Blog: Machiavelli’s Shadow
Trumpism, Voter Suppression And The ‘Outrageous’ Lie
When Niccolo Machiavelli convinced governments that lies and propaganda were necessary to control their societies, the masses were largely uneducated and quite superstitious. Yet even in today’s Information Age, many remain unaware and are deceived by society’s myths __ fully under the zombie-like spell of their blissful ignorance.
Oakland, CA November, 2018
The mass media blames Trump for creating the current climate of hate and violence. The press claims Trump’s rallies are so punctuated with hateful words, racist rants and calls for violence that he must bare the responsibility for the foul murders and criminal conspiracies plaguing our country. Trump claims to be a white nationalist, revealing himself to be a homophobic and xenophobic racist.
On the other hand, some argue that Trump is merely a low life gangster who uses the existing climate of fear and hate to cover up his goal of plundering as much wealth from the government as possible. But whatever Trump’s motivation, the society already pulsated with hate and fear from his supporters as well as his opponents. When Trump became president the courts had already been corrupted, the elections, rigged and politicians were on the take. The Supreme Court gave complete power to the corporations and billionaires controlled the outcome of every political issue. Donald Trump did not create this situation, he is merely taking advantage of it.
So the issue is not how to prevent Trump from spewing out his hate-filled words; the issue is how can the American political system be rescued ___ not from Donald Trump____ but from Trumpism.
In the 1920s and 1930s, moderate Italian, German and Spanish citizens were asking how they could rescue their own societies from the inexorable rise of fascism. As is true here in the US, these societies also lacked the commitment to democratic processes, the moral fiber necessary to distinguish self interest from greed and the political required to work towards inclusiveness. These societies’ failure to solve the question condemned twenty million white European soldiers to perish in a cataclysm of violence and whole populations to be decimated in an orgy of racial genocide. Even so, at the end of WWII’s horror, America’s right wing oligarchs immigrated the perpetrators of Nazim and fascism into America to prepare our political system for the advent of Trumpism.
“Those who forget the past, are condemned to repeat it.” Sign above Jim Jones’ chair in Jonestown.
Trumpism And Voter Suppression
Nazi, fascist and authoritarian regimes have an absolute abhorrence of free elections. Blacks were not given the right to vote until 1868; women were not allowed to vote until 1920. But on June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court took an important step towards fascism by gutting the voting rights act ___ the law that had held white racists in check for nearly 40 years. The Supreme Court had taken an earlier step towards voter suppression in December, 2000, by halting the Florida recount that would have given the presidential election to Al Gore. Accordingly, like a latter day College of Cardinals, the Supreme Court, acceded to the dictates of the ‘deep state’, and proclaimed George Bush, president of the United States.
Even before the fascist, Neil Gorsuch, and his drunken comrade, Brett Kavanaugh, were seated on the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court was moving the US back into the Jim Crow politics. The Supreme Court’s decision to gut the Voting Rights Act restricts the most important process in any democracy, the voting process. The return to Jim Crow elections is a purposeful continuation ___ and extension ___ of white supremacist rule. These initial voter suppression efforts did not originate under Donald Trump; they were initiated under Barack Obama.
Now, five years after the Supreme Court ruling, nearly a thousand voting locations in predominantly African-American and Hispanic areas have been closed. As the suppression of minority voting rages across the country, Chuck Shumer, the Democrats’ senate leader, has conspired with the Republicans to approved over a hundred conservative, right wing Trump appointees, selected by the right wing Federalist Society, to federal court positions. So now everything is in place for the full-scale implementation of Trump’s racist agenda ___ with or without Donald Trump or a Republican-controlled Congress. Voter suppression is guaranteed to continue for the next half century.
The ‘Outrageous’ Lie
Not only is the government, Machiavellian, and continually lying through the press to the public, it conspires to create one ‘outrageous’ lie ___ a lie that is concocted to become one of society’s core beliefs. One such ‘outrageous lie’ is that, beginning in 1969, America launched a series of Apollo expeditions that landed 12 astronauts on the moon.
It’s been nearly 50 years since American propaganda claimed that the Apollo missions landed the first human beings on the moon. On the first moon mission, Astronaut Neil Armstrong claims to have said: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
However, many believe that the six manned moon landings from 1969 to 1972 were faked and that none of the 12 Apollo astronauts actually walked on the moon. The Fox television network was one of the significant deniers of America’s moon landing. In a documentary, Fox claimed that NASA faked the 1969 landing. As evidence of the deception, Fox showed photos of a starless lunar sky and an American flag rippling on the ‘airless’ lunar surface. But the most important evidence that Fox presented was the impenetrability of the Van Allen radiation belts.
Fox claimed that, in order for America’s astronauts to land on the moon, they would have had to pass through the Van Allen radiation belts which encircle the earth like the rings of Saturn. And, as Fox pointed out, it is a scientific fact that it is impossible for even an electron ___ not to mention a space ship ___ to pass through the Van Allen radiation belts. Neither would a space ship be able to pass through the attendant plasmasphere that fills the outermost region of Earth's atmosphere which is equally impenetrable.
In 1958, two donut-shaped rings of seething radiation were discovered surrounding the Earth. These two rings, called the Van Allen radiation belts, provide a barrier that not even the fastest, most energetic electrons can penetrate.
