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Old 07-14-2019, 09:20 AM
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What sort of Republican cheating and foreign interference do you anticipate in the 2020 election?


One of the reasons why I suspect that Trump is the (slight) favorite to win reelection next year is because he will assuredly be the beneficiary of any kind of Republican cheating efforts and foreign interference operations. On the GOP side, Trump may induce his DOJ to launch a bogus investigation into his Democratic rival - after all, it was in all likelihood Comey's CYA October 2016 letter that threw the election to Trump. Trump could also launch a war with Iran in an effort to induce the public to rally around the president. More broadly, other options include increased efforts by Republicans to suppress the vote, the calculated closing of Democratic polling stations, or additional options I haven't thought of.

On the foreign interference side, we could see a much more intense effort to troll the election on social media platforms. The growth of deepfake technology, moreover, makes it likelier that Russia et al could produce a bogus video of the Democratic nominee doing something politically damaging. On the more sever end of the spectrum, I do not think it's beyond the realm of possibility that the election itself is hacked to such an extent that votes are actually switched to Trump.

An alarmist thread? Maybe, but I think we should still brace for these kinds of possibilities.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:45 AM
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By “brace” you mean pre-emptively delegitimize an outcome you don’t favor and prepare narratives with no evidence? Of course, brace away.
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:56 PM
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By “brace” you mean pre-emptively delegitimize an outcome you don’t favor and prepare narratives with no evidence? Of course, brace away.
That's not what he means at all. Not even close.
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Old 07-14-2019, 01:28 PM
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Some people feel that foreign interference with elections is a bad thing.

Other people encourage foreign interference, as long as it helps their side. These people are traitorous. They are happy to sell their country to a hostile nation.
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Old 07-14-2019, 01:36 PM
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OK, so there we have one example of what the Republicans will do: Attempt to pre-emptively delegitimize the outcomes. Any more ideas?
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Old 07-14-2019, 01:48 PM
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Russian Facebook meme farms will create fake accounts to spread lies and promote bigotry just like they did in 2016.

Republican-controlled states will continue to allocate voting machines in such a way that the urban voters will have to wait in line for hours while rural voters will be able to vote in minutes.

Thousands of legitimate voters will be purged from the voter rolls, specifically targeting urban and minority areas.

Republican operatives will collect voter registration forms and destroy those that are presented to them by minority voters.

Urban precincts will be relocated or combined with little or no notice, often to remote areas with no public transportation options.

The Democratic Party's cyber security will be breached and secret memos will be leaked at the most opportune times.


For all the above, the talking heads on television will wag their fingers and say "isn't it too bad that both sides do it?"
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:08 PM
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For all the above, the talking heads on television will wag their fingers and say "isn't it too bad that both sides do it?"
And on some cable news networks, they will laugh at the above, and call it "comedic"
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:09 PM
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And if any of it makes it before the Supreme Court, they'll just say "If you don't like not being allowed to vote, then vote out the people who are stopping you".
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:20 PM
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Today's supreme court might compromise, and agree to give these people 3/5 of a vote. That's something right? They should be happy with that.
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:45 PM
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About a month ago, there was a large-scale electricity outage in South America. AFAICT there's been no cause identified, but at the time it was mentioned as a possibility that the grid was hacked.

I wondered then and still wonder what would happen if such a broad outage should happen here on election day. In my area, people could still vote (assuming lights could be rigged so people can see to vote), but we couldn't verify that any voter was in fact registered to vote, and we couldn't assure they received the right ballot (polling places typically include more than one precinct). And tallying the ballots would be so difficult as to be nearly impossible.

So what happens then? Is the election postponed?
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:05 PM
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OK, so there we have one example of what the Republicans will do: Attempt to pre-emptively delegitimize the outcomes. Any more ideas?
I think this time the Russians will actually start changing/deleting voter registration rolls in democratic counties as well as changing the vote totals.

Also I think other nations like China will hack our democracy against the GOP, since they don't like Trump.

The GOP will continue to support gerrymandering and voter suppression.

We still don't know what happened in Georgia, but something happened.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:19 PM
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Some people feel that foreign interference with elections is a bad thing.

