Election 2016

The Election Isn't Rigged, But The Political System Is.

A great new online documentary featuring Glenn Beck, Matt Kibbe, Gary Johnson, and Nick Gillespie is well worth watching.


Rolling Stone

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump sounds like a spoiled, entitled, fading-fast brat when he moans about the election being rigged. Sure, it's funny when he bitches about Crooked Hillary, Lying Ted, Little Marco, and all the rest, but he's full of beans when he complains in a narrow sense about voter or election fraud. Not that he's alone in doing so. As Reason's Jesse Walker points out, various Republicans such as John McCain and the conservatives at Town Hall have fretted in recent years over just such things. So did Democrats and Democratic-leaning media orgs, especially in 2000 and 2004. The once-influential magazine Harper's, the always-overwrought Vanity Fair, and that living emodiment of regression-to-the-mean, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., all swore up and down that BushHitler out-and-out stole the 2004 election.

And yet, Trump is clearly expressing a widely felt sentiment when he complains about the larger political process being "rigged." And he's not alone in talking that way. The Blessed Elizabeth Warren, the patron saint of self-aggrandizing public moralists, says so, as did Bernie Sanders, at least right up to the moment when Wikileaks provided actual documentary evidence that the Democratic National Committee was actively working against the Vermont socialist's presidential campaign. (It's weird, isn't it, that Sanders shut his trap about all this at the very moment his fears were borne out.) Many progressives say it's because of the CORPORATIONS while the right-wingers tend to blame the MEDIA (and yes, they talk about such entities in ALL CAPS).

For those of us who are outside the Republican and Demcoratic parties, there's a different cast to the rigging when it comes to politics. As Nicholas Sarwark, the national chair of the Libertarian Party, told me in a recent interview, crazy and ever-changing ballot-access requirements are explicit hurdles to full participation in elections by diverse political groups. The one thing Dems and Reps can always agree on is that there's no goddamn reason to let more voices on the stage. And as HBO's John Oliver demonstrates, third-party candidates don't get taken seriously by the media even when they have more experience and credibility than major-party candidates. In The Declaration of Independents, Matt Welch and I talked about all the ways in which the political duopoly works to delegitimate and silence new and different perspectives.

With all that as a background, I'd like to point you to a great new hour-long documentary that explores the ways in which ordinary Americans and their concerns are systematically shut out from political discourse. Not right there at the polling place, of course, but much, much further upstream. Focusing on voter fraud and intimidation, both of which are blessedly rare-to-nonexistent, is a diversion from the bigger picture.

Underwritten by Overstock.com's CEO Patrick Byrne and featuring a calvacade of libertarian-leaning commentators such as Matt Kibbe, Glenn Beck, and yours truly (in a brief appearance), Rigged 2016 analyzes why politics and elections never seem to engage the concerns and views of voters and citizens who refuse to identify as either Republican or Democrat. It also gets at why the two major parties are losing members like nobody's business.

Below is the trailer and here's the website for the full, hour-long film, which you can watch for free online. "Do Not Vote For President Until You See This Film," reads the tag line. It's sage advice and you're way better off watching Rigged 2016 rather than any Punch-and-Judy cable news program.

NEXT: New Poll of 15 Swing States Shows Gary Johnson Beating the Spread in 13; Double Digits in 7

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  1. “DONALD TRUMP IS TRIGGERING ME!” says Hillary shill.

    Twenty-five years ago, Beth Anderson was raped by a man who’d offered her a ride home. Unlike most victims, she found a modicum of justice: Her rapist was arrested and, after a plea bargain, served a year and a day in prison. “I moved on,” says Anderson, now 56 and a web developer living in a small town in western Wisconsin. “I’ve never had any issues with having sex. I was able to separate that out. It’s never bothered me. Until now.”

