An open letter to Democrats from a Bernie supporter

Dear Democrats, yes, all of you:

There have been a lot of articles on the internet recently addressed to one camp of Democrats or the other. The Bernie folks and the Hillary folks seem to be miles apart in rhetoric; and many online discussions between members of the two groups end in insults and condescension. There have also been cries for unity within the party from patriots who are wisely fearful of all this in-fighting. Considering the fact that American TV’s biggest narcissistic asshole somehow shined his greasy way onto the Republican ticket, this fear of a divided Democratic party makes a lot of sense. But, have we Democrats earned real unity? Or are we doomed to keep acting this way because we just stopped listening to each other?

Don’t you think it’s absolutely maddening that despite 150 years of detailed data under analysis, and a consensus from all the major scientific organizations around the world, the Republicans are generally acting as though climate change doesn’t exist? Doesn’t it drive you crazy when facts are denied with uninformed opinions, while evidence such as  year after year of record-breaking weather patterns, sea level rise, and increasing desertification in places around the globe scream the truth at those of us who are paying attention?

Well, there is truth coming out in this election which Clinton’s strongest advocates are denying again and again, driving Bernie voters crazy. That truth is election fraud and massive voter disenfranchisement. New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and now most lately California and Puerto Rico have all come out with stories that sound like nothing less than massive voter suppression within the Democratic party. Many of the Hillary supporters are at best skeptical and at the worst, they are calling the Bernie crowd whiners, entitled babies, sore losers, and more colorful names which you’d put a child on time-out for but which fly unimpeded and uncriticized through cyberspace.

There is a strong faction of Democrats who stand firmly against the horrible, dystopian future of Delusional Donald Trump who are railing against the #Bernieorbust crowd. On the one hand, I completely understand this rational fear of a man who acts like he wants to style himself as lord dictator of the American people, and anger at otherwise rational-seeming people who refuse to oppose him. On the other hand: YOU wise people who will do anything to stop Trump are often part of the problem, driving Bernie-supporters into loathing the Democratic party more and more every day. Knock it off with the insults and the attempts at shaming and scaring people into agreeing with you. Stop bitching and start acting.You can make a positive change here if you calm down with your fearful, angry reactions and start listening to what Bernie supporters have to say. We are losing trust in the Democratic party and we are losing trust in you. Won’t you hear us? Won’t you acknowledge that the things we fear are in fact possible, and worth investigating? Won’t you help us uncover and root out corruption in the elections in the interest of saving our democracy? If there is no time to redress the situation before the Democatic National Convention on July 25th, if there is no time to start counting all the missing ballots, then your fears of Delusional Donald may well become reality. Despite all the angry outbursts and shit-talk, even the leftiest of left-wing Bernie supporters doesn’t actually want Trump to win. Yes, it’s possible to reconcile most of the Bernie crowd into the fold, and get them on the same side as you after the DNC, but, this will cost something. You have to be willing to consider facts that will not be discussed on the TV news.

This is why I’ve become so concerned about election fraud in the 2016 California Democratic Primary election. Eight of my friends have come forward with stories of being prevented from voting on a regular Democrat ballot in the California primaries. These are people I know personally, reporting that their vote will go in the provisional ballot pile which is taking a lot longer to process than the initial round of votes. I have never heard of this happening in previous California Democratic Primary elections… they are usually much calmer affairs with lower voter turnout! This prompted me to do some research online to see why so many people received provisional ballots in California.

This article by investigative journalist Greg Palast explains what is happening.

To sum it up… lots of Democrats are being switched in the Democrats computer system from “regular Democrat voter” to “Provisional ballot” voter, or “Mail-in Voter” but not receiving their ballots in the mail. There are also people getting ballots with no option for choosing the Presidential nominee. Most of these voters are people who were surveyed and provided information about their likely Presidential candidate – Bernie Sanders.

