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In Defense of Honesty October 27, 2016

Posted by Peter Varhol in Uncategorized.

I dislike politics. There is more dishonesty and deception in politics than in any other human endeavor.  It is neither productive nor expedient, yet we spend an enormous amount of time and energy in creating, manipulating, and explaining (as in “lying about”) views, policies, and outcomes.  It is a true low point in human progress (albeit possibly an inevitable one).

Yet the narrative that the system is “rigged” (however you might want to describe that) troubles me still more. No one doubts the “graveyard vote” in Chicago of half a century ago, or the poll payoffs that occurred in New York City in the early 1900s.  It’s not clear that these ever made a difference in outcomes, but yes, they existed.  Even today, certainly there are machinations behind the scenes that sometimes smack of less-than-fair or backroom political dealings.

But an election, especially a national election, being rigged?  Ah, no one but the most paranoid can even hope to entertain that thought.  The problem is that people talk.  There is no chance, zero chance, of keeping such a conspiracy a secret.  Three people can keep a secret, if two are dead.

But a larger problem is that the entire foundation of US democracy is based on the premise that we are transparent. Or at the very least the outcomes are transparent.  If we stop believing this with all of our hearts and souls, then we are no better than a third world country (sorry, all third world countries out there).

So, no, elections are not rigged. I think that there can be a reasonable proof applied to that, but more to the point, believing that is contradictory to believing that we have a democracy.  And I, as a citizen of the United States of America, refuse to go there.



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