Now that Joe Biden has been safely installed as president, the Left feels that it is safe to brag about how they rigged the election for his benefit. On February 4, Time magazine published a shocking exposé on the Left’s conspiracy to rig the 2020 Presidential election with the Orwellian title of The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election.
In the article’s own words, it was “a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information.” The participants in this cabal deny the reality of what they were doing was rigging the election by claiming, instead, that they were “fortifying it.”
The article is full of such Orwellian language, designed to portray this election interference as “saving democracy,” but a close examination shows that their actions had nothing to do with ensuring a fair election, but instead was intended to tilt the election in the direction of their favored candidate, Joe Biden.
There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day. Both sides would come to see it as a sort of implicit bargain–inspired by the summer’s massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests–in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace and oppose Trump’s assault on democracy.
The article openly and brazenly documents a wide-ranging conspiracy to illegally change election laws, eliminate voting integrity safeguards, and to manipulate social media platforms to control the information that American voters were allowed to see.
Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears.
According to the Time article, the conspiracy had its start in the fall of 2019, when Mike Podhorzer, a senior adviser to the president of the AFL-CIO, became alarmed that normally Democrat-voting union members were moving toward President Trump.
Trump’s election in 2016–credited in part to his unusual strength among the sort of blue collar white voters who once dominated the AFL-CIO–prompted Podhorzer to question his assumptions about voter behavior … It was only after months of research that he introduced his concerns in his newsletter in October 2019 …. “We desperately need to systematically ‘red-team’ this election so that we can anticipate and plan for the worst we know will be coming our way.”
To counter this threat, Podhorzer assembled a coalition of far-Left groups who shared his desire to secretly influence the election. Although Time couches this effort as “saving democracy,” the list of the members involved makes it clear that this was a coalition of groups more interested in achieving a victory for the Democrat Party candidate than in ensuring a free and fair election.
In his apartment in the D.C. suburbs, Podhorzer began working from his laptop at his kitchen table,holding back-to-back Zoom meetings for hours a day with his network of contacts across the progressive universe: the labor movement; the institutional left, like Planned Parenthood and Greenpeace; resistance groups like Indivisible and MoveOn; progressive data geeks and strategists, representatives of donors and foundations, state-level grassroots organizers, racial-justice activists and others.
Private philanthropy stepped into the breach. An assortment of foundations contributed tens of millions in election-administration funding. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative chipped in $300 million. … McReynolds’ two-year-old organization became a clearinghouse for a nation struggling to adapt. The institute gave secretaries of state from both parties technical advice on everything from which vendors to use to how to locate drop boxes.
The Time exposé also confirms the role that social media oligarchs played in censoring the views of conservatives on the internet and suppressing the dissemination of news stories, such as the New York Post story on Hunter Biden, that could damage the Biden campaign.
The solution, she concluded, was to pressure platforms to enforce their rules, both by removing content or accounts that spread disinformation and by more aggressively policing it in the first place. “The platforms have policies against certain types of malign behavior, but they haven’t been enforcing them,” she says.
Quinn’s research gave ammunition to advocates pushing social media platforms to take a harder line. In November 2019, Mark Zuckerberg invited nine civil rights leaders to dinner at his home, where they warned him about the danger of the election-related falsehoods that were already spreading unchecked. “It took pushing, urging, conversations, brainstorming, all of that to get to a place where we ended up with more rigorous rules and enforcement,” says Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, who attended the dinner and also met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and others.
Not mentioned in the article was that Gupta, a former U.S. assistant attorney general for civil rights under Obama, was also serving as a member of Biden’s criminal justice task force during the 2020 campaign. This makes her a direct link between the Biden campaign and the censoring of conservatives by Facebook and Twitter. Biden has rewarded Gupta by nominating her for associate attorney general, the third highest position at the Department of Justice.
In addition to ensuring that any discussion of voter fraud or the questioning of the security of mail-in voting was suppressed, the cabal flooded social media with coordinated messages that calling for the counting of all votes, regardless of their legality. One can only guess the role that Zuckerberg and Dorsey had in amplifying these messages on their platforms.
The Voting Rights Lab and IntoAction created state-specific memes and graphics, spread by email, text, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, urging that every vote be counted. Together, they were viewed more than 1 billion times.
At the same time, the cabal was coordinating its efforts with the violent far-Left terrorist groups that had organized the riots in American cities during the summer.
The racial-justice uprising sparked by George Floyd’s killing in May was not primarily a political movement. The organizers who helped lead it wanted to harness its momentum for the election without allowing it to be co-opted by politicians. Many of those organizers were part of Podhorzer’s network, from the activists in battleground states who partnered with the Democracy Defense Coalition to organizations with leading roles in the Movement for Black Lives.
These groups were used, among other things, to harass and intimidate urban voters by surrounding them at the polling stations with militant activists.
They created a force of “election defenders” who, unlike traditional poll watchers, were trained in de-escalation techniques. During early voting and on Election Day, they surrounded lines of voters in urban areas with a “joy to the polls” effort that turned the act of casting a ballot into a street party.
In anticipation of a possible Trump victory, the coalition even had plans for massive demonstrations (and riots?) across the country. The centralized nature of the planned nationwide protests was so strong that they were able to order a stand down during an 11 p.m. Zoom call.
More than 150 liberal groups, from the Women’s March to the Sierra Club to Color of Change, from Democrats.com to the Democratic Socialists of America, joined the “Protect the Results” coalition. The group’s now defunct website had a map listing 400 planned postelection demonstrations, to be activated via text message as soon as Nov. 4.
The liberal alliance gathered for an 11 p.m. Zoom call. Hundreds joined; many were freaking out. … So the word went out: stand down. Protect the Results announced that it would “not be activating the entire national mobilization network today, but remains ready to activate if necessary.”
After the election, the cabal enacted a plan to intimate canvassing boards to ignore questions about election fraud. It was all meant to appear as a grass-roots effort, but it was centrally planned ahead of time.
As they mapped out the steps in the election-certification process, activists settled on a strategy … They flooded the Wayne County canvassing board’s Nov. 17 certification meeting with on-message testimony; despite a Trump tweet, the Republican board members certified Detroit’s votes.
This centralized intimidation strategy was also extended to the state canvassing board.
When the meeting began, Reyes’s activists flooded the livestream and filled Twitter with their hashtag, #alleyesonmi. A board accustomed to attendance in the single digits suddenly faced an audience of thousands.
This Time article shows fragility of our democratic electoral process, but not in the way the author intended. The story laid out is not one of stalwart defenders of democracy saving an election, instead it is a tale of the lengths at which anti-democratic forces will go to pervert the outcome of an election and to ignore the will of the people. The fact that they feel no shame in admitting their actions, but instead actually brag about it, should stand as ominous warning that this will become standard practice for the Left in future elections.