IEET > Rights > Political Empowerment & Participation > Fellows > David Brin
Want to Investigate Electoral Fraud? Start with whistle blowers and judo!
David Brin   Feb 11, 2017   Contrary Brin  

== Calling all henchmen! ==

I’ve called for this since way back in the last century, illustrating it in The Transparent Society and in novels like Earth. We must unleash whistleblowers on the world. Envision Edward Snowden and the Panama Papers revealer, only far more extensively, with protections and rewards that lure secrets out of shadows.

Basics are already in place – Whistleblower Laws that offer big commissions to tattlers in certain circumstances, for example, but these are far too limited. Expanding such protections and lures could be more important to our planet and civilization than any other matter.
Remember, our kind of society is almost never seriously damaged by revelations or leaks. Spills can be irritating or irksome and even tactically harmful in the short term. But we generally find the light bracing and adapt quickly, as our services did, after Snowden. 

Our deadly enemies, in contrast are all – every last one of them – lethally allergic to light.  

Sure our Protector Caste needs some tactical secrets. Still, there is one and only one long range victory condition. In a world that moves progressively toward light, we win. “We” – enlightenment civilization – just win. In part because none of our enemies can endure light.

As illustrated by most of the wildly diverse stories by brilliant authors in Chasing Shadows, illustrating all sorts of ways that people and societies will have to cope with an increasingly transparent world. And yet, for all its irritations and disruptions, such a world will be more just. Less rife with evil.
And this applies to... the Trump Era? Especially and spectacularly so. 

Like Bushites, he and his team will lay the hammer onto whistleblowers. But some billionaire might solve this.  By offering incentives outside of government for the kind of revelations that cleanse and invigorate our kind of society, unlike any other.
See how far back  I’ve been making this call.  Especially, asking that rewards be offered to bring out information about electoral fraud.

== A little Judo ==

Take President Trump's call for a major investigation of voter fraud. By reflexively opposing this, foolish liberals play their game - which is sumo... grunting against each other, chest to chest... when democrats should instead be practicing judo.

By opposing an investigation, liberals look like they are opposed to getting to the truth! And thus they fall for a trap. Instead they should say:

"At last you are offering something that's not about delusion, but about getting to truth! Fine! Let's agree to form a top level, blue ribbon commission, drawing from the finest statesmen and stateswomen! Start with retired US Supreme Court Justice (and Republican nominee) Sandra Day O'Conner.

"Only the commissioners will look into more than just the voting-dead. They will also examine rigged voting machines. And states that deliberately make it hard for women and poor people to get ID. And gerrymandering.

"Let's go! Let this be our first joint project with the new president. Meet our reasonable offer and let's get started!"
And yes, the heart and soul of any such investigation should be whistleblower prizes.
In the long term… this matters far more than just the results of one election. Out of a dozen major “suggestions” I have offered, over the years, none is more important than making it harder – ever-harder – for conspirators, would-be lords and other elites to trust their own henchmen.  Think on that.
Then ponder how this is not a uniform effect. The Koch brothers offered lavish rewards for scientists who would sell-out, regarding climate change. The tactic worked a bit in the pharmaceuticals and tobacco industries, biasing some reports. But almost never do top researchers accept the bribes. As I said, the forces of enlightenment can withstand light, but not their enemies.

So what I really want - what's needed - is some non-governmental Henchman's Prize. A big reward for whoever reveals "the worst thing" in any given year. Prize competitions are all the thing, right? This one could cost some real money.  But nothing else I can think of would more efficiently and effectively tip the balance in favor of a true... civilization.
== Siberian candidates ==
Hillary Clinton blames  Russian President Vladimir Putin for meddling in our election, as confirmed by the FBI, CIA and other agencies who will soon feel the heel of Putin’s revenge.  But Clinton attributes Putin’s grudge to have been due to her own past criticism of Russian elections

Really lady? You don’t think he might hate you for something more tangible?  Like the huge coup that you and President Obama are credited for, in the Russian Press and by Putin’s own words?  They accuse HRC and BHO of cleverly and aggressively “stealing the Ukraine” by stage managing the Velvet Revolution that ousted Russian puppet Viktor Yanukovych, in 2014.  I give far more credit to the Ukrainians, frankly. But it helps to put Putin’s later, “brilliant” moves in Crimea etc in perspective as very small nibble-backs from a geopolitical catastrophe. That is what he hates you and Obama for, Hillary.  Learn to take some credit. 

