Thursday, October 25, 2012


“The threat of criminal sanctions against [international] observers is unacceptable.”
-Janez Lenarčič

Ever since Al Gore failed to steal the presidential election in 2000, the world has viewed US election sanctity and validity with some skepticism.  The fit he threw so publicly, and especially the thoughtless, loud accusations by the left, gave people the impression that the US was little more than some corrupt third world nation where the vote was worthless.
Even to this day, the US elections are widely viewed as probably corrupt and problematic, and sadly the cries of voter fraud, disenfranchisement, and voter intimidation that fly around every national election only build that perspective.
By this point, both sides are guilty of making the US look bad, because the arguments here are never private; they get broadcast around the world.  US news is world news.  But it was the Democrats in 2000 who threw the biggest pile of stink and as a result from then on, world "election observers" such as the UN have come to the USA to oversee things and make sure there are no problems.
Now, to me that's a pretty big insult and it makes me sad inside.  The United States used to be a shining beacon of liberty, the place everyone looked toward and dreamed of being part of.  It still is to a large degree, but that beacon is less shiny and more tawdry these days.
Now we have arguments from people like Senator Connie Mack (yes, he's the great-grandson of the great baseball manager) that the UN elections observers ought to be prohibited from coming to the United States.  Connie Mack argues:
“The very idea that the United Nations – the world body dedicated to diminishing America’s role in the world — would be allowed, if not encouraged, to install foreigners sympathetic to the likes of Castro, Chavez, Ahmadinejad and Putin to oversee our elections is nothing short of disgusting.
“For years the United Nations has aggressively worked against the best interests of our country and many of our allies. The UN’s actions and intentions toward the United States have been nothing short of reprehensible.
“Every American should be outraged by this news. The United States must defund the United Nations. The United Nations should be kicked off of American soil once and for all. And the American people should demand that the United Nations be stopped from ‘monitoring’ American elections. The only ones who should ever oversee American elections are Americans.
Now, I'm fine with the principle of dumping the UN off American soil and defunding the joint.  Its about useless for the hundreds of reasons I've pointed out on this blog to the point of probably annoying readers in the past.
But I think we should welcome the observers.  Yes, the come from an essentially hostile and corrupt organization.  Yes, they're representing blatant vote defrauding dictators and scumbags.  And yes, the UN is only bringing observers to the US to humiliate the nation, impose their power, and even to try to influence the election.
That's fine, it doesn't matter.  The UN is toothless and pointless, so their attempts to assert power are comical, not problematic.  Their hostility and corruption is well known, so it doesn't matter what they say.  But refusing to let them in is a bad idea, because it gives the impression we don't want our elections being observed.
And I'm of the opinion that the democratic process has to be protected as much as humanly possible, so that means we should never oppose any valid attempts to protect it.  The UN will not show up to influence votes or intimidate voters, even if they'd really rather the US voted a certain way.  They will genuinely send observers to try to make sure there aren't any shenanigans.  Its happened two previous presidential elections and hey!  They've found no shenanigans. 
Remember in 2008 when Micahel Moore ran around to different polling places with cameras trying to make a movie about voter intimidation, trickery, and disenfranchisement?  He found nothing and folded up shop.  Partly that's because the guy he was backing won, but mostly its because there wasn't any content to make a movie over, at least not the kind he wanted.
Like Voter ID, I think opposition to this smacks more of wanting to control the outcome than any real defense of voting.  Yes, its annoying to have the UN butt in on America's actions, but its a free country and they're free to show up and take a look.  A lot of these nations have never seen a free election so it might be educational.
So when Texas vows to arrest anyone from the UN who shows up to monitor elections, I don't care for that.  Treat them like guests, let them look around, do what you do openly and properly, show them a good time and then show them the door.
That's what the good guys - and the guys in charge - do.  Anything else makes us look small and suspicious.


Loki said...

Texas vowed to arrest anyone who violated Texas law regarding who is allowed to be in and around polling places. I don't see anything wrong or controversial with that. As with all states that I know of, Texas has laws prohibiting anyone from hanging around polling places who are not actively voting. There are provisions for the interested parties to appoint poll watchers.

These OSCE guys don't fall under those provisions since they have not been appointed by the interested parties and can not in fact be certified by the state as watchers since they are not qualified voters of the counties in which the polling places they would be observing reside.

Anonymous said...

Texas is right.

Christopher R Taylor said...

What Texas is saying is that they'll never authorize the UN to have observers anywhere; that way the observers will always be in violation of the law.

I'm saying let them in because it doesn't hurt us any and it makes you look bad if you say no.

Loki said...

The law allows observers. The OSCE could go to the trouble of finding poll watchers in each county they want to observe and actually getting some interested party, Democrat, Republican, Free Range Libertarian, or whatever to apply and get them certified as poll watchers. This would be perfectly legal and raise no objections with the Texas government or anyone else. The OSCE has no interest in actually doing the work to comply with the law. The OSCE has come here and met with a lot of liberal groups including many who have been involved with actual voter fraud (yes, they did meet with ACORN) and then they are demanding extralegal access to polling places? Really?

Loki. said...

Sorry, I might not have directly addressed your comment.

If i understand it correctly, Texas isn't saying they won't authorize observers. The law requires them to authorize observers per Sec 33.001. What they are saying is that the law makes no provisions for granting exceptions to the rules for observers. OSCE is required to meet the same standards for having observers certified as anyone else wanting to watch polls in Texas and they are not willing or able to do that. OSCE want to be above the law. Making an extralegal exception would definitely set a bad precedent and would have the potential to open the floodgates to a lot of abuse.

Anonymous said...

All states should do the same a sTexas

Chris said...

Why do we care about the opinions of other countries again?