The year was 2004. G W Bush was trailing Kerry at 11 pm. A server went down on a swing state and the vote count stopped, resuming at midnight In one hour Bush gained 62 EC votes and the Presidency
- 12:02 a.m. - OR called for Kerry: + 3 for Kerry
- 12:10 a.m. - MT called for Bush: + 3 for Bush
- 12:22 a.m. - CO called for Bush: + 9 for Bush
- 12:27 a.m. - FL called for Bush: + 27 for Bush
- 12:44 a.m. - ME called for Kerry: +1 for Kerry
- 01:00 a.m. -OH called for Bush: +20 for Bush
- 01:00 a.m. - AK called for Bush: +3 for Bush
There was something fishy about it, I felt. Many of us did. From 11 / 4/ 2004 to 12 / 4 / 2004 I myself did 18 diaries about the vote counts. Others here did too. It wasn’t only here. This relatively unknown sports writer named Keith Olberman was also asking questions and reported that Berkeley & Penn state published reports they believed fraud was a possibility. Jane Hamsher ‘s blog Firedoglake wrote a lot about it
There were also less “salutary” figures talking about vote fraud.
- Wayne Madsen said he was given a copy of a check by someone bribing election officials. (Like any bribing would be done by check not untraceable cash). For those who don’t know, Wayne Madsen later tried to sell stories about a gay Obama and was a key birther
- Alex Jones promoted the Wayne Madsen stories and other fraud conspiracies. I don’t need to tell anyone how awful Alex Jones is...
The Kos site was having daily flame fests of people who believed on the fraud and the others that thought it sounded doubtful. Or people that thought that it didn’t matter anymore. Bush was in, there was no way to prove massive scale fraud. And we looked like a bunch of lunatics and sore losers . By the start of 2005 Kos had enough and said “no more election fraud diaries”, we need to focus on winning on 2006.
At the time I was heartbroken but it is his site so I obeyed and stayed posting here. Nowadays I agree with it. Having looked at it in depth, I am still convinced there was fraud. I am also convinced it didn’t matter. Even if it was true, we had no proof. To keep harping on the fraud, when we had no legal recourse, would have taken us all into a very dark road to alternate reality and denial.
This is the thing about conspiracies: Even if they are true, they rot your brain. Parts of it will be true, the people manipulating the conspiracy make sure of it. Those bits of truth serve as bait to get you into their narrative
Saner heads prevailed here and on other large leftie sides so even though we were all tempted, we mostly abandoned Alex Jones and his ilk. But not the conspiracy theories. There was still a bunch on the left that had gotten the “taste” of being in the know, of knowing of cabals and deep dark secrets. One of the topics was 9/11 truthing. I was skeptical, leaning towards LIHOP (Bush and his team knew and let it happen ON PURPOSE) but there were a lot of MIHOP (Bush “made it happen ON PURPOSE”). There were other conspiracies, practically one for every flavor of liberal. All promising to explain everything and make you the most knowledgeable among your peers..
7/ 7/ 2005
The London bombing by Al Qaeda caused 56 deaths, including the 4 terrorists. On the 7th part of me did think it was “mighty convenient” for Al Qaeda to give Bush excuse to raise the terror alert from fuchsia to paisley. I mentally slapped that part of me and didn’t write a diary that day. Other conspiracy inclined diarists weren’t that thoughtful and there were like 5 or 6 diaries calling the attack “false flag” and other nonsense, citing Jones or other nutcase, going whole hog on incredible theories.
Kos banned every single diarist who wrote the attack was fake, and lay down the law: Kos is a reality based community if you want to peddle conspiracies find another place. This time I wasn’t heartbroken and fully agreed. Even though a part of me felt there could be something to the “false flag” claim. Whatever else was happening 56 people were dead and grieving them was more important. And again, what would be the point of “investigating the false flag” ? To be “in the know” ? To feel superior to the “ignorant sheeple” ? The MI6 was investigating it, and whatever me and other silly saps on the internet “uncovered”, it would never pass muster. There was nothing to be gained by digging into the conspiracy, and a lot to be lost: We would look like kooks, no one would take democrats seriously in things that mattered later
Moderators, trusted users and site members took the new “reality based” mandate to heart and bad posts were flagged, hidden.. People were banned.. And the Kos site spent it’s sizeable energy into electing democrats. Sure enough in 2006 we got them elected!
And we got Obama in 2008.
And we found out the truth about Alex Jones, Wayne Madsen and a lot of those trying to tell us exactly what we wanted to hear, when we were feeling down. They were scumbags hoping to cash in on the dumb bastards who listened to them. Or perhaps even worse, already working with Putin. I don’t know and don’t care TBH, I learned my lesson about conspiracies: It is enough to know they are horrible people.
But at the time it didn’t feel good to be told to let go of the sweet conspiracy tales that explained everything… It didn’t feel good to face reality and have to work hard instead of just ranting on a forum full of fellow initiates. But we got real results.
And I thank Kos for his decisive actions. And the TU, and the other people on the site, who following his lead didn’t let Putin made propaganda infiltrate this site. Reality is much better than fiction in the end.
Now let’s go vote and watch the returns tomorrow, with eyes wide open and reality at our side!
UPDATE: Recommended ? Thanks guys and gals! I gotta work but will come back later to answer any questions :)
UPDATE II: I forgot to add that when there is a fact based, reality based way to pursue stories and implement positive action, it has been done. This site has uncovered hidden stuff like Jeff Ganon, a male prostitute posing as a male journalist, in GW’s press room. On the election numbers, Kos wasn’t very active but others took the 2004 Berkeley statistics and used it to prevent fraud on future elections. www.unhackthevote.com is maintained by a guy continuing the Berkeley study.