The Trump campaign website posted a message on Friday, August 12th, that read,
Volunteer to be a Trump Election Observer. Help Me Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election! Please fill out this form to receive more information about becoming a volunteer Trump Election Observer.
The “Smartest People in the Room” immediately threw a hissy fit, which continues to this day.
Jon Grinspan, a curator of political history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, has written an op-ed for The New York Times, which posted this morning. In it he writes…
…Measures like the Voting Rights Act ushered in a more equitable, peaceful era in American elections. In the 21st century, though, we seem willing to cast off the restraints that society designed to clean up politics over the last century — a trend into which private, partisan election observers fit perfectly.
To be fair, it doesn’t automatically follow that such observers will return Election Day to its violent, chaotic past — they could even enliven our polling places, which since have become colorless affairs, far from the public gatherings of the mid-19th century. Maybe we should all be observing our elections.
America has reached a critical moment of re-evaluation of our democracy — new ideas are welcome. But we are working within a very old and well-documented political system, and have plenty of experience with democratic innovations. So we might occasionally pause to look back at what worked, and what didn’t. We tried election observers. There’s a reason we left them in the past.
There is nothing more embarrassing that someone who considers themselves to be one of “The Smartest People in the Room” who is woefully uniformed.
CNSNews.com reports that
When Americans went to the polls four years ago, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) deployed 44 observers, a quarter of whom came from countries deemed by a leading democracy watchdog to be “not free” or “partly free.”
This year, the OSCE plans to send more than ten times that number – and some civil rights groups in the U.S. say even that won’t be enough.
Following a “needs assessment” visit earlier this year, the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) decided to send 100 long-term and 400 short-term observers to monitor the November 8 election. The former will follow the electoral process across the nation while the latter will monitor Election Day itself.
The nationalities of those who will be deployed have yet to be announced. Queries sent to ODIHR headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, brought no response by press time.
In 2012, the much smaller team included members from OSCE members Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, all at the time ranked “not free” by Freedom House.
Others came from six countries graded “not free” – Albania, Armenia, Bosnia, Georgia, Macedonia and Ukraine.
(Washington-based Freedom House each year evaluates political rights and civil liberties in the nations of the world, and then ranks them as “free,” “not free” or “partly free.” Since 2012 it has upgraded Kyrgyzstan from “not free” to “partly free.”)
The significantly larger observer group to be sent this time reflects the fact that the OSCE believes this year’s election requires a “full-scale” election observation mission, while in 2012 it felt that a “limited” election observation mission was sufficient.
OSCE explains that a full-scale mission is sent in cases where “there is limited confidence among election stakeholders in the election administration, the long-term process and election-day proceedings and … the presence of observers could enhance public trust in the process.”
By contrast, a limited mission is sent when it’s determined “that serious and widespread problems on election day at the polling-station level are unlikely, but that observation of the entire long-term process throughout the country might still produce useful recommendations.”
For a coalition of U.S. civil rights groups, the difference between 2012 and 2016 has to do with the Trump campaign; and with the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strike down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA). The ruling paved the way for states with a history of racial discrimination to change their election laws without “preclearance” from the Justice Department.
While supporters of voting laws passed in some states since the Supreme Court decision argue that they are needed to counter electoral fraud, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights describes the developments as “a tidal wave of voter discrimination efforts.”
On Tuesday the Leadership Conference released a letter sent to OSCE/ODIHR director Michael Georg Link, urging him to “greatly expand” the monitoring of the U.S. election and to “target resources to states where voter discrimination and intimidation is most likely.”
Those states, it said, include Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
The coalition pointed to the VRA changes, and to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House.
“A confluence of factors has made the right to vote more vulnerable to racial discrimination than at any time in recent history,” it told Link, a German politician who has headed the ODIHR since 2014. “The need for additional election observers is paramount.”
“The unprecedented weakening of the Voting Rights Act has led to a tidal wave of voter discrimination efforts nationwide and has required the United States to drastically scale back its own election monitoring program,” the letter continued, referring to federal observers used in past elections.
“In addition, a leading presidential candidate who has made the demonization of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities a hallmark of his campaign has recently urged supporters to challenge voters at polling sites nationwide.”
Leadership Conference president and CEO Wade Henderson said in a statement the right to vote in the U.S. “is more vulnerable now than at any time in the past 50 years.”