Palast’s article has inspired some independent investigation from the founders of the website democracyintegrity.org. There have been many discrepancies between exit poll numbers and final vote counts in this election…

“A discrepancy between the declared vote (recorded vote) and the vote extrapolated from the exit polls is an indication of fraud when it is above a margin of error of 2% within a confidence level of 95%…

Election results in the United States are obtained with a 95% confidence level within a 3-4% margin of error. This is because relatively recent laws in the United States have intentionally rendered reference data less reliable (HAVA, Bush 2002). By law exit polls must be adjusted to match the final recorded vote, which means that evidence of fraud is suppressed. Exit poll results, already partially manipulated, must disappear after a given election and become public only 5 years later. When such data has become available in its unadjusted complete form, it has been used to cross-check voting results with other independent methods. The results have not only shown that the numbers were internally coherent but also that they corroborated original suspicions of fraud.

In the 2016 democratic primary elections unadjusted exit polls show that Bernie Sanders has been robbed of the following percentage of votes: Alabama 6.1%, Arizona 22.1%, Georgia 5.5%, Massachusetts 4.0%, Mississippi 4.7%, Ohio 5.0%, South Carolina 5.2%, Texas 4.2%, Wisconsin 6.9%, West Virginia 6.0%, New York 5.9% (CNN New York exit polls indicated that Bernie Sanders may have done better than 48% there).”

– Just Doing the Math, Electoral Fraud in the 2016 Democratic Primaries, by Giovanni and Marcello Pietrobon. (To read more and check out the math, click here.)

There is more testimony posted on the web, including the document below, posted on the Bernie Sanders Reddit page. It’s a collection of testimonies about the discouraging chaos which Los Angeles County poll workers had to face in this statistically red-flagged, problematic election. This document was presented to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on June 4th, 2016. It contains the combined testimonies of hundreds of seasoned poll workers who were dismayed at how bizarre, over-crowded, understaffed, and machine-malfunctioning these primary elections were.

Testimony of poll workers to Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors June 14th

Meanwhile… if you’ve read some of the testimonies, and considered the idea that millions of people were given provisional ballots when they should have gotten regular ballots, maybe you’re asking this question: “why should I care if the votes people cast are regular votes or provisional votes? They’ll all get counted anyway, right?”

Well, it turns out that the provisional ballots don’t always get counted. Some of them get tallied and then thrown out. Here is a link to an episode of Lee Camp’s Redacted Tonight youtube news-comedy-commentary show. He interviews a woman who volunteered to oversee the provisional and mail-in ballot counting in New York as a citizen observer. She reports that the staffers announced that only 1/3 of the provisional votes would be included in the election results totals.

Voter disenfranchisement is real, it’s happening state-by-state in so many ways, there is lots of public testimony on the subject, and yet, it’s not echoed on the TV news or the major newspapers or the big internet news sites. Why not? It’s not in the best interests of the TV news networks to let on how controlled and slanted their news feeds are. People might stop watching. Yeah I know– cue the music, it’s conspiracy time. This is the part of the article where half of you are relieved that I’m revealing myself to be just another nutcase with a cause. In an effort to turn down the volume of that conspiracy soundtrack in your mind, I’ll stop using my colorful musician language, and start quoting journalists:

“Massive corporations dominate the U.S. media landscape. Through a history of mergers and acquisitions, these companies have concentrated their control over what we see, hear and read. In many cases, these companies control everything from initial production to final distribution.”

-Editorial board at Freepress.net “Who owns the Media?” http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart

“Of all the [media] cartel’s dangerous consequences for American society and culture, the worst is its corrosive influence on journalism. Under AOL Time Warner, GE, Viacom et al., the news is, with a few exceptions, yet another version of the entertainment that the cartel also vends nonstop. This is also nothing new—consider the newsreels of yesteryear—but the gigantic scale and thoroughness of the corporate concentration has made a world of difference, and so has made this world a very different place. … the news divisions of the media cartel appear to work against the public interest—and for their parent companies”

Mark Crispin Miller, What’s Wrong With This Picture?, The Nation, January 7, 2002.

