American politics in 2016 produced much chatter around the topic of “rigged elections”. Then candidate Trump hammered the point home at every campaign stump. Hillary Clinton acted blameless, pointing the finger at Russia and Donald Trump when she was running for president herself, despite bank rolling the DNC before the election was fully underway.
What do we know about what happened in 2016?
The story has become incredibly convoluted, but there are many disturbing facts and allegations swirling around the Democratic primary election in 2016 that should still be in the forefront of our minds.
Let’s break down what we know for sure.
Hillary Clinton took control of the DNC before the election was fully underway.
According to Donna Brazile who took over DNC leadership in 2016 just after the July convention:
Leading up to the 2016 election, the Democratic National Committee was in financial shambles. Then President Barack Obama was not a prolific fundraiser after he won the nomination. The party was in debt to the tune of $24 million and on life support. That debt was slowly being paid off but not fast enough for them to continue operations.
The DNC chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, brokered a deal with the Clinton Campaign to pay off their remaining debts ($10 million) and allow the DNC an allowance overseen by the Clinton Campaign to continue their operations. Clinton took over the entire “DNC Victory Fund” prior to becoming the party’s nominee, allowing her access to millions of more dollars from fewer donors than are allowed by campaign finance law. The move also took money from Democratic down-ballot races.
Brazile says the proof is found in the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.
“The agreement — signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias — specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.” -Donna Brazile
Brazile admits this arrangement, while incredible unethical, is not necessarily illegal.
The scandal, which came to light after the release of DNC party emails by Wikileaks, led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was immediately given a position in the Clinton Campaign. She is still a Florida Congresswoman.
It is important to note that Donna Brazile did not go public with this information at the time. (She called Senator Sanders prior to the general election letting him know her findings.) Instead, she held her cards close to the chest for a year and then penned a tell-all story, cashing in on the chaos herself.
Google and other big tech companies had a huge hand in Clinton winning the popular vote in 2016.
While this does not fall under the umbrella of direct DNC responsibility, it’s an issue of massive enormity and the Democratic Party is willing to look the other way as benefactors of the injustice. Silicon Valley is an enormous supporter of Democratic politics.
“Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that….We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’ve rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again….We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?”
-Jen Gennai (Head of Responsible Innovation at Google)
Robert Epstein, (liberal journalist, professor, and psychologist) a vociferous Hillary Clinton supporter, testified in July that Google manipulated the public so enormously that it is estimated 2.6–10.4 million voters were swung into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s camp in the 2016 US Presidential election.
Google, of course, denies these claims. But they’re not the only big tech company in hot water. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have all been accused of search manipulations recently.
Facebook and Twitter have been accused of removing of shadow-banning and at times removing conservative accounts. YouTube has a demonetization policy based largely on personal opinion, negatively impacting conservative users like comedian Stephen Crowder and middle ground Democrats like Dave Rubin.
Anyone not beholden to the Democratic Establishment is fair game in this major manipulation scheme. Tulsi Gabbard is suing Google for stopping her account from ad buys following her breakout debate performance in July. She estimates the move cost her campaign millions in donation dollars and voter impressions.
Tulsi Gabbard: Taking on Big Tech
Why her bold move against Google is so important, whether or not she wins the White House
The DNC is suppressing the voices of their anti-establishment candidates despite their having immense popularity with voters in key demographics.
Before being allowed to compete in the televised presidential debates, the Democratic Candidates must meet a unique donor threshold, and poll above a certain percentage point in a number of DNC polls.
The issue arises when looking at which polls the DNC has approved. The DNC has not only applied a secret formula for choosing debate qualifying polls, (they’ve declined to define their methodology) some approved polling companies aren’t releasing any new surveys until after the next debates.
Vox, a left-wing media platform, suggests the DNC could and should be controlling their polling schedule and samplings to narrow the field of Democratic hopefuls and allow party elites to choose the candidate they believe will be the best boon of liberal policies.
“Obviously, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) does not directly control who runs and who does not. But it does have some indirect influence by regulating who can participate in DNC-sanctioned presidential debates….Polling Democratic leaders could benefit the party in several ways. A DNC poll would provide a clear basis for regulating access to the debate stage, based on the judgment of people with a lot of information and high stakes in the outcome to prioritize candidates who represent the party’s interest. -Gregory Koger, Vox
Tulsi Gabbard and Marianne Williamson both met the unique donor and polling thresholds for the September debate. The polls in which they registered the required amount of support were considered more credible than the polls approved by the DNC according to Nate Silver and Real Clear Politics. Tulsi Gabbard has since qualified for the October debate, but only after polling above 2% in dozens of polls and after the outcry from “Tulsicrats” reached a fever-pitch online did the DNC feel compelled to include her.
