To those who have doubts, rest assured the U.S. electoral system is rigged.
Not in the way Republican Donald Trump would have you believe. In Trump’s addled mind, any vote against him is rigged.
Nor am I talking about traditional fraud, though no doubt dead people will be voting in record numbers for Democrat Hillary Clinton, there is no telling how many people will be voting multiple times in different districts, and there would be no surprise if a few voting machines are manipulated or a few Russian hackers manufacture a few votes for Trump.
No, the real fraud is that openly put in place by the two legacy parties as a means of maintaining control. And this fraud is propped up and perpetuated by the political lapdogs known as the national media.
One example is ballot access rules.
There are different rules for the legacy parties and other political parties. How is this any different than what we saw in places such as the Soviet Union, where for all intents and purposes only one party was permitted to participate in the process?
Odd that the American people are not outraged by such restrictions on their electoral freedom.
It is anti-American to treat one organization differently from another. It is an empty slogan to claim the United States is a free nation while the two ruling parties have rigged the system against any outsiders.
A major outward sign of this election fraud is the system of debates and the media coverage of the election.
Debates should be an opportunity for Americans to hear all points of views from all candidates who have achieved ballot access in enough states to win 270 electoral votes. This is the only way an intelligent and informed decision can be made when voting.
Unfortunately, the Democratic and Republican parties colluded with each other to create a commission to control access to presidential debates. The commission then proceeded to create standards that are all but impossible for others to meet, including an arbitrary polling threshold of 15 percent.
In that regard, the media help by refusing to fairly cover all candidates who can mathematically win, making it harder for them to rise in the polls. Then, to add insult to injury, they often keep the other candidates out of their polls altogether.
This election, which might be the first in which voters from Generation X (my generation) and the millennials outnumber baby boomers and older generations, voters are beginning to demand more fairness.
Of course, this is more a product of the two clowns chosen by the legacy parties than any intellectual outrage raised by the patently unfair system, but that is a start.
In a Quinnipiac poll, 62 percent of Americans want a third candidate on that debate stage. Indeed, 37 percent of respondents would consider voting for a third-party candidate (John Quincy Adams won the presidency in 1824 with less than 31 percent of the vote).
That third voice should be Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party.
Johnson is on the ballot in all 50 states. He is polling at 25 percent in New Mexico, 23 percent in Utah and higher than 15 percent in 15 states. In 42 states, he is polling above 10 percent. All this while the media have all but ignored him. Imagine his support if he actually makes it to the debate stage and the media are forced to cover him.
While the major newsrooms have all but ignored Johnson, editorial boards across the nation have called for his inclusion in the debates, including the Chicago Tribune, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Herald.
Even former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican who is on the Commission on Presidential Debates, has called for permitting Johnson to debate.
As a two-term governor, Johnson has the most executive experience when compared to the other clowns. When put up against Clinton, whom 66 percent of Americans believe is dishonest, and Trump, whom 71 percent of Americans believe is hot-headed and lacks the temperament to be president, it seems silly to vote for anyone but Johnson.
So long as Johnson is left out of media coverage and polling and is prevented from participating in the debates, no one can intelligently and credibly claim the United States has free and fair elections.
Thomas J. Lucente Jr. is an attorney with the Hearn Law Office in Wapakoneta (419-738-8171) and night editor of The Lima News. Reach him by telephone at 567-242-0398, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @ThomasLucente.