Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 13, 2017--Jack: Stolen Elections

"I know you're fed up with me and I assume so are most of your readers." Jack was more than half right.

"Most for sure, but not all," I said. "I don't know this for certain, but most people who read my stuff are on the progressive side of issues and, I suspect, don't have too many people like you among their friends or acquaintances. In fact, some tell me that political things have gotten so heated and ugly that they don't want to have anything to do with Trump supporters. That would include people like you."

"'People like me'? I think I know what you mean, but enlighten me."

"Arch conservatives. Donald Trump voters. People I hear from tell me that you aggravate them. You upset them with your willingness to overlook and rationalize the crazy things Trump does. I know you won't admit it, but a lot of what he says and does is really crazy."

"To tell you the truth I am not so eager to talk to them either. They look down their noses at me. To them, maybe you too, I represent the uneducated unwashed. You think you understand me, have me all figured out. Actually, you have me stereotyped and . . ."

"You don't have your own stereotypes?"

"Could be. I'll have to think about that. But there is one thing I am certain of."

"What's that?"

"When it comes to being obsessed with the Russians meddling in our elections your people are a bunch of hypocrites. You too."

"This doesn't concern you?" I said, "That Russia, which could be considered and enemy of ours, may have interfered with our presidential election? Maybe even influenced the outcome? You're OK with that? You call that hypocrisy?" I was outraged.

"You guys have a big problem with this because your candidate lost. If she had won, I'll bet you and they wouldn't be so apoplectic about the Russian hacking business."

"I beg to differ. As an American, not as a Democrat or Republican, this is a very big issue."

"Let me come at this a different way. You're old enough, right, to remember the 1960 election? Kennedy versus Nixon?" I nodded. "Tell me how Kennedy won?"

"What do you mean? He won the popular vote and the Electoral College vote."

"And how did he manage to do that?"

"I think I know where you're going with this."

"A lot of credible historians, and not just liberal ones, feel that his running mate, Lyndon Johnson, rigged the election in Texas and Kennedy's father Joe paid off Mayor Daley in Chicago to steal the vote in Illinois. With Texas' and Illinois' Electoral votes Nixon would have had enough to get to a total of 270, one more than the 269 needed to win a majority in the Electoral College. In other words, plain and simple, your party stole the election."

"First of all, there's a big difference between a foreign power meddling in our election and . . ."

"And," Jack said, finishing my thought, "if the candidates win by playing conventional dirty tricks on each other, like buying votes in Chicago, that's OK with you? To me this sounds like splitting hairs."

"This is something we'll never agree about. I see a big difference between the two situations."

"And I see hypocrisy. OK, so answer me this, and tell the truth--you're sort of all right with what happened in 1960 because your guy won but are furious now because your candidate lost? If Hillary had won with Russian help, would you be so insistent that we have to get to the bottom of this?"

"I hope so."

"One final thing--back in 1960 did any Democrats or liberals speak out about how essential it was to find out if Johnson and Daley cheated? Stole the election for Kennedy?"

"I don't remember it that well," I said, not feeling I was on solid ground.

"Well," Jack said, "I looked it up and couldn't find anyone from your side of the aisle clamoring for an investigation or anything like that. Maybe I missed something. Perhaps one of your friends who read what you'll write about our conversation will find something to contradict me. My two dollars says they won't."

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