Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fraud Bless America


Politico has a story (HT: Richard Fernandez) describing how the McCain campaign's donations will be fully audited. The Obama campaign will highly likely not be subjected to the same level of scrutiny. The reason for this is that, in spite of his early campaign promise, Obama did not make use of publicly-sourced campaign funds.

While this is anecdotal evidence, I've heard stories of people donating to both campaigns to test the theory of credit card verification. In each case, their donation to the Obama campaign was not subject to the same (legally-required) verification process that was involved in their donation to the McCain campaign. The possibilities for fraud are astronomical. Credit cards are international. How easy would it be for non-US citizens to influence an election?

It makes sense to investigate possible fraud when public funds might be involved. But does it make sense to investigate fraud even if public funds are not involved? The public certainly has a stake in who wins an election.

The question is whether or not the ends justify the means. I ask everyone, regardless of political affiliation: is fraud acceptable if it results in the election of the candidate you support? Which is more important - your political party, or the very foundation of our constitutional system of government?

Given the potential fraud in the current situation, I support auditing both campaigns. But I understand the potential repercussions. Proof that a sitting president's previous campaign won the election as a result of voter or campaign fraud would tear the country apart. But which is more important - maintaining the integrity of the constitution? or maintaining domestic tranquility?

Of the Democrat colleagues and friends I speak with openly about politics, most of them like to quote the phrase "vote early, vote often." OK, I get the joke. But is it really a joke? Are you really willing to bypass Constitutional principles in order to see to it that the "correct" candidate is elected? Would you support overturning an election if it was found to be definitively decided or influenced by fraud?

We are on a very slippery slope. I submit that, by and large, Conservatives simply want to be left alone to pursue happiness according to their own choosing, and in such a way that it does not infringe on the rights of others. Can the same be said for "Progressives?"

My suggestion, other than air-tight verification of political donations, would be to eliminate vote-by-mail (except in the case of absence) and to maintain a voting system that protects the one-person, one-vote idea that is so central to our system of government. Something like the purple-fingered Iraqis, perhaps. I know, the "Progressives" will scream at me for voter disenfranchisement for the audacity of having to prove U.S. citizenship and singular voting. But I believe that if you value something enough, you will do what is necessary to make it happen. And to make things fair, I think that it should be a law that employers allow time off for voting.

There is value in Civic Ritual. Our system of government depends on the integrity of its voting system.

No comments: