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A Stolen ElectionGovernment?


Stephen Baskerville

The dimensions of the American governmental crisis are now becoming apparent. More than a campaign of electoral fraud, it involves a larger breakdown of American government that even supporters of President Donald Trump may not fully grasp. Attorney Sidney Powell says that "it is farther and wider and deeper than we ever thought.” But even she may be understating the matter.

It is one thing for a party to rig votes and try to steal an election. It is more serious when a nation’s media and cultural institutions support the effort. But it is of a different order altogether when the means of constitutional correction shirk their role and leave no redress.

The magnitude is apparent from the willful abdication of that branch of government that is charged with refereeing the others: the judiciary. The branch most dependent on moral integrity to preserve stability in crisis now possesses the least.

The Trump team’s greatest weakness in challenging the electoral fraud has been naively believing that justice is available in American courts. The highest courts have shown zero good faith in fulfilling their constitutional duty. On the contrary, they have confirmed more than any other evidence could, that American government is dysfunctional.

Attorney Lin Wood expresses the frustration: "We could resolve the question of the legitimacy of this election within a matter of a few short days, but it’s taken weeks [and still nothing is resolved]. Why? Because not one judge has looked at the merits of the mountain of evidence presented to the courts about the election fraud.” Unfortunately, Wood then diverts attention from the real problem (and lets his fellow jurists off the hook) by blaming this entirely on China. If the Chinese Communist Party is involved in the election fraud, that still does not explain the larger failure that allowed it in.

This is not new. The US judiciary is one of the most crookedon earth. Courts are corrupted, not as elsewhere with petty bribery and graft, but by political ideology that both rationalizes their enormous power and earnings in areas where they have no business and prevents them from doing their real duty.

Most Americans do not understand this corruption, but many feel it in their daily lives. Law-abiding Americans are routinely harassed, plundered, ruined, unjustly incarcerated, and rendered homeless by a smorgasbord of judicial chicanery: predatory lawsuits; the thievery of probate; out-of-control prosecutors; knowingly false criminal charges and convictions; extortionate plea-bargains; incarcerations without trial or record; mass confiscations of property; family courts that seize control over the children and private lives of legally unimpeachable citizens. "At all levels of American society...the idea that American courtrooms strive toward justice is no longer taken seriously,” observesthe Wall Street Journal. "The courts are greatly feared for their ability to ruin, but they aren't much respected anymore by the American people.”

No mass rallies of outraged supporters defending the victims (though they certainly make up a large proportion of Trump voters).

This shows the futility of Republican presidents simply installing"conservative”judges. Federal courts, including the Supreme Court (andRepublican-appointed judges), protect these depredations. They are never scrutinized in confirmation hearings by grandstanding Republican senators (lawyers) or conservative pressure groups (more lawyers). All three Trump appointeeson the Supreme Court joined the conspiracy of silence.

The judiciary cannot referee conflict elsewhere in government because it is busy feathering its own nest.

Now we hear of plans (all expressing presumptions of guilt) to put President Trump on trial, along with his supporters,government officials (for doing their duty), and others. Judicial operatives are taking advantage of this opportunity to do what comes naturally to them: punish more law-abiding citizens. Thus, if the judicial branch resolves conflicts over the functioning of government at all, it does so now not by applying constitutional principles but by finding people to prosecute.

This trend is embodied in Kamala Harris and other politicians whose careers begin as prosecutors and attorneys general – occupations whose solution to every problem is jailing someone. This explains why the American prison system is the world’s most massive.

It also explains why allegations of electoral fraud are seldom refuted. Today’s left does not dispute facts or debate ideas: It accuses. Election officials who refuse to certify questionable results are being threatened with criminal investigation. Putting defeated political opponents on trial is consistent with this modus operandi.

In some ways, the confirming evidence for electoral chicanery comes not from the physical evidence but from the mouths of those trying to criminalize anyone who investigates or even discusses it. We now hear calls for litigation against speech from the same people calling for litigation against Trump. The same methods of criminal accusation used for four years to remove Trump are now being used against election officials for doing their jobs.

The most cited evidence for the Trump administration’s criminality consists of officials that have been prosecuted. But this may be an optical illusion. It may be an indictment not of the officials but of politicizing the criminal justice system.

The rationalization for punishing those who claim electoral fraud is that they are "wasting the courts’ time” with "frivolous” suits. But self-serving cliches about "overcrowded” courts are crocodile tears. Courts love being overcrowded, and they do everything they can to overburden themselves, because judicial salaries, like any others, increase with demand. "The one great principle of the…law,” wrote Charles Dickens, "is to make business for itself.” Pointless litigation is precisely what keeps the entire enterprise afloat.

Now Dominion, the company supplying the questionable voting machines, is threatening "defamation”suits against critics. In other words, by privatizing electoral management in a commercial business, officials have deprived Americans of the right to criticize or discuss public affairs and public policy without the danger of being ruined by lawsuits.

The fact that the election itself appears to involve criminalfraud seems lost, and little talk is heard of treating the perpetrators as criminals. So here we see, writ large in national politics, the longstanding proclivity of American courts to grow the prison system by rotating the guilty out as they rotate the innocent in.

Stephen Baskerville, PhD, served for 30+ years in universities in the United States and Europe. His publicationsinclude The New Politics of Sex: The Sexual Revolution, Civil Liberties and the Growth of Governmental Power (2017), plus peer-reviewed articles on politics, law, history, religion, and higher education. ActiveNews is honored to publish his Op-Eds.

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