Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Garry Kasparov knows what a rigged election is

NY Times - no, America, your election is not rigged. Garry Kasparov knows what a real rigged election looks like, because he knows Pooty-poot's Russia. Let him explain reality to you Trumptard fools:

In power for 16 years now, Mr. Putin and his global propaganda machine aggressively promote the idea that democracy is a chaotic mess that only the hero Putin can save Russia from falling into. Social media is flooded by Kremlin-funded trolls ranting about the illegitimacy of the American election process and warning of the potential for violence. To have a major party nominee in America repeating this propaganda is beyond Mr. Putin’s wildest dreams. Mr. Trump even echoes Mr. Putin’s authoritarian rationales, presenting himself as the only one who can rescue America.

I know a few things about rigged elections. I know what it’s like to have the overwhelming power of the state used against me to make a mockery of the democratic process. I know what it means to have my opinion censored while every major media outlet is dedicated to vilifying me and my colleagues. I know what happens when a conspiracy of public and private interests forms to intimidate, harass, prosecute and even kill in order to preserve a monopoly on power.

I know these things well because I learned them the hard way during my years as a political opposition leader in Mr. Putin’s Russia. None of these things are happening to Donald Trump.

After I retired from professional chess in 2005, I helped form an opposition coalition, known as Other Russia, to protest Mr. Putin’s increasingly dictatorial regime. According to the Russian Constitution, Mr. Putin was unable to stand for a second re-election as president in 2008, and it wasn’t clear what would happen to a power structure that had become completely centered on one man. If Mr. Putin ignored the Constitution completely and simply stayed on openly as a dictator, he risked alienating the Group of 8 world leaders who had agreed to pretend he was a fellow democrat.

The Other Russia opposition coalition had live debates, policy papers, platforms — all the things that were absent from the official elections, where the only thing that mattered was who had the Kremlin’s blessing. Rather to my surprise, in 2007 I was the winner of the national primary to choose the coalition’s presidential candidate.

Once I had been selected in a real election that wasn’t official, it was time for me to participate in an official election that was completely fake.

In order to do this, I had to jump through the official and unofficial hoops that had been put in place to prevent unapproved candidates from making it onto a ballot. Two million signatures were needed from all over the country in just one month, a task made even more herculean by the sheer size of Russia. A nominating congress had to be held, an apparently simple chore that became impossible when no hotel would rent a suitable space to us. Even American-owned hotel chains mysteriously canceled our reservations.

While I traveled across the country to campaign, we would find venues suddenly closed for repairs, our flights canceled, our meetings shut down by the police. Nor did I quite manage to stay out of jail, spending five days in a Moscow cell for participating in an “unauthorized rally.”

Rigging an election isn’t only a matter of stuffing ballot boxes. It is not even that “the people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do,” as the apocryphal quote attributed to Joseph Stalin has it. By the time the voting begins, the game is already over. Anyone who opposes the regime — from peaceful street protesters to the wealthiest man in the country — is targeted. The Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky spent a decade in prison for daring to support political groups outside of Mr. Putin’s control.

The fraud that does occur on Election Day is more about showing loyalty and getting the numbers just right to keep up appearances. Busloads of official voters go from polling station to polling station in a tradition we even have a name for: a “carousel.” Sheaves of ballots are dumped into urns while polling officials stand in the way to block the view. Sometimes, the excessive zeal of apparatchiks produces returns of more than 100 percent, as happens regularly in Russian regions like Chechnya.

Must be nice to daydream about how horribly oppressed your white Trumptard ass is, while you sit on your couch collecting Social Security, polishing your guns, posting ignorant nonsense on the internet, and watching reality TV.

In reality, the only oppression that white-ass Trumptards face is the fact they have to share the equal vote with blacks, muslims, latinos, women and gays.

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