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First, the good news. The conventional view among people who follow politics is that the Democratic Party is about to suffer a humiliating repudiation in next week’s midterm elections. It seems very likely as of now, that Democrats will lose both houses of Congress, and that’s just the beginning of their pain.
Polls suggest that even places that supported Joe Biden by a wide margin in 2020 are about to swing dramatically against him and his party. A week from today, New York, of all places, could have a Republican governor. The last time there was an election in New York, Biden won the state by 23 points. What we’re seeing is what political scientists refer to as a realignment, and there’s no mystery as to why it’s happening. Democrats failed conclusively. No group in American history has done a worse job running this country than the neoliberals currently in charge. They’re vicious, they’re intolerant and they are utterly corrupt, but above all, they are incompetent.
In less than two years, it is not an overstatement to say, they have run this country into the ground, wrecking our economy, desecrating our military and opening the borders of the United States to more than 5 million lawbreakers. The destruction they have wrought is so profound it’s hard to describe. So of course, there will be consequences for that.
In a country with democratic elections, how could this party stay in power? Honestly, we don’t know, but maybe Joe Biden does. Tonight, Biden traveled across the city of Washington to Union Station. Built by Teddy Roosevelt more than 100 years ago, Union Station was for generations one of the most beautiful public buildings in this country. Under Joe Biden, it has become a homeless encampment, a place that is too filthy and too dangerous for Starbucks. Standing at this monument to his own failures, Biden proceeded to do what he now so commonly does: Bark at the rest of us for our moral failures. The guy who showered with his daughter is telling you you’re a bad person. Tonight’s topic: Democracy. Here’s a taste of it.
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PRESIDENT BIDEN: Yet now, extreme MAGA Republicans aim to question not only the legitimacy of past elections, but elections being held now and into the future. The extreme MAGA element of the Republican Party, which is a minority of that party, as I said earlier, but it’s the driving force is trying to succeed where they failed in 2020 to suppress the right of voters and subvert the electoral system itself.
Well, that’s very weird if you think about it. Here we are less than a week before the Democratic Party is expected to suffer overwhelming losses in the midterm elections and here you have the leader of that party, Joe Biden, commanding you not to complain about the election results. Why is that? Well, let’s see. Here’s Joe Biden telling you that thanks to the changes, the many changes, Democrats have made to our system of voting, all of which make voter fraud easier to commit, we may not know the results of the elections for a few days, but don’t be alarmed. Everything is completely on the level and whatever you do, do not ask questions or else you’re a criminal.
BIDEN: We want Americans to vote. We want every American’s voice to be heard. Now we have to move the process forward. We know that more and more ballots are cast in early voting or by mail in America. We know that many states don’t start counting those ballots until after the polls close on Nov. 8. That means in some cases we won’t know the winner of the election — for a few days, until a few days after the election. It takes time to count all legitimate ballots in a legal and orderly manner. It’s always been important for citizens in a democracy to be informed and engaged. Now it’s important for citizens to be patient as well. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
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What is this? What is going on here? We’re a week from the election, six days. Biden could have given, would under normal circumstances have given, a speech about his policies and how they’ve made your life better. He tried to convince you this country is actually in better shape than it looks and he did that. He could, in other words, have made a pitch for your vote based on what he has done. That’s what politicians do in functioning democracies. They try to convince you to support them on the basis of what they have done for you. That is democracy. That’s not at all what Joe Biden just did. Instead, Biden commanded you to accept the election results whenever they arrive, no matter what they may be. It was bizarre and it did not inspire confidence.
You would hate to think that what’s happening here is a version of what is happening tonight in Brazil. According to official tallies, a convicted criminal, an avowed socialist, called Lula da Silva, beat the incumbent president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, by a narrow margin this weekend and yet millions of Brazilians, millions, don’t believe that’s what actually happened. Bolsonaro himself has not conceded. There are protests all over Brazil right now. You’re seeing some of them on your screen right now. There are questions about whether all the ballots had been counted, why so many were thrown out — millions — and whether election laws were violated in the process.
We can’t render judgment on those questions, but if you care about democracy, if you think the process is essential, then you would look into those allegations. Anything less is not democracy, and yet what’s interesting and maybe a point of concern for the rest of us here in the U.S., is that you are no longer allowed to ask questions about this election in Brazil and you’re not allowed because the Biden administration doesn’t want you to. That’s true. YouTube, which has functioned for the last two years as an arm of the Biden administration, has announced it is censoring any posts in Brazil that question the election results. Brazil’s courts have also rejected any inquiry into the election.
BRAZIL ELECTION: LULA DA SILVA WINS PRESIDENCY AS NATION SWINGS LEFT — WILL BOLSONARO ACCEPT THE RESULTS?
In fact, a Supreme Court judge in Brazil has also ordered social media companies to remove any social media post that questions the outcome. Overwhelming censorship in a “democracy,” preventing people from asking questions about how the “democracy functions.” So, why should you care about this? Brazil, it’s a long way away. Well, two reasons. The first is that the result of this election will determine the extent of China’s influence in the Western Hemisphere. If Bolsonaro is determined the loser and da Silva does become the president of Brazil, that means that left-wing governments loyal to China outside of our sphere of influence will control all of South America. Brazil was the last holdout, also the biggest and most significant country in South America.