“In 1983, 50 corporations controlled most of the American media, including magazines, books, music, news feeds, newspapers, movies, radio and television. By 1992 that number had dropped by half. By 2000, six corporations had ownership of most media, and today five dominate the industry: Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany and Viacom. With markets branching rapidly into international territories, these few companies are increasingly responsible for deciding what information is shared around the world.

In raw numbers, 80 percent of the top 20 online news sites are owned by the 100 largest media companies. Time Warner owns two of the most visited sites: CNN.com and AOL News, while Gannett, which is the twelfth largest media company, owns USAToday.com along with many local online newspapers.”

-Cal Skaggs, Producer and Director of the PBS documentary Democracy on Deadline. Full article at: http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/democracyondeadline/mediaownership.html

The hardest part about trying to bring up this year’s election fraud in an online discussion is the fact that the reporters who are best able to cover this issue are independent online reporters who have no access to the gravitas, legitimacy and budget from major publication. So… intelligent, critical people who examine the sources of online commentary on voter disenfranchisement in the 2016 Democratic primaries tend to just laugh, and go back to watching their favorite news program. Look at those graphics and huge nice desk and that fantastic camera work! The dynamic musical interludes! Feel the tension of the world’s woes, for a four-minute segment just before the inspirational local story with a kid or an animal or an artist.Now the weather. Now an advertisement…

So… yes I am concerned about many of my Bernie Sanders-supporting friends being disenfranchised by this system. No I don’t have the most high-budget news sources to back this up.

Meanwhile the reports of Hillary Clinton’s victory are being broadcast before millions of unprocessed mail-in and provision ballots have been counted. Are Bernie voters feeling upset about that?  Does a bear shit in the woods? What’s your personal role in this election, you the Democrat who wants to beat Trump? Are you going to make fun of this information, are you going to try to ignore it because it’s not on TV?

 

What do I want you, my fellow Democrats, to do about it?

There are many things, small ways or bigger ways to help. Becoming aware of this issue and sharing this information is a start. Also please practice the art of treating your online political debaters like they are members of your family. Stop slinging clever insults at other Democrats, if you want to reach a consensus, start practicing a little diplomacy! Remember, some people can get excited… don’t take it personally. A lot of the Bernie supporters feel like the Democratic Party is abandoning them already. So, how is Bernie’s crowd going to act at the general election? Are you going to set them up for this very important decision with mockery and fear, are you going to ignore this message about voter suppression and then demand for these disenfranchised voters to help you out? Good luck with that. No really! It sounds sarcastic in this context but… Racist Donald really does suck.

If you agree with me that something is up, and a lot of people are in danger of losing their votes– please stand up for these Democrats. Don’t just laugh at them, and act out another version of the sick patriarchy victim-blaming game. These Democrats are not sore losers who are sad that their candidate lost… they are people who care deeply about the future of our country, who made the time to vote, who are being suppressed. Please try to help, or at the very least, don’t insult them!

For California voters:

PLEASE track your vote and report it if you were given a provisional ballot. There is a number you can call to check the status of your vote: 562-201-8999. You can also volunteer to oversee the ballot counting in California, on the higher-end of participation. Please do your part to make sure that the provisional ballots don’t disappear.  (See Reddit link below for relevant links to follow up on those suggestions and for news about the racketeering lawsuit which is being filed against the Clinton campaign.)

Finally, no matter how freaky and scary this election is, please keep calm. Stop venting your fears and anger at the people who don’t agree with you, at the people making fun of you or your candidate; they’re not the people who are monkeying with this election  so getting them to resent you does NOTHING except for weakening the Democrats. Say anything you like in private but in public, we need to hear your more enlightened and compassionate self. The Democratic Party is consistently pushing the vote towards Hillary Clinton across many states and this is damaging the allegiance and trust of many voters. It remains to be seen whether Senator Clinton has any knowledge or collusion with this process. It remains to be seen if more states will be flipped, and if the Democrats can stick together in enough numbers to defeat Trump. These are very tricky times for American voters.

And…. I’m out. Thanks for reading this little progressive-issues 101 blog post.

-Renee

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