Lenin said that “Bourgeois democracy, although a great historical advance in comparison with medievalism, always remains, and under capitalism is bound to remain, restricted, truncated, false and hypocritical, a paradise for the rich and a snare and deception for the exploited, for the poor.” Never has this been more apparent than in today’s United States.
Despite Bernie Sanders’ Zionism, anti-communism, and pro-imperialist positions on many issues, millions of poor and working people at least see him as the best option for improving their material conditions. He’s the most viable candidate who supports universal healthcare, free college, and other policies that would benefit the country’s proletariat. So in a truly democratic system, he would be able to become president. But the Democratic Party has made this next to impossible.
Since the start of the campaign, we’ve been seeing the Democratic National Committee keep superdelegates and closed primaries, continue to allow corporate donations within its elections, and colludewith the corporate media to harm Sanders’ image. Oligarchic election meddling has appeared many times, like when CNN enabled Elizabeth Warren’s attempts to smear Sanders and when the billionaire candidate Mike Bloomberg bought his way into the debates. More recently, the DNC has selected regime change agents, Israel lobbyists, and Wall Street consultants for the nominating committee so that the party will remain hardline pro-imperialist and neoliberal.
Amid these fortifications of the political structure that the party is using to commandeer the primary’s direction, this last week’s start of the voting process has revealed just how prepared the party is to rig the election directly. Unexplained “inconsistencies” emerged in the results of the Iowa caucus, created by the Iowa Democratic Party’s decision to have the election rely on a defective app that made the process filled with glitches. The affair was also mismanaged seemingly deliberately, with the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters having turned away one official’s offer to provide an update on the results. And results from Black Hawk County appeared to have falsely reported votes for Deval Patrick and Tom Steyer that were meant for Sanders.
It’s unclear how much of this disaster has been accidental, but we know from history that lack of functionality is part of how bourgeois “democracy” suppresses disfavored candidates. The 2016 Democratic primary is a major example of how inadequately run voting systems are used to steal elections; many of the contests in that primary experienced mass purges of eligible voters, scarce polling locations, rampant dysfunctional voting machines, incomplete voter rolls, and almost two million uncounted ballots in California alone. 2016 showed that independents, poor people, and younger voters are systematically excluded from America’s voting process on every level.
So as the primaries continue, we can expect to see all of the same voting process shenanigans that happened four years ago. And with Democratic elites again being clearly anxious to force through a neoliberal candidate, there’s a good chance that we’ll also witness a repeat of an even more blatant aspect of the rigging of the 2016 Democratic primary: the automated flipping of votes.
Underlying 2016’s primary contests were vast and disturbingly untraceable attempts from outside hackers to skew the vote count in Hillary Clinton’s favor. It’s a certainty that this is what happened, because it’s been mathematically determined to be how the official result was created. So many discrepancies were found between the official count and the exit poll data that researchers at Stanford and Berkeley examined the claims about the results being statistically implausible. The researchers found upon examining all of these strange results that there was a 1 in 77 billion chance Clinton had gained all of her votes fairly.
Further evidence of vote tampering was apparent from the bizarre shapes of how vote counts largely developed throughout the primary. In many states, the direction of the vote count charts-which normally take the shape of a bell-took a myriad of shapes that don’t reflect how any accurately recorded vote count looks. All of this was unmistakable evidence that hacked vote counts, which have plagued America’s electoral system since computerized voting machines were widely introduced, had majorly impacted the primary. It was a complete vindication of this observation that election integrity advocate Brad Friedman wrote in 2006 in a review for the film Hacking Democracy:
I’ve read the reports. I’ve seen the hacks with my own eyes. I’ve broken scores of what were — or should have been — earth-shattering, mind-blowing, e-vote-decimating stories. I worked closely with Bobby Kennedy Jr. on his two landmark exposés for Rolling Stone, which blew the lid off the scam. I have come to find that there is nothing — no scientific evidence, no scientist period, and no anecdotal evidence — to even indicate that our public democracy has not been hijacked by small group of private, partisan industrialists who are willing to say anything, do anything and lie about anything they need to in order to ensure that our electoral system heads straight toward the all-out train wreck that is surely coming.
Given this reality of an electoral process that can be easily manipulated by hackers in entities like the CIA, it’s fitting that the candidate who’s primarily benefited from the rigging of the Iowa caucus is Pete Buttigieg, whose list of endorsers include numerous coup plotters and CIA agents. Whether Buttigieg’s national security state connections have made him the one who will be handed the nomination will be determined in future primary contests; if he starts winning elections in spite of statistically impossible exit polls like Clinton did, he’ll most certainly get nominated.
Whoever the bourgeoisie’s anointed Democratic candidate turns out to be, it’s guaranteed that Sanders won’t get the nomination. Even if Sanders were to get the most votes and delegates, the DNC will be legally entitled to pick someone else. In response to the lawsuit against the DNC for its favoritism in 2016, the DNC infamously argued in court in 2017 that as a private corporation, it reserves the right to slant its own primary towards its preferred candidate. In a post-Citizens United America, where corporations are officially treated as people, it’s no surprise that the court conceded this point to the DNC.
So barring something unforeseen, Buttigieg or another Clinton-esque candidate will be nominated, making Trump’s reelection practically a guarantee. And a Democratic victory, even if Sanders were the nominee, wouldn’t stop the country’s descent into fascism; no pro-capitalist politician is interested in carrying out the structural changes needed to end corporate rule, dismantle American militarism, and decolonize the country. Bourgeois “democracy” has fully revealed itself to be a tyranny that can’t be overcome by playing within its rules. This will become undeniable when Sanders is inevitably blocked from the nomination, whether through a long process of electoral fraud or through an outright convention coup.
When this illusion that the proletariat can overcome the bourgeoisie through electoral politics is again shattered, where will the energy of the American left go? We could let it go into yet another futile attempt to change the Democratic Party, or we could channel it into a movement that the system is truly scared of: the American Marxist-Leninist movement, which aims to overthrow the capitalist state and replace it with a democracy run by the masses. Lenin succeeded in doing this when he chose it as his solution to the problem of bourgeois democracy, and we can follow in his path.
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