Thursday, November 05, 2020

On The Road To Roadlessness

In Milwaukee, several wards recorded more votes than registered voters. That it happened at all shows that the vote counting system lacks basic safeguards. It's inconceivable that someone designing a voting system wouldn't check voter registration vs. vote. 

Of course, that assumes that the people designing the system have an objective moral compass. Cheating is wrong. Lying is wrong. Stealing is wrong. That sort of thing.

This summer, we discovered that stealing isn't wrong, so long as it's done by the right people and the Elites can shape it into their religious narrative of racial social justice. Now we've seen that inventing votes out of thin air isn't wrong because Orange Man Bad. Earlier, Cardi B showed us that there's no difference between being a strong, black woman and behaving like a dog in heat.

I've got a friend who likes to complain about capitalism. They see greed everywhere and it bothers them deeply. They've worked a lot of business deals and claim that such deals are less honest than they used to be. Well, what of it? If it's OK to cheat in elections and it's OK to loot businesses, why isn't it OK to get more money for yourself by any means necessary?

Herein lies the problem with subjective morality. Once the lines aren't just blurred, but erased, there's nothing to slow down anyone's behavior. Cuties is child porn? What of it? Some people like doing it with kids and if the kids say it's OK, then it's no big deal. We're loading up our children with debt? What of it? We're just being compassionate. If it bothers you, you're the one with the problem, the problem of being judgmental.

If you throw out one dimension of objective morality for the sake of, say, racial social justice, who are you to say that someone else throwing out a different dimension so they can send their kids to an expensive, private college is behaving badly?

We all take moral shortcuts. However, in order to see them as shortcuts, we need to have a moral roadmap in the first place. Once the roadmap is erased, then they aren't shortcuts any more, but simple cost-benefit decisions where both the cost and the benefit are strictly personal. 

Stealing the election isn't an outlier, it's just another stop on the road to roadlessness.

Mogadishu is a warning, not a how-to guide.


tim eisele said...

"Of course, that assumes that the people designing the system have an objective moral compass."

It also assumes that laws will be enforced, and that when people break laws, they will be penalized. Even a sociopath who doesn't have an internal moral code will follow the law if he is afraid of going to jail.

This is an important point: if you complain about other people breaking the law, but never identify them, arrest them, put them on trial, and if convicted penalize them, then no one will respect the law.

In regards to potential voting fraud: fraudulent ballots are not just wished into existence without leaving evidence. Someone has to obtain or fake them, someone has to fill them out, and someone has to deposit them. There is a lot of manual labor involved in this[1], and would have to be done either by volunteers or by people that you can't afford to pay very well. You might be able to get away with this without leaving evidence in a small election where a dozen faked ballots might swing things, but doing it on a statewide or national level leaves evidence, if anyone is willing to look. For a large scale operation, you'd need at least dozens of people involved in an individual city, and tens of thousands on a national level.

With this number of people involved, somebody is going to be stupid, and leave a trail. And somebody, when arrested and confronted with the evidence, is going to squeal. And this will lead to others, until the whole operation is exposed.

If the Republicans truly believe that there was massive fraud by Democratic party operatives, they will also have a pretty good idea of exactly who those operatives are, and they will know exactly what evidence to look for and who to apply pressure to until they squeak. The day they do that, with actual arrests of identifiable people with enough evidence to send them to trial, will be the day I agree that there was significant voter fraud. If they don't do those things, though, then it tells me that they don't believe it either, and are just blowing smoke.

[1] I'm reminded of a guy I know who, some years ago, decided that he was going to take advantage of the Michigan 10 cent can and bottle deposit. He got hold of a truck, and went to Ohio (which doesn't charge a deposit on cans and bottles, but the containers are identical to cans sold in Michigan) to load up on empty cans. He then brought them back to Michigan to cash them in. He was careful not to be too obvious, returning plausible numbers of cans at a variety of places over an extended time, and he never got noticed, arrested, or prosecuted. The thing is, though, that afterwards he calculated how much he was actually making per hour doing this. It turned out he was only making a couple of bucks an hour. He could literally have made more money doing almost anything else. While he could have done things to make it go faster and be more profitable, this would also have made him very noticeable and he would almost certainly have been caught. So the choice was (a) do it in a way that would be profitable, but be so noticeable that he wouldn't get away with it, or (b) do it in a way that he could get away with, but sacrifice any pretense of profitability. I think that cheating in elections is very similar: if you go at it vigorously enough to make a difference, you'll get caught; If you do it low-key enough to get away with it, you can't really make much of a difference.

K T Cat said...

Great points all, save for this: "If the Republicans truly believe that there was massive fraud by Democratic party operatives, they will also have a pretty good idea of exactly who those operatives are, and they will know exactly what evidence to look for and who to apply pressure to until they squeak."

Just how do you apply the pressure? Right now, Trump's lawyers are filing contest and grievances. Twitter is full of examples of the dead voting, people getting multiple mail-in ballots and so forth. To me, the sticking point is the enforcement mechanism. Does it really exist.

We're just about to settle my mother's estate. When that happens, I'll let you know what we learned along the way. It's got a lot to do with what you wrote here. Are there any teeth in the rules? Will anyone with authority enforce them? Maybe. Maybe not. If not, then there aren't really any rules at all save for those we implicitly enforce as a society.

K T Cat said...

Here's a decent, if very partial, rundown on the election being stolen. What of it? What are the enforcement mechanisms?

Like the police, our laws are designed to be applied to a population that wants them applied in the first place. If that breaks down, then they're simply ink on paper. I found that out with my mom's estate.

One Brow said...

K T Cat,

All of these elections counts are being done in the presence of observers from both parties. Further, we see this behavior (Republican going further behind or having leads cut) the counting of absentee ballots in every election. There is even a term, Red Mirage. This year, the margins are narrow enough that Trump's mirage lead was over-turned, as opposed to 2016 where Trump's lead was large enough to hold, or 2012 where Romney never had a lead.