Other people encourage foreign interference, as long as it helps their side. These people are traitorous. They are happy to sell their country to a hostile nation.
Still others don’t care either way and recognize the “interference” for what it is. Unstoppable and irrelevant.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:30 PM
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Foriegn interference is hard to predict, so I expect typical methods. You know, ads and trolling and stuff to trick the stupid, of which there are many. Scary many. What I expect from Republicans is, at the minimum, their continued efforts to stop people from voting. Lordy, Republicans can't stand the voice of the people.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:58 PM
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Still others don’t care either way and recognize the “interference” for what it is. Unstoppable and irrelevant.
Wow... "interference" in scare quotes. That's like barely a step away fingers in ears and a lalala I can't hear you.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:31 PM
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Still others don’t care either way and recognize the “interference” for what it is. Unstoppable and irrelevant.
mmmm. So really, we should not bother about it, since it's "unstoppable". So really, who cares, amIright? Whatevahs.

Just chill out and accept whatever a foreign country does to the election. Really, nothing you can do about it anyway.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:32 PM
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Foriegn interference is hard to predict, so I expect typical methods. You know, ads and trolling and stuff to trick the stupid, of which there are many. Scary many. What I expect from Republicans is, at the minimum, their continued efforts to stop people from voting. Lordy, Republicans can't stand the voice of the people.
Well, that, and providing foreign governments with data to do their ads and trolling and stuff. Because that's OK.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:38 PM
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I think this time the Russians will actually start changing/deleting voter registration rolls in democratic counties as well as changing the vote totals.

Also I think other nations like China will hack our democracy against the GOP, since they don't like Trump.

The GOP will continue to support gerrymandering and voter suppression.

We still don't know what happened in Georgia, but something happened.
If they leave the elections open like that, it's not going to be just foreign actor meddling, there will be domestic interests that wish to have an affect on the election as well. Large corporations, or just really good hackers, by the end of the night, we may have elected Alex Trebek as High Poobah, and Drew Carry as Senior Minister of Cheese.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:40 PM
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WillFarnaby, that statist authoritarianism that you're always complaining about? This is exactly what it looks like. The real stuff, that is, not the weak things you're usually latching on to.

The real-world authoritarians love it when people say that it's impossible to stop them and doesn't matter, anyway. You're doing exactly what they want.
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:31 PM
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By “brace” you mean pre-emptively delegitimize an outcome you don’t favor and prepare narratives with no evidence? Of course, brace away.
No. "Brace", when used as a verb, can mean prepare (someone or oneself) for something difficult or unpleasant.

If you need help with any other definitions, feel free to PM me. For more general assistance, I can connect you with people in the literacy campaign.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:20 PM
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Some people feel that foreign interference with elections is a bad thing.

Other people encourage foreign interference, as long as it helps their side. These people are traitorous. They are happy to sell their country to a hostile nation.
The USA has interfered with numerous elections abroad. Can't complain when the chickens come home to roost.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:29 PM
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The USA has interfered with numerous elections abroad. Can't complain when the chickens come home to roost.
False.

You can complain when the chickens come home to roost. It's super easy. Give it a try some time.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:44 PM
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The Republicans will pull the same old "both sides do it!" dirty tricks and voter suppression.

As for the Russians, I think they'll troll BOTH sides, just to try to divide the country so whoever wins won't be able to govern. In fact, I think they're already doing it.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:51 PM
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That's exactly what the Russians did last time... They don't care who wins, as long as they sow division. That's the point.

Their dream scenario would be to provoke a civil war that would destroy the country.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:16 PM
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But they'll settle for a US president who discredits NATO and sows distrust among usual American allies. Helps Vlad do his thing, globally, with less pushback.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:41 PM
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But they'll settle for a US president who discredits NATO and sows distrust among usual American allies. Helps Vlad do his thing, globally, with less pushback.
Well that's a bonus.

I think that in 2016, Vlad would have been happy with a defeated Trump who would have spent the next several years sowing discord and heaping crap all over the Clinton administration.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:49 PM
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mmmm. So really, we should not bother about it, since it's "unstoppable". So really, who cares, amIright? Whatevahs.