“Additional monitors can never replace what we lost when the VRA was gutted but we have to use every possible means to ensure the integrity of this election isn’t compromised by racial discrimination and intimidation,” he said.
“We now have to fight in the courts and at ballot box for every voter and even our nation’s best and most well-organized efforts will not meet the demand we’re confronted with.”
“Congress needs to restore the VRA immediately,” Henderson added.
When the OSCE/ODIHR carried out its “needs assessment” visit earlier this year it held meetings with representatives of federal and state institutions, political parties, media, and civil society groups.
It said these interlocutors had mostly expressed confidence in the election administration.
OSCE/ODIHR did, however, cite issues including the “implementation of new state laws regarding voter registration and identification, changes to alternative voting methods, the reliability of NVT [new voting technologies], the effectiveness of campaign finance rules, and the conduct of the electoral campaign, particularly in the media.”
The OSCE has observed U.S. elections since 2002.
However, Petulant President Pantywaist ramped the United Nations’ Involvement up a bit during the 2012 Presidential Election.
And, now, once again, Obama is bowing before the United Nations, as if they have some authority over our Sovereign Nation, without whom, they would no exist nor have a place to meet.
There are several times, during my musings, that I have described our blessed country as a Sovereign Nation. What does that mean?
On June 5, 2009, Professor Jeremy Rabin of George Mason University, author of “The Case for Sovereignty”, delivered a lecture sponsored by Hillsdale College in Washington, DC. What he said certainly applies to this situation…
The Constitution provides for treaties, and even specifies that treaties will be “the supreme Law of the Land”; that is, that they will be binding on the states. But from 1787 on, it has been recognized that for a treaty to be valid, it must be consistent with the Constitution—that the Constitution is a higher authority than treaties. And what is it that allows us to judge whether a treaty is consistent with the Constitution? Alexander Hamilton explained this in a pamphlet early on: “A treaty cannot change the frame of the government.” And he gave a very logical reason: It is the Constitution that authorizes us to make treaties. If a treaty violates the Constitution, it would be like an agent betraying his principal or authority. And as I said, there has been a consensus on this in the past that few ever questioned.
…At the end of The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton writes: “A nation, without a national government, is, in my view, an awful spectacle.” His point was that if you do not have a national government, you can’t expect to remain a nation. If we are really open to the idea of allowing more and more of our policy to be made for us at international gatherings, the U.S. government not only has less capacity, it has less moral authority. And if it has less moral authority, it has more difficulty saying to immigrants and the children of immigrants that we’re all Americans. What is left, really, to being an American if we are all simply part of some abstract humanity? People who expect to retain the benefits of sovereignty—benefits like defense and protection of rights—without constitutional discipline, or without retaining responsibility for their own legal system, are really putting all their faith in words or in the idea that as long as we say nice things about humanity, everyone will feel better and we’ll all be safe. You could even say they are hanging a lot on incantations or on some kind of witchcraft. And as I mentioned earlier, the first theorist to write about sovereignty understood witchcraft as a fundamental threat to lawful authority and so finally to liberty and property and all the other rights of individuals.
Let me inform any idiotic individuals who might support Obama’s pattern, as seen during his ongoing crusade to take away our guns and his recent Iran Deal, where he continuously goes to the United Nations as the Supreme Authority over our Sovereign Nation, first, instead of our own Congress, the way I feel about “answering” to the United Nations.
The United States of America is a Sovereign Nation, created by the blood, sweat, and tears of men and women, who rise above those of you, including President Obama, who do not believe in American Exceptionalism and our Sovereignty as a Free Nation, in stature, honor, integrity, and courage to the point where you are not even fit enough to tie their boots.
We are an “independent state”, completely independent and self-governing. We bow to no other country on God’s green Earth. We are beholden to no other nation. America stands on its own, with our own set of laws, the most important of which is The Constitution of the United States, which guarantees us, as a Free People, the right to cast our vote from whomever we please…including Donald J. Trump.
And, much to the esteemed professor’s chagrin, as American Citizens, we have the right to monitor our own elections.
America is still the Greatest Nation on the Face of the Earth, despite all of President Barack Hussein’s efforts to make us “just another country”.
Because, usually, those who claim to be the smartest person in any room that they walk into, greatly overestimate themselves.
Until He Comes,