Monday, February 07, 2005

Used, Abused, Dazed and Confused

That describes the average American voter. When Americans go to the polls most are concerned about where the candidates stand on the issues, or the how the referendums and bills being voted on will affect them. Not very many people think about the "who's", "how's" and "what's" of the actual voting process. We take it on faith that things are being done fairly and correctly. This is America after all, and Americans do things right. Right??


So WHY, when faced with piles of evidence of fraud, do American voters just take it?
The Dance of Domination
The psychology of electoral domination has two parts – what is being done to people and how they allow it.

Psychological techniques, used deliberately, allow many tricks to go unnoticed and unchallenged. For example, “mystification” is a plausible misrepresentation of reality in which forms of exploitation are presented as forms of benevolence. Like magic and the use of distraction, the issue of voting reform was manipulated and misrepresented, so people felt calmed by the illusion that the problems are being corrected. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Elements of the Help America Vote Act, HAVA (a name as Orwellian as the Clear Skies Initiative, more accurately should be called “Hide America’s Voting Anomalies”), includes intrusive identity checks, the introduction of the “provisional ballot” most of which were not counted, and the use of electronic voting machines. Each of these was brilliantly misused for the opposite intention – to corrupt and deny votes to Kerry in ways people wouldn’t notice.

The subterfuge was successfully accomplished with use of censorship, illusion, distortion, brainwashing, propaganda, misinformation, disinformation, mystification, intimidation, shaming, and domination. As Bush might say, it was a “catastrophic success.”

These techniques combine to form something like a collective hypnotic induction, which creates an illusion of a consensus that cannot be challenged. Few have the insight, training and tools to see through the manipulation. Even fewer have the courage to take on the challenge. For many, responses to domination may include learned helplessness, psychic numbing, fear, cowardice, conformity, denial, cognitive laziness, disbelief, avoidance, and submission to authority. These items are inter-related and the lists are not exhaustive.

Before the psychological explanations, it is necessary to acknowledge the overwhelming factor of ignorance of the facts, but there can be subliminal awareness and lack of desire to know the facts. Of course if the facts were accurately reported in the mainstream media, the collective psychological climate would be conducive to a healthier public response. People accept fraud for reasons which may be conscious or unconscious...

I ran into my brother the other day (very liberal, very anti-bush) and we eventually got around to talking about the election. I was surprised by his response to my suggestion that Bush hadn't "won". He's convinced that the exit polls showed Bush winning, that there were no "problems" with the vote, and that more "red-staters" turned the vote. I still don't know if he realizes that the Ohio vote was challenged and that there are on-going investigations (pdf). He ended the conversation by laughing about "liberal conspiracy theories" and leaving.

What bothers me the most about this last election is the absolute refusal by most people to look at the process, to examine the evidence (list of links in right sidebar), and to challenge the outcome.