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A Modest Suggestion for the American Election

The present administration and the Democratic Party have much to answer for.

by
David Solway

Bio

July 2, 2012 - 12:06 am
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This would be one way of checking what the Washington Times described as “widespread opportunities for mischief.” The attorney general, who refused to prosecute the New Black Panthers for polling booth intimidation, argues that widespread voter fraud “does not really exist” and that measures to strengthen election integrity are “unnecessary.” But as we all know, or should know, spurious voting practices are ubiquitous and it is Holder’s own party that stands to gain from such malfeasances. True, an international team of scrupulous observers would not have policing powers and the mainstream media would certainly not publicize its efforts and probable findings. Nonetheless, given the current political environment in the U.S., it might at least cause some embarrassment among less prominent office seekers not entirely devoid of conscience, prompting them to reconsider their allegiances.

As Foreign Affairs, the publishing arm of the Council on Foreign Relations, contends, “when governments do not play by the rules, observers can reduce fraud that would otherwise occur and condemn governments for election manipulation. … At the same time, they pressure governments — either through direct meetings or public condemnation — to update voter registers, support domestic observers, ensure that ballot materials are delivered throughout the country, and adopt technologies that make blatant election fraud harder.” A pious hope, perhaps, but worth a try.

The journal also points out that “the international monitoring of elections has become so common that refusing to invite foreign observers is seen as a signal that a regime has something to hide.” The present administration and the Democratic Party definitely have something to hide and they are palpably not playing by the rules, thus compromising the legitimacy of the upcoming elections.

Time to call in the observers.

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Note to the reader: When I first began writing this piece, I had intended to develop a somewhat facetious argument, a kind of satire on the hijinks of the Democratic Party. But as I progressed, I soon realized that my proposal to mobilize a team of election observers could justifiably be taken seriously. The American political scene oscillates between vaudeville and tragedy. The vaudeville inheres in the outrageous antics of the political left, as if we were witnessing something out of the Theater of the Absurd or the Commedia dell’Arte; the tragedy resides in the spectacle of a great democracy coming to resemble in its electoral affairs the modus operandi of a decadent, venal, and unprincipled third-world polity. As a result, I remain uncertain of my intentions. Am I joking, or am I in deadly earnest? Am I writing tongue in cheek or watching a tragedy unfold? Is inviting a group of international monitors to sentinel the election a mere caprice or is it actually validated by the circumstances?

One thing is undeniable: the Democratic thespians are putting on a risible but disgraceful and ultimately menacing performance. That the governing administration of a bellwether liberal nation should strenuously oppose fair voting practices and cry “racist” to intimidate those who advance a clear and sensible proposition is almost beyond belief. Perhaps in order to avert tragedy, we must acknowledge that caricature and burlesque have no place in the electoral life of a country. A properly conducted election furnishes the opportunity to hoot the farceurs off the stage.

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David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, and is currently working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon. His new book on Jewish and Israeli themes, Hear, O Israel!, was released by Mantua Books. His latest book is The Boxthorn Tree, published in December 2012.
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