No wonder DT  would refuse even to look at evidence collected by our professionals, that a foreign power has waged acts of war against us - or even accept standard security briefings.
But seriously, what do you need? Could the Kremlin have picked a more favorable U.S. cabinet than Donald Trump has, including Exxon head Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, who has received lavish honors - and billions in favored contracts - directly from the Putin Administration and who hangs with Russian klepto-oligarchs? When the U.S. imposed sanctions against Russia in 2014 pursuant to the invasion of Crimea, one of the items put on indefinite hold was a contract between the Russian government and Exxon to exploit a wide variety of off shore drilling zones off Russia's Arctic coast. Estimates made the contracts worth up to half a trillion dollars to Exxon, and even more for the Russian government.
So? All is symbolism on the right.  And hence, President Putin has ordered officials to start planning a celebration of next year’s centennial of the Russian Revolution. It will be awkward, since Putin has simultaneously encouraged restored adulation of Joseph Stalin and the toppled Romanov Czars… both the lamented Soviet Union and the Russian Orthodox Church. 
Sound a bit like Putin’s biggest western fans – Republicans? Who simultaneously declare adoration of the Greatest Generation of the 1950s while pouring hate upon every aspect of the nation that generation built -- from strong unions and high taxes on the rich to the living person those folks adored, above all others, Franklin... Delano... Roosevelt? 

As in Russia, it seems the central goal is to use emotion to drive out logic.  And hence, the outright war – in both nations – against the scientists and other fact-professions.

Oh, while we’re peering east. An interesting revelation about a Russian weapon that purportedly could sneak bombs underwater into American seaports. I would be wary of this article, though, as there are some telltales of exaggeration. Example.  There has never been a 100 megaton bomb.  One was planned but that method is probably long lost. The tsunami thing and the Cobalt thing are likely lurid arm-wavings. Their aim would be to cripple us, not to poison all our children, triggering a spasm to kill all of theirs. A ten Kt drone-mine in each harbor would leave us impotent at sea while leaving the main California cities still available to hold hostage.
== Political miscellany == 

More perspectives on how China feels about TrumpAnd why DT has so many fans in China.
The New York Times notes that, “As recently as last year, Breitbart published an op-ed article urging that “every tree, every rooftop, every picket fence, every telegraph pole in the South should be festooned with the Confederate battle flag.”  
Alt.right “hit lists” against professors and intellectuals of all kinds. 
One of the leaders of a recent alt-right convention quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.”  As he finished, several audience members had their arms outstretched in a Nazi salute.

Someone at the podium shouted, “Heil the people! Heil victory,” the room shouted it back. Later: “Mr. Spencer suggested that the news media had been critical of Mr. Trump throughout the campaign in order to protect Jewish interests. Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Spencer said, was “the victory of will,” a phrase that echoed the title of the most famous Nazi-era propaganda film.” These are exultant times for the alt-right movement.
And finally some ironic quotations:
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”  -- Ronald Reagan
“We’re going to build a beautiful, huge wall.”  -- Donald Trump
“Moscow’s evil empire…” –Ronald Reagan
“"I looked the man (Putin) in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy.”  -- George W. Bush
"Will he become my new best friend?" Donald Trump asked of Putin in a tweet before bringing the Miss Universe pageant Trump to Moscow.

Consistency? Confederates despise consistency.  The only thing that matters is whom do you hate? If you hate the same folks they hate, then you must be okay.
David Brin Ph.D. is a scientist and best-selling author whose future-oriented novels include Earth, The Postman, and Hugo Award winners Startide Rising and The Uplift War. David's newest novel - Existence - is now available, published by Tor Books."

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