    Ever since a 2005 tape emerged of Donald Trump boasting of grabbing women “by the pussy,” the election has been dominated by talk of sexual abuse and misogynist bullying. Watching it unfold, Anderson says, has brought memories of her ordeal flooding back. “It really kicked in with this whole conversation about how rape-y he is,” she says. “The entire conversation has been taken over by sexual assault. And it’s really hard.” Hardest of all for Anderson has been seeing men she knows and trusts defend Trump. “That’s the part that makes me cry,” she says, her voice breaking over the phone. “Because even the men you think are safe, aren’t safe.”

    Voting for Donald Trump makes you a likely rapist.

    1. I feel raped every time you comment Sug.

      1. I always felt I was more gropey than rapey.

        1. Sweet’n’Low will aggressively feel up your brain’s junk and he won’t even buy it dinner first.

        2. SugarFree grabbed my genitals and brain! Not much to grab onto either way, I guess he’s a quality not quantity type of groper.

          1. +1 jeweler’s loupe

        3. Your comments and sordid tales of Cronenbergian woe are frotteurism, Saccharin Man. You limit your political Testicle…errr TENTACLE Pr0n (see how that just totes changes the meaning, therefore the context) to mere brushing up against unsuspecting members (HA!) of The Commentariat, not the blatant “Gropey-Rapey” type.

          1. bacon has just been all edgy since I tweaked his nipples. He claims they are very sensitive.

            1. His bacon bits are very dry, from what I understand. Apparently, this is widely known.

        4. Groping is sexual battery. In other words, rape.

    2. Likely? It guarantees it!

    3. Does anybody actually fall for these crocodile tears? (Don’t answer that, I don’t want to know)

      1. The Slate commenters are all for it. They’ve done a ruthless purge of dissenting voices since the nomination and the Hillary chorus is full-throated.

        Their resident battle-ax feminist:

        Jaydee 4 hours ago
        I wrote about this when this story first happened. I never quite understood the concept of triggering, and thought it was people being a little too precious and delicate. But this incident actually has clarified it for me. It has reminded me of how many times I was assaulted as a young woman, and rekindled that feeling of shame and fear that it engendered in me. And I’ve been made aware online of just how many other women share that experience.

        Trump is not just a reminder of how creepy and repulsive some men can be. He’s a reminder of how POWERFUL they can be, how much larger, how much more empowered by the society at large. And his words remind us of how much CONTEMPT such men have for women, how they really do see us, especially when young, as nothing but a collection of pleasurable orifices. His words – and the casual, convivial way he shared them with his fellow creep, Billy Bush – were the triggering for me. The reminder that this is not only something some men will DO, but it’s something they share amongst themselves, for entertainment. It also clarified just why men so rarely speak out against creeps like Trump – because it’s part of a shared cult of toxic masculinity, and it’s respected even by those who don’t take part in it.

        1. Fine. I pledge offense against random women each time I hear the word, “trigger.”

          1. I’m offended for all the people who aren’t woke enough to be offended.

          2. Somebody find a pic of Jaydee.

          3. Each time I Hear the word “trigger”, I think of Buttermilk and Bullet.

    4. Well, you have to admit, as campaign slogans go, you could do worse than, “Grab the Pussy!”.

      1. You mean like, “Jeb!”?

    5. “Because even the men you think are safe, aren’t safe.”

      +1 M & M

      1. Yeah, she must have gone to a DNC convention.

  2. It’s so sad and futile…

    You can’t fix a criminal organization like a nation state anymore than you can come up with a way to rape an unwilling woman ‘consensually’.

    No amount of tinkering and revising is going to make the elites controlling the state listen to the little people. They will listen only when the benefits of listening outweigh the PITA annoyance of listening. In other words, when people start opting out of dealing with the state.

    The great liberalizing influence in western civilization was the existence of the new world, and the massive immigration of people away from being under the thumb of local rulers. Once people started exercising the power of exit, then the rulers ceded power.

    Absent people similarly exercising the power of exit, the rulers will cede nothing.