Scientists describe the Van Allen belts as a collection of charged particles, gathered in place by Earth’s magnetic field. The belts respond to incoming energy from the sun, sometimes swelling up enough to damage even those satellites orbiting the Earth. The radiation belts have been examined using NASA's Van Allen Probes, launched in August 2012. The results of the examination of the Van Allen belts appeared in the November 27, 2014, issue of Nature magazine.
The Van Allen belts were first discovered with the launch of the US satellite, Explorer 1, in 1958. In the following decades, scientists have learned that the size of the two belts can change, merge and even separate into three belts. The inner belt stretches from 400 to 6,000 miles above Earth's surface and the outer belt stretches from 8,400 to 36,000 miles above Earth's surface. Though a 2000 mile slot of fairly “empty space” separates the belts, the Van Allen Probes data shows that the edge of the belts form a sharp boundary that even a particle as small as an electron simply cannot penetrate. Though the very shape of the magnetic field surrounding Earth seems to have created this boundary, some scientists claim to have discredited this theory. Yet these radiation belts are not the only particle structures surrounding Earth. A giant cloud of relatively cool, charged particles called the plasmasphere fills the outermost region of Earth's atmosphere, beginning at about 600 miles up from the earth’s surface and extending partially into the outer Van Allen radiation belt. This plasmaspheric cloud covers the “inner space” between the two radiation rings. Research shows that the plasmasphere surrounding the Van Allen belts, is as impenetrable as the Van Allen radiation belts, themselves. The Van Allen Probe data shows that the plasmasphere has very little motion at all. It just slowly drifts around the earth over the course of months. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, built and operates the Van Allen Probes used to study the radiation rings for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.
So it is true that Neil Armstrong’s “moon walk” was filmed in a movie studio in a Nevada desert. This explains why there were no stars in the lunar sky and why the moon lander left no crater in the powdery “moon” surface. Both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were as guilty of perpetrating the ‘outrageous’ lie about America “moon landing” as they were guilty of conducting the ‘phony’ Vietnam War. And while it is ironic that Fox news was the network that revealed this ‘fake news’ story, it is even more ironic that voting for either the Democrat or the Republican made no difference in the promotion of this ‘outrageous’ lie.
Immigrant Voter Fraud: The New ‘Outrageous’ Lie
The Republican party is actively engaged creating a new ‘outrageous’ lie: Illegal immigrant voting is a threat to America’s political system. The champion of this new ‘ourageous’ lie, Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State and Republican nominee for governor of Kansas, is the king of voter suppression. Kobach has made a career of addressing the issue of illegal immigrant voting even before Trumpism. Voter fraud has been the Republican Party’s number one political issue since Barack Obama became president. Even though voter fraud, itself, has never been a problem in the United States, voter suppression has been used to deny millions of American citizens their constitutional right to vote.
In striking down, as unconstitutional, the Kobach-inspired election law requiring proof of citizenship before a citizen could register to vote, Chief Judge Julie Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas ruled that her court found no credible evidence that a substantial number of noncitizens registered to vote.
When Judge Robinson had asked Kobach to provide documentation of voter fraud, the anti-immigrant, right winger offered the judge the applications of 39 noncitizens he claimed successfully registered to vote in Kansas. These applications were gathered over a 19 year period. But Judge Robinson found that several of these 39 supposed cases of fraud were simply errors on applications made by those who were otherwise eligible to register to vote. In these cases the judge found no evidence of any intentional voter fraud. However, Kobach used this evidence to cancel the voter registration of 16,319 Kansans and prevent 31,089 more Kansans from registering ___ the majority of whom were black and Hispanic.
Kobach appeals to Republicans who are keen on implementing voter suppression strategies. Kobach is the originator of the voter registration computer cross check program that Republican used to suppress the votes of millions of minority citizens, legally eligible to vote, in the 2016 election. ProPublica and the Kansas City Star documented how Kobach built a lucrative legal practice passing city ordinances throughout Kansas and elsewhere that punished landlords and employers for doing business with undocumented immigrants. Kobach’s latest outrage was to move the one polling place serving the thousands of Hispanic voters in Dodge City, Kansas to a location beyond public transportation facilities outside the Dodge City city limit.
Kobach’s “outrageous’ lie got him named vice chairman of Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. But Kobach’s overreach into the elections of all fifty states ended up in forcing Trump to terminate the advisory committee just nine months after Kobach began his numerous bizarre and illegal activities,
As a Kansas politician, Kobach has orchestrated racist attempts to sippress minority votes everywhere. But a century and half earlier, Kansas played a critical role in the fight against authoritarian government and white racism by disrupting full implementation of the Fugitive Slave Law under the leadership of Captain John Brown, famous for his ill-fated raid on the Harpers Ferry armory. Read about it in an excerpt from Frank Yerby: A Victim’s Guilt:
[The Fugitive Slave law allowed slave catchers to kidnap black people in the North,and sell tham into slavery ‘down South.’ The law set up federal courts in which no black person had any standing. By law, the judges in these courts could only accept the testimony of a white person on behalf of any ‘free’ black person threatened with family separation and enslavement.]