Where candidates like Tulsi Gabbard and Marianne Williamson have been shunned, DNC favorites like Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden are surging. Elizabeth Warren has made it a point to reach out to many DNC Establishment insiders with phone calls, text messages, and hand written notes. She recently gave a speech at a DNC fundraiser, promising the donors that she is a DNC team player.
“Her point was easy to grasp. While her liberal agenda may be further left than some in the Democratic Establishment prefer, she is a team player that is seeking to lead the party — not stage a hostile takeover of it.” -Jonathan Martin, NYT
Candidates like Gabbard who have shown no propensity for following the political rules set by the DNC, have been blacklisted despite their appeal to Demcratic and Independent voters.
The Establishment’s War On Tulsi
Tulsi Gabbard passes most progressive litmus tests, so why don’t they want her to be president?
The mainstream media took up arms with the Democrats in 2016, and they’re still at it.
Before re-vamping her image as DNC Savior, Donna Brazile was a commentator for CNN. When the channel hosted a Hillary Clinton town hall that March, Brazile offered the former Secretary of State the questions beforehand.
In another revelation brought to us by Wikileaks, Brazile was found to have continued her help throughout the primary process. But it isn’t just Donna Brazile propping up establishment candidates. In 2016, while it was found both candidates received nearly the same amount of coverage, Trump’s coverage was overwhelmingly negative compared to Clinton’s.
“Both candidates seem to be receiving the same amount of media coverage, but Trump has had more negative coverage in comparison to Clinton. This presidential election may have the most lopsided media coverage the US has ever seen.” -Liberrimus UTexas, by liberals for liberals
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the left’s relationship with the mainstream media.
“They trade information and shape each other’s worldviews and I am not convinced the heads of media outlets are doing enough to push their reporters to separate their worldview from the facts at hand. As a result, we are not getting the whole truth, but a narrative within which facts are shaped to advance the narrative…There is a pretty substantial symbiotic relationship between the political left in Washington and the media.” -Erik Erickson, Real Clear Politics
The Democratic opposition research group, Fusion GPS is ran by a revolving door of liberal journalists, pundits, and politicians. They’re responsible for shaping much of the news we receive from liberal leaning sources, and because of their propensity to share juicy stories, the media has been accused of giving them a pass on credibility without proper vetting.
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The DNC stacks the deck with superdelegates.
The Sander’s campaign in 2016 was in uproar over the DNC’s superdelegate system. Despite Sanders and Secretary Clinton being tied through May in primary states, nearly all the superdelegates vocally pledged their support to Clinton, and the media used these votes to show Sanders trailing, even though they were not cast until the convention; leaving the impression that Clinton had an insurmountable lead in the race. 39 out of 562 superdelegates voted for Bernie Sanders.
While that system has changed slightly for 2020, the DNC has still left themselves an insurance clause. On the first ballot of the Democratic Convention, 3,979 delegates will vote on the presidential nominee. If those votes don’t produce a winner by majority, (A possibility with the large candidate field.) a group of lobbyists, Democratic politicians, donors, and insiders are allowed an additional 766 votes to win an establishment majority on the second ballot.
What can we do?
Unfortunately, American’s don’t have a lot of options when it comes to media they can trust. Erosion of public confidence has given way to smaller, but more scrupulous political voices like Ben Shapiro, Kyle Kulinski, Dave Rubin, Jimmy Dore, and Joe Rogan. These voices all have a bias, but are more up front with their viewers as to their leanings and don’t sell off their opinions as facts.
What about 2020?
There are many steps the public could and should take to ensure substantive debate in our primary elections, email your Democratic representatives, and text and email the DNC, get involved with your candidate’s campaign, and lead and participate in civil political discussions.
It’s up to the American public to do their due diligence before voting. But most importantly, it’s up to the American public to vote.
Secret Coran-Stacy is an author, artist, entrepreneur, and a senior contributor to CitizenSource, writing with a focus on U.S. elections and politics, media criticism, and illegal immigration. She hails from Little Rock, Arkansas.
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