Just chill out and accept whatever a foreign country does to the election. Really, nothing you can do about it anyway.
Since the US govt is involved in so many aspects of life domestically and abroad, there will be those organizations that seek to influence US elections. The vast majority of these organizations are aligned against my point of view. I am not losing sleep over a foreign organization with no domestic support.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:00 PM
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... a foreign organization with no domestic support.
I've got bad news for you regarding Russia's domestic (oval motherfucking office) support.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:02 PM
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Since the US govt is involved in so many aspects of life domestically and abroad, there will be those organizations that seek to influence US elections. The vast majority of these organizations are aligned against my point of view. I am not losing sleep over a foreign organization with no domestic support.
How about foreign government representatives meeting with US presidential campaign officials to promise information that they obtained from illegally hacking into servers? That's OK right?
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:34 AM
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Well that's a bonus.

I think that in 2016, Vlad would have been happy with a defeated Trump who would have spent the next several years sowing discord and heaping crap all over the Clinton administration.
The Russians were probably just as surprised as anyone else on Election Night when the returns came in. They were probably betting on a hamstrung Hillary presidency and were slapping themselves wide-eyed when Trump surpassed 270.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:39 AM
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I've got bad news for you regarding Russia's domestic (oval motherfucking office) support.
The myth of a Pro-Russia Trump administration is pervasive, yet easy to smack down by listening to the serious policy folks.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bro...on-russia/amp/
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:43 AM
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How about foreign government representatives meeting with US presidential campaign officials to promise information that they obtained from illegally hacking into servers? That's OK right?
I wish there were collusion and cooperation like this between the big nuclear powers. Better for all of us.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:13 AM
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It's not just what Russia does but how each political party interprets what they do. I suspect Russia will probably try to simply do more of what it did in 2016; however, this time they will likely not have the assistance of Wikileaks, which was a major factor in the last election.

The nightmare scenario that's crossed my mind is Russia demonstrably penetrating and changing even just a handful of voter records in several key precincts across the country. That in and of itself could torpedo the confidence Americans have in the outcome.

But keep in mind that much of what Russia's kleptocracy does takes place in the open. Much of what Russia does involves taking advantage of the openness in our political system and, to some degree, the openness in our economic system as well. Russians can legally send dark money to various corners of the political system, and they can effectively use real estate to launder money. Some elements of Putin's regime are already deeply embedded into the American government, so I'm not sure they really need to do anything outrageous.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:12 AM
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"Cheating?" None, probably.

"Shenanigans that are perfectly legal?" Why should this election be any different from the others? I fully expect some last-minute money being shuffled into swing states; claims about Diebold notwithstanding, I am fairly convinced that Ohio swung to Bush in 2004 because of last-minute money the Republicans had from, for example, doing zero advertising in the California Senate race (literally - even when San Francisco's PBS station offered two minutes of free time to each candidate, a candidate running on a "I'll solve our country's problems by getting rid of Federal Reserve Notes and (IIRC) the 'illegal' income tax" platform appeared, but not the Republican candidate).
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:18 AM
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Chances are, any foreign interference won't take the form of lies, but rather, selective truth. They may play up the most unpopular aspects of a Democratic candidate as much as possible (i.e., reparations, if that becomes an issue.)
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:55 PM
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Chances are, any foreign interference won't take the form of lies, but rather, selective truth. They may play up the most unpopular aspects of a Democratic candidate as much as possible (i.e., reparations, if that becomes an issue.)
Are you saying they will try a completely different tack this time? Weird, because outright lying seemed to work so well last time.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:17 PM
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I think there is also a pretty good chance that we will see a weaponization of the Justice Department under Barr. I think this for several reasons.

1) The Republicans realize that the main reason Trump is in the white house rather than Clinton, is the FBI investigation that was going on about her Emails. They will want to replicate this.
2) Since Rove and the swiftboaters the standard Republican playbook has been to attack your opponents strength. In this election with Trump under a giant corruption cloud it will be necessary to attack the integrity of his opponent.
3) Trump has a record of doing things that he has falsely accused his opponents of doing. Given all of the hot air he has wasted complaining about the witch hunt and spying on his campaign, you know that this is in his playbook.
4) By giving Barr the authority to declassify whatever he wants with regard to the investigations related to the 2016 campaign (ie release anything harmful to the Dems, while hiding anything harmful to Trump) This could easi ly be extended to the 2020 campaign.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:49 AM
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Chances are, any foreign interference won't take the form of lies, but rather, selective truth. They may play up the most unpopular aspects of a Democratic candidate as much as possible (i.e., reparations, if that becomes an issue.)
Chances are non-existent that you are correct about this. Your idea is somewhere between hopelessly naive and straight up bonkers.
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