This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published November 6, 2016 by The Washington Times.
Americans have always been for “fair play” and against cheating. It’s rooted in our heritage.
When pro athletes are caught using steroids or tilting the odds, the fans are not amused. It’s why “Deflategate” was such a big deal. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was fined and suspended for four games this season over improper inflation of footballs in a 2015 playoff game.
In 2008, baseball fan and fashion designer Marc Ecko underscored his own disdain for cheating in a big way. After bidding $752,467 at auction for the 756th home run ball hit by Barry Bonds that shattered the record of 755 held by Hank Aaron, Mr. Ecko conducted an online poll to determine the ball’s fate.
Fans had three options: Donate the ball to the Baseball Hall of Fame as is; put it into the Hall with an asterisk, since Bonds was suspected of using steroids, or shoot it to the moon. Almost half of 10 million voters urged him to place an asterisk on the ball. So Mr. Ecko did, using a laser.
The ball wound up in a glass case in Cooperstown, a reminder that even though Mr. Bonds is one of the greatest hitters of all time, he, uh, cheated. So the record is tainted.
Likewise, the idea that someone is gaming the political system does not sit well with most folks, especially if you get caught.
This is why CNN was forced to cut ties with contributor Donna Brazile after it was revealed that she had cheated by feeding questions to the Clinton campaign before Mrs. Clinton’s town hall appearance on CNN on March 13.
CNN announced Ms. Brazile’s resignation on Oct. 14, three days after WikiLeaks released a stolen email exposing the leak, according to the DailyCaller.com. Another email shows she leaked a question to Clinton campaign chief John Podesta before a March 6 debate.
Like many before her, Ms. Brazile, who became the chair of the Democratic National Committee in July, had gone seamlessly from Democrat political operative to a TV network role. The classic example is ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who was Bill Clinton’s director of communications and senior adviser for policy and strategy and who gives sweetheart interviews — to Democrats. The major networks, with the exception of Fox, are indistinguishable from the Democratic Party’s public relations staff. Meanwhile, surveys show public trust in the media at an all-time low. Coincidence?
Liberal bias in this election cycle has been so blatant that even non-news junkies are shaking their heads. Ms. Brazile’s departure was one small step toward integrity, with countless more to go if the media are going to recover a shred of credibility.
Americans hate cheating. The Bernie Sanders movement grew out of the notion, however misguided, that the “rich” on Wall Street are cheating everyone else. That, and an itching to redistribute other people’s earnings to the Free Stuff Army. Bernie’s supporters are still justifiably sore that WikiLeaks revealed how Clinton backer and then-Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz conspired to cheat him in the primaries.
The Trump movement took flight on the notion that America’s ruling elites are cheating the country in a variety of ways, from recklessly importing millions of illegal aliens to making a sport of taxing the already besieged middle class, and lying the whole time about their motives.
For sheer chutzpah, it’s hard to top Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, who met with Bill Clinton on an airplane and then let Hillary Clinton off the hook despite her “reckless” use of her private email system as Secretary of State.
Now it’s come to light that Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik, a repeated Clinton donor and close friend of campaign chief John Podesta, is involved with the probe of Clinton adviser Huma Abedin’s emails.
Oh, and this: In an email from Mr. Kadzik to Mr. Podesta titled, “Heads up,” Mr. Kadzik offered “likely questions” that would be asked during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in May 2015 into Mrs. Clinton’s misusing a private email server to conduct State Department business.
See any conflict here?
Meanwhile, Democrats have filed lawsuits in federal courts in four battleground states alleging that because Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee have urged citizens to volunteer for poll watching, it amounts to “a campaign of voter intimidation.”
Really? This comes from the same folks whose Justice Department under President Obama threw out intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party, whose baton-wielding thugs were caught on video threatening voters at a Philadelphia polling place in 2008.
The lawsuits were filed in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and Ohio, where Democrats say the GOP is violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and an 1871 statute aimed at the Ku Klux Klan.
As far as we know, none of the poll watchers has stood outside early voting venues in white sheets or even in white leisure suits.
But the idea that someone is actually watching for cheating drives the Democrats crazy. I wonder why?