Bolsonaro, alone in South America, stood in the way of total Chinese hegemony there. It’s our hemisphere. It matters, but the second reason you should be paying attention to this is that the crackdown on free speech in the wake of Brazil’s contested election is a result of policies from our country. The Biden administration has been interfering in the elections in Brazil, period. The Biden administration has already announced that Bolsonaro lost and then threatened Bolsonaro with consequences if he tries to contest the result of the election in his country. The State Department, the Biden State Department, put out a statement saying that Bolsonaro’s defeat “reinforces” trust in democratic institutions. Really?
This is an election that is contested. The demonstrations in the streets prove that. That has not been audited. That apparently cannot be audited by fiat and that you’re not allowed to talk about. How does that restore your faith in institutions? No. Only one thing restores your faith in institutions and that’s transparency. When people are hiding things, it makes you think maybe they have reason to, of course, and when governments hide things, you can be dead certain they’re lying, period, but from an American perspective, the question is why was the Biden administration interfering in a foreign election? These are defenders of democracy who believe in free and fair elections. They shouldn’t be meddling in other people’s elections, but they are a lot.
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Several years ago, Toria Nuland at the State Department, the woman who is driving our war against Russia, was caught on tape admitting that she had engineered a coup in Ukraine. Was she punished for that? No, she was promoted. Again, she’s still at the State Department. It does make you wonder what we’ve been doing in Brazil. The Biden administration hated the last president in Brazil for political reasons, ideological reasons, reasons that had nothing to do with what was in America’s best interest, but had everything to do with the silly lifestyle liberalism that determines that worldview.
Last year, our CIA director, William Burns, traveled to Brazil, and while there warned top officials that Bolsonaro could not contest the election results no matter what. Wait a second. Why would the CIA chief be in Brazil lecturing them about their elections? Isn’t that interfering in an election? Oh, yes, it is. Then, months after that visit from the head of our CIA, Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered the indefinite detention of several Bolsonaro supporters without a trial. What did they do wrong? What was their crime?
They “attacked Brazil’s institutions” in their private communications. They undermined confidence in election integrity, so they had to go to prison. It’s shocking and the most shocking part is not simply that there’s corruption in a Latin American country. That’s part. The shocking part is that the Biden administration is abetting it and reinforcing it and trying to do the same thing here.
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We saw a preview of this in the United States after January 6. What’s happening in Brazil now is an escalation and once again, the Biden administration endorses it, has a hand in it. Within hours of the contested election, people have been banned from talking about it. Street violence is breaking out naturally. So-called election-deniers are being killed. Why would you imagine any other outcome? In the absence of transparency, what fills the void? Conspiracy theories. If you want people to believe the truth, tell them the truth. Stop hiding things.
That’s not a functioning democracy. In a functioning democracy, you’re not simply allowed to raise questions about elections, you’re encouraged to. You’re encouraged to because it’s your government. There’s no such thing as election-denying in a free society. It’s called free speech. You’re allowed to say it if you think it, period, and yet our media, which exists to defend free speech, is doing its best, day after day, to shut it down. “How dare you raise any questions about next week’s midterms! Why are they telling you that? It’s ominous.” Here’s MSNBC’s Ali Velshi making an explicit. Watch as he explains that if you vote for a Republican in Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano, you’re destroying democracy through voting.
ALI VELSHI: Of those 299 election-denying candidates, that’s them on the screen, 173 of them are favored to win their race this year, while 52 others are in competitive races where they still have a chance of winning. Their collective victory could have catastrophic consequences for American democracy… It’s possible that in a couple of years, as the results of the 2024 presidential elections are being certified, people like Lake and Finchem in Arizona, Mastriano in Pennsylvania, and over 150 members of Congress who have spent these last two years sowing seeds of doubt about the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s victory. It’s likely they’ll be in positions of power that have an outsized influence on the outcome of future elections and what they might do with that power is what voters need to be thinking about today.
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First of all, if people have questions about the last election or January 6 or what happened at Nancy Pelosi’s house in San Francisco last Friday, there’s a really simple way to put those concerns to rest, to stop the conspiracy theories, and that’s produce the evidence. Show us the facts. If people are worried about vote totals in a specific state from 2020, first of all, they have a right to have the party in charge prove that that election was fair, but moreover, they have a duty to ask because the only way you have a free and fair system is if everybody is free to ask questions about it and demand real answers.
If you’re coming up with some sort of crazy theory about what happened in Nancy Pelosi’s house last Friday, instead of yelling at you or calling you names or telling you you’re a conspiracy nut, you’re Alex Jones, just produce the police body cam. Why is that so hard? If you think something weird was going on January 6, OK, it’s not your fault. Maybe it’s the fault of the people who are hiding thousands of hours of video evidence from January 6. Why haven’t they released that? The onus is on them, not the rest of us. We’re not the crazy people. You’re the liars. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions — period — and if that’s banned, this is a totalitarian country.