. How can a government be said to function with "the consent of the governed" when it's impossible to determine independently whether such consent was in fact given?
And yet it is from this consent that a government's moral legitimacy is derived. According to Wikipedia:
In political philosophy, the phrase consent of the governed refers to the idea that a government's legitimacy and moral right to use state power is only justified and legal when consented to by the people or society over which that political power is exercised. This theory of consent is historically contrasted to the divine right of kings and has often been invoked against the legitimacy of colonialism. Article 21 of the United Nation's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government".
It's no accident that this phrase is also featured prominently in the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...
An election overseen by parties with a vested interest in the outcome can reasonably be considered fraudulent even if fraud cannot be definitively proven, simply because that when it comes to the integrity of the election process, the onus is on the government to be able to demonstrate conclusively that the process is fair, honest and transparent. Absent that, the presence of motive and opportunity can be considered prima facie evidence of fraud, regardless of whether any "smoking gun" type evidence is ever uncovered.
An "elected official" who assumes office based on unverifiable election results should properly be considered a usurper, and forfeits any moral or legal authority over those who would otherwise be obligated to submit to that official's edicts, or obey laws that such an official attempts to implement or enforce. Inasmuch as a modern understanding of the "social contract" means that members of a society must submit to the authority of government in order to secure protection of their persons, property, and individual freedom, so also must governments adhere to minimal standards of integrity in the process whereby the "consent of the governed" is formally granted.
Absent this, what you effectively have is a neo-colonial regime that is answerable to no one except those who provide the money and manpower needed to perpetuate its existence. And elections effectively serve no other purpose than to create the illusion of legitimacy where none in fact exists.