MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, MD: President Trump’s words keep on appearing on television. He clearly states that this is going to be the “most important election in US history”. For once he is not exaggerating. The history of the 2016 elections keeps on being written. Every day even after almost four years, we learn more about what brought the results that made Trump president against all odds. Or were they?
Take for example the case of the voters in Detroit.
Analysis of the registered voters and comparison with the 2012 election reveals that more than 70,000 voters did not exercise that right in 2016. That is, that many voters that voted for Obama in 2012 declined to do so for Clinton in 2016. The margin of victory for Trump was around 10,000 votes in Michigan.
While there were several factors that contributed to this outcome, possibly the manipulation of social media was the most important. Russian trolls, using fake identities used postings to encourage the African American population to abstain from voting. Findings confirming these activities have been posted in several forums domestic and international. *See Editor Note 1
One scheme that appeared to have been very effective included the creation of Internet accounts, that appeared to be live persons or groups. Postings from this account would include violence effected on Black persons and condemnation for these acts.
For many this was an attractive forum and they joined/followed by the hundreds of thousands. The narrative progressed to describe Clinton and other Democrats as taking the Black vote for granted and being corrupt.
This effort was conducted by Russian operatives working for the “Internet Research Agency (IRA)” a barely disguised company run by one of Putin’s most trusted henchmen.
The Russian trolls had a definite group insight.
They surgically targeted Black voters that were deemed to be dissuadable. Questions on where they obtained the data have not been fully answered. The fact is that these shenanigans favored the Trump campaign. They did the same with Bernie and Latino American voters, with some success.
Other efforts to sabotage the Clinton campaign included the hacking of the Democratic campaign headquarters and subsequent release of information to Assante and Wikileaks. This information discouraged many Bernie supporters from voting. While the FBI did become aware of the intrusions and tried to notify the DNC, there was no urgency shown and the intrusions were not found until way too late.
The HBO documentary “Agents of Chaos” provides a very exhaustive look at these issues. Several other research projects have confirmed their findings.
So what, you say? If Biden wins everything will be fine.
NOT SO FAST! Trump’s victory and the majority in the Senate have made their way to the relaxation of environmental and labor regulations, the weakening of Obama Care and its possible abolishment, the undermining of the US Post Office, the attempted politicization of the military, and more.
However, everything pales in comparison to the effect on the Judicial System. Trump with the complicity of McConnell has been able to nominate three Justices to the Supreme Court (two confirmed and one that will likely be) and hundreds of Federal Judges. The Supreme Court and the judicial system will have a definite right, religious, and anti-labor leaning for the next several decades. Just imagine what the decisions will be with six conservative judges out of nine.
So, whatever your political leanings are, please vote. Whether it is because of philosophical, religious, or single-issue reasons, please make this democracy work.
Voting is important, but not voting may be more devastating in this election.
Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, is optimistic that we will restore this democracy to what it can be. He is in Twitter (@chibcharus), LinkedIn and Facebook (Mario Salazar). Salazar is solely responsible for the contents of this article.