One truth the best and the brightest of our founding fathers knew in their bones: government would always be the preeminent threat to individual security, prosperity, liberty, and happiness. Strip away the irrelevant dross and history boiled down to one theme: the individual versus the state. Government, an institution gestated in fear of violence, inevitably uses the violent power that it has either wrested for itself or has been granted against its supposed beneficiaries.
The founders knew that human nature never changes, that those in control of a government would inevitably be corrupted by their power and employ it to their own design and advantage. Their solution was enumerated powers, an overlapping separation of those powers, a myriad of procedural encumbrances, the Bill of Rights, federalism, and limits on the government’s abilities to tax, raise armies, and wage war. The idea was to make it harder for this new government to do what governments had done throughout history. They had to have realized that any effort to constrain a government ultimately depended on the wisdom and virtue of those in power. Wisdom and virtue in perpetually short supply, they also had to have realized that their effort would eventually fail.
And fail it has. Donald Trump is making more waves by charging that the electoral system is “rigged,” and for refusing to pledge that he will not challenge the official results of the election. Our entire government is massively rigged, an agglomeration of scams, testament to terminal philosophical deterioration and default. Its partners in crime have reacted vehemently against even the suggestion that the election could be rigged. Their fear: once discussion is allowed about rigged elections, people may take umbrage at all the other scams and actually do something about them.
The greatest of those scams is robbing whatever productive Peters remain out there to pay the burgeoning number of welfare and warfare state Pauls. With passage of the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913, the scammers acquired the power to extract unlimited wealth from the productive populace that had so long resisted the income taxes. By far the most effective way to commit a crime is to make it the law of the land.
Once you can legally steal someone else’s honestly earned money for the enrichment of yourself or your designated beneficiaries, everything else is a sub-grift. One of which is money itself. In that same unfortunate year of 1913, the US established its central bank, the Federal Reserve. Nixon’s abandonment of the gold window in 1971 marked the last time that the dollar was anything more than a fiat debt unit conjured by the Fed. The Fed’s debt monetization, interest rate suppression, depreciation of the currency, and the resulting inflation tax all have redounded to the benefit of the government. The Fed also has been the agent within government and finance for the interests of the banks it de jure regulates and has de facto cartelized.
Regulation, speaking of sub-grifts, is undoubtedly one of the most lucrative. Once the reformers who bestow a regulatory contraption on the polity move on to the next cause, the regulated quickly turn it to their own advantage. Adapting to costly and cumbersome regulations confers a competitive advantage to entrenched firms with large legal and compliance departments. With a suitable investment in lobbyists and gratuities, those supposedly disinterested bureaucrats acting in the “public interest” will draft obscure codicils of obscure regulations of obscure laws that magically help one firm and magically cripple its competition. Nobody among the 330 million plus members of the public who pay no attention to the Federal Register is any the wiser. A variation of regulatory arbitrage is tax code arbitrage, in which the well-heeled and their political patrons insert presents to themselves in seldom-visited interstices of the IRS’s voluminous diktats.
The government is a racket, pure and simple, and many Americans, and all the sentient ones, know it. In its vastness no one can grasp all the details, but that vastness also means it’s too big to hide. Trillions go in; trillions go out; lobbyists lobby; donations are made; bribes are taken; laws are passed; regulations are promulgated; Washington grows ever more wealthy and powerful; the connected grow ever more arrogant and hypocritical; everyone else falls farther behind. The media obsequiously cheers Washington and its connected and jeers at the left behind.
Every time Donald Trump tells an obvious truth the racketeers go apoplectic. He has expressed a fear that the upcoming election might be rigged. In the third debate he would not state unconditionally that he will accept the result. The fusillade of condemnation plumbs new depths of media inanity. If Trump thinks the election may be rigged, why would he swear to honor the result regardless? If the racketeers are indeed planning to rig the election, Trump’s ability to challenge the result by calling for recounts or filing suit is the only way he has of either keeping the other side honest (or less dishonest) before and during the election, or calling it to account afterwards. Pledging to forego the only leverage he has to prevent or expose election fraud would be unilateral surrender. Trump understands leverage. And he doesn’t surrender.
There is a possibility that he might expose and upend various rackets if he was elected president, versus the absolute certainty that his opponent won’t. He declared all-out war during a scathing Al E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner routine, the day after the debate. With the kind of money and power that’s at stake, does anybody really believe that irredeemably corrupt racketeers are above tampering with or outright fixing an election? Given their lock on government, does anybody really believe they don’t have the ability to do so? Motive and means are two key elements in any crime and America’s presidential elections aren’t exactly unsullied. Many Republicans maintain that vote fraud gave Kennedy Illinois and the election in 1960. Many Democrats maintain that vote fraud gave Bush Florida and the election in 2000
One can measure the validity of Trump’s utterances by the volume of squeals emanating from the pigs he’s stuck. Judging from the deafening din on this one, Trump scored a bullseye. Fair elections can withstand questions and scrutiny, it’s the rigged ones that can’t. If America’s faith in its elections is undermined, as so many hysterically hyperventilating hypocrites claim, it won’t be because of anything Donald Trump says or does, but because the racketeers rig elections and not all the people stay fooled all the time.