    1. +1 Expanse

    2. *sighs, looks at rusting spaceship in the backyard*

      One of these days, ol’ girl. One of these days we’ll just up and leave this place. Just gotta figure out the kinks in long-term biosuspension and knock the dust off those plans for an ion drive….

      1. dust off those plans for an ion drive….

        Bah. Orion is the only way to go.

    3. I guess there’s always seasteading, assuming that all the hurdles could be overcome. I won’t hold my breath. At least it’s a frontier that nobody seems too interested in grabbing.

      1. At least it’s a frontier that nobody seems too interested in grabbing.

        …by the pussy.

      2. I think you might need to stay away from China, however.

  3. Speaking of the campaign being rigged, Gillespie, have you seen this story at The Daily Caller about how the Hillary Clinton campaign is using brownshirt tactics at Trump rallies?

    “Scott Foval, National Field Director for a non-profit organization named Americans United for Change, told an undercover reporter, “The [Clinton] campaign pays DNC, DNC pays Democracy Partners, Democracy Partners pays the Foval Group, The Foval Group goes and executes the shit.”

    What is this “shit” the Foval Group executes? Foval points to Shirley Teeter, a 69-year-old woman who dominated the airwaves after she said she was assaulted at a North Carolina Trump rally.

    “She was one of our activists,” Foval said to the undercover reporter.

    . . .

    Two of Creamer’s underlings in the video, Zulema Rodriguez and Aaron Black take credit for organizing the March Chicago protest which made Trump cancel his rally and left police officers injured.

    . . .

    “When Foval spoke about the events he organizes he said, “There’s a script of engagement. Sometimes the crazies bite and sometimes the crazies don’t bite.”

    “When they’re outside the rally, the media will cover it no matter where it happens. The key is initiating the conflict by having leading conversations with people who are naturally psychotic,” Foval continued.


    1. I’m sure Reason is on the case.

      1. They haven’t been so far. Project Veritas has released two videos in the last two days with Democrat activists caught on-camera bragging about how they rig elections and commit widespread voter fraud. The operatives attempted to collude with the undercover journalists to commit additional voter fraud. Those operatives just stepped down from their posts today.

        Not a word from Reason about any of it as far as I can tell.

  4. A great new online documentary featuring Glenn Beck, Matt Kibbe, Gary Johnson, and Nick Gillespie is well worth watching.


    1. Some guy named Al Eppo.

      1. I heard that Al Eppo guy is a real jerk; I heard he’s bulldozing all the homes in Syria.

        1. I heard he refuses to get on a plane. Says he “no fly” or some shit.

        2. His second cousin is Ben Ghazi, the poor sap who won the PowerBall lottery, and his wife then lethally poisoned him so she could collect the winnings.

          I think they are related, by marriage, to that guy who published the YooToob video that allegedly had some Islamo-Mohammedans having kittens.

  5. Too late! Already made up my ballot and sent it in.

    1. I voted for Billy Bush, but now I’m regretting my decision. DAMN THIS EARLY VOTING!!!!

  6. This is wildly, and I mean wildly, OT, but it’s on the front page of Drudge and it’s just too funny to wait for the PM Lynx:

    Hilary’s Fixer Tells All:

    “I arranged a meeting for Hillary and a woman in an exclusive Beverly Hills hotel,” the man, who was hired by the Clintons, via a Hollywood executive, to cover up their scandals, told The ENQUIRER.

    “She had come to the studio to see the filming of a movie in 1994.”

    “While I was there, I helped her slip out of a back exit for a one-on-one session with the other woman. It was made to look casual, leaving quietly [rather] that being caught up in the melee ? but really it was for something presumably more sordid.”

    What’s more, it wasn’t just Hillary’s flings with women that the shadowy Mr. Fix It helped to orchestrate!

    Hillary’s former bagman finally confessed to The ENQUIRER just how he helped her to cover up her affair with married lover Vince Foster, too!

