Steven F. Freeman: There's no need to steal a presidential election, thanks to Barack Obama

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      By Steven F. Freeman

      I’ll chime in with my prediction. It has nothing to do with Nate Silver blather. Nor with citizen efforts which, however valiant, face too many impossibly high hurdles. (I suspect that even if you could miraculously clear them, you’d simply wind up where you started because the system has you running around and jumping in circles.)

      Barack Obama will win (or has already won) because despite all the hoopla about the contest having become a tossup, those who actually put more than hot air behind their predictions—as well as those who might actually know—have never wavered. As the polls have tightened, this confidence has increased. Obama had been steady at 2 to 1 odds; now it’s more than 4 to 1.

      I suspect that some of those who really do know will not refrain from anonymously profiting from this knowledge.

      From early on, I had little doubt that he would be given a second term. He’s done everything that most of his higher-ups could have wished for:

      • Completing the greatest reverse Robin Hood transfer in history—trillions of dollars to the world’s richest financial institutions—that’s several years of Americans’ earnings, past, present, and future.

      • “Reforming” an obese, diseased wreck of a “health-care” system by promising to make it still more bloated—18 percent of GNP and still growing—opening all remaining arteries for Big “Healthcare” to feast on (in return for pills, technology, forms, and faxes).

      • Increasing military spending despite U.S. public and private insolvency and already spending more than the rest of the world combined—maintaining a steady supply of wars-and-enemies military pipeline.

      • Ignoring promises to address global warming and precipitous environmental degradation; despite the BP disaster warning, allowing ever riskier and destructive fossil-fuel extraction.

      • Eliminating fundamental civil liberties—the government may now target American citizens for death in secret and without trial. (See links below.)

      Secret U.S. Memo Made Legal Case to Kill a Citizen, New York Times, October 8, 2011.

      Talking Note: President Obama’s Kill List, New York Times, May 29, 2012.

      Obama moves to make the War on Terror permanent, the Guardian, October 24, 2012.

      And all this while neutralizing the opposition home and abroad that coalesced against George W. Bush administration policies (or that would recoalesce against a Romney administration).

      With these achievements and more, Obama has earned a second term.

      And as a small aside, they don’t even have to steal it for Obama.

      Steven F. Freeman is a professor of organizational dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania and coauthor of Was the 2004 presidential election stolen?. He's also the founder of Election Integrity, where this post appeared initially.



      James G

      Nov 6, 2012 at 11:35am

      Yeah, blah blah blah ... another straight white male with a point of view that completely ignores the issues of non-whites, women and gays. Stuck in the 60s, are you, Professor Freeman?

      Nothing new whatsoever in your op-ed piece. Here's news for you; we know! We know that the U.S. acted in an extrajudicial and extraterritorial manner in the execution of Bin Laden and although we fear the precedent, we are glad he's dead.

      We know the Democrats are a centre-right party and not the engine of change needed in the United States. We have issues with the persecution of Bradley Manning and the attempt to silence Julian Assange. We need action on climate change. We know that instead of government spending on infrastructure or nationalizing industry, the administration has instead absorbed massive private debt. We know Obama appointed to his cabinet persons who would properly belong in federal prison and that there has been no prosecution of the Wall Street cabal. You have told us nothing, absolutely nothing new and have been somewhat misleading on health care. Obamacare may be bare bones but it is the first attempt to extend social rights in America since the 1960s. It simply must be supported and so must the inadequate party and President that brought it forward.

      The alternative posed by the emergent far-right party in the United States is just too heinous to contemplate. Ask any women, if you know any, about the loss of reproductive rights, ask any gays, if you know any, about gay marriage and what it really involves and do ask any African Americans what the defeat of the first black President would mean to them.

      What is needed more than anything is a clear statement against fascism. When Jean-Marie Le Pen made it to the second round of the French Presidential election and faced off against Jacques Chirac, the call from the left was clear. Chirac was far more corrupt and conservative than Obama ever would be and nonetheless activists could easily raise the slogan "vote against Le Pen!" By not providing such a simple direction, you lay yourself open again to the criticism of American political life that it is infantile and nearly incapable of intellectual growth. Today, Americans, please "Vote against Romney and Ryan!"

      Tony P.

      Nov 6, 2012 at 5:04pm

      Strongly agree JG - 'lesser of two evils' is pertinent here - the professor IMHO overstates Obama nefariousness - but even if we grant that he and his administration are as evil as F believes there is still a significant choice to be made at present historic moment in the real world - and whatever the Democrats may be in 2012 they clearly differ from and are FAR preferable to the present radical version of GOP, a large scary segment of which is racist facist and nuts. The lunatic fringe is no longer a fringe. It's not good enough to go with the O-as-bad-as-R, peas-in-a-pod, plague-on-both-houses, wash-my-hands-of-both thing when it is crucially important to keep the radical GOP out of power!


      Nov 6, 2012 at 6:11pm

      With both puppets pro- War,Sopa,NDAA,Bailout,Stimulus,Drug War and Patriot Act why vote for a Drone Serial Killer?

      Chris S

      Nov 6, 2012 at 6:15pm

      It's just amazing how those responding to Freeman actually think that taking the few meagre crumbs from the table of the 1% counts as anything but. If there is infantile behaviour here, it is watching so called progressives jump through hoops to justify an existing anti-democratic and elite regime on the basis that it is somehow better than a than a potentially anti-democratic elite regime put forward by precisely the same folks who put Obama in place.. You guys need to give your heads a serious shake. You are sacrificing principle for Obamacare and tepid support for gays/women and doing it on the backs of those elsewhere in the world who pay the price for your "lesser of two evils" bullshit.


      Nov 7, 2012 at 6:13am

      no need to steal anything. all outcomes of any elections worldwide are already decided before anyone hits the voting booths.
      remember what stalin said? it's not the one who casts the ballot that matters. it's the one counting them that matters only.