The entire business of “election reform” continues to bounce back and forth in the States, as issues in Arizona (the Senate race) remain in the news and many local elections remain undecided nearly a month after the official election day.
(We started discussing this again on Saturday and several readers posted comments and links that are well worth visiting.)
Why do people cheat? Because they want to win. Sometimes it is a purely mercenary matter: someone pays someone (an insider, usually) to cheat, but mostly it is that politicians, their supporters and their controllers want to win. The motives can vary: ideological, fear, or just a lust for power.
In what is supposedly a republic, with democratic institutions – “of, by, and for the people” – any action to steal an election is wrong, whether there are actual specific violations of law or not. So just passing laws – and even enforcing them, does not eliminate the problem.
It would seem there is a need for something that is very passé today: a sense of morality, of honorable ethics that politicians, political activists, and public officials need to have for there to be honest elections. Of course, politicians have ALWAYS had a weak grasp on morality – a strong argument against compulsory human government. Maybe they had some vague idea.
That seems to be vanishing as we watch.
Indeed, a paid activist, working for “conservative” political factions (their word, not mine) recently told me he is fighting a nasty trend. In responding to what appears to be overt, clear cheating on the part of Democrats to steal elections nationally, he said that too many Republicans tell him that the solution is for Republicans to learn to cheat better than Democrats!
That reinforces the libertarian (and TPOL’s) belief that both the old parties are evil – too similar to be easily distinguished once you look behind the false fronts. And that they do little but make evil government more evil.
But we cannot change human nature: we can only deal with it. And we know that more laws do NOT end the problems that they seek to correct. Not just loopholes to be exploited, officials and staff to be corrupted, and voters to be invented, impersonated, or bribed.
Is it not again time to look at reducing the value of the elections? To make the rewards, the spoils, of winning small enough that the money, time and effort necessary to steal the election isn’t worth it?
In other words, take away the power of government given to those who win these elections. If we cannot totally eliminate coercive human government, can we not reduce it back to what existed in, say 1789 or so? Frankly, even rolling things back to the FDR regime would be a vast improvement over what both the Democrat and Republican administrations – federal and State level – shovel down our throats today.
Think about it.