    This election season has been enough of a clown show, and damn if this wouldn’t just make it clownier than ever, but I’ve a strong urge to call bullshit. I mean, the National Enquirer? That’s the best you can do?

    1. They were right about John Edwards’ bastard child.

      1. Damn your numb from diabetic neuropathy fingers!

      2. Yep, I was just googling that. They also broke a story way back in the early 90s about some military officer or something who had faked his credentials but I can’t find it, because it’s pre Web.

    2. So now we got TWO pussy grabbers running for president?

      1. Crap. (to self) “Read replies before commenting. Read replies before commenting. Read replies before commenting.”

        1. You owe them NOTHING. Bang out your comments and the devil take the hindmost.

    3. Didn’t the National Enquirer break the John Edwards story?

      1. Well, yeah, but-

        Oh, alright, you have a point. It just seems too good to be true, y’know?

        *sighs, kicks rock*

    4. But did Hillary grab her pussy? America (ok, only Crusty J) wants to know!

    5. This is wildly, and I mean wildly, OT, but it’s on the front page of Drudge and it’s just too funny to wait for the PM Lynx:

      Damn it, you posted this at 4:20. You couldn’t keep it in your pants for ten minutes?!

      1. At least he didn’t fuck up the HTML.

  7. To be fair, my democrat friends like to gloat about the electoral college being stacked in their favor just as much as my republican friends like to whine about it.

    It’s so liberating not to have a horse in this race.

    1. Electoral College – that’s so 2000!!

  8. “The once-influential magazine Harper’s, the always-overwrought Vanity Fair, and that living emodiment of regression-to-the-mean, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., all swore up and down that BushHitler out-and-out stole the 2004 election.”

    Sorry, Nick, but if you bothered to read the actual links that Jesse provided, you’d have found that the Harper’s article did not swear either up or down, but rather discussed a report by Rep. John Conyers that complained of significant voting irregularities while stating that these were NOT significant enough to overturn Bush’s win in that state. As for the Vanity Fair piece, it was not the “always-overwrought Vanity Fair” but rather the often drunk Christopher Hitchens, for whom I believe you on occasion expressed affection, who did the opining. As for RFK, Jr., well, I don’t know what he said, and I don’t care.

  9. Comrades! A Vote For Johnson Is A Vote Against Nearly Everything Bernie Stands For

    If you were Feeling the Bern and now plan to vote for Gary Johnson, here are a few things you should be aware of about Johnson and the Libertarian Party platform.

    Johnson does not oppose Citizens United, one of Bernie’s biggest targets in the fight against corporate power. In fact, he strongly supports it. “I think it comes under the First Amendment, that they should be able to contribute as much money as they want.”


    I suspect Johnson is a leading choice for voters who can’t stand Trump but are having a hard time bringing themselves to vote for Hillary, despite Bernie’s having given her his full support. As a side benefit, they hope their protest vote will help legitimize a third party ? and they don’t view the Green Party as an option this time around, because… well, Jill Stein.

    If you want to help defeat Trump, you have only one tactically sound option. Reluctant to place your trust in Hillary Clinton? As Bernie said, “We’re not here to trust. It is the very opposite of what I am saying ? to say, ‘Oh, sit back, elect Clinton, and then trust.’ No. Mobilize. Educate. Fight.”


  10. third-party candidates don’t get taken seriously by the media even when they have more experience and credibility than major-party candidates.

    That’s easily understandable by the fact of whom the candidate represents. The small parties are small, so their nominees aren’t the selection of a large # of people at the grass roots, while of the big parties it can be said that they represent large #s of members & may have had to beat other candidates, possibly many others, in primaries.

    Remember that Gary Johnson was doing very poorly in the race for the 2012 GOP nomination for prez, (vs. Ron Paul & others) so why should he be considered more credible than the choice of the GOP nomination process now?

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