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Voter fraud, social media and the budget.

January 25, 2017

In a classic case of over-reaction on both sides, there will now be an actual investigation into “voter fraud.”

Well, OK, we certainly do want to be sure that the voting process maintains integrity.

And it’s not as though it didn’t happen this year, if reports such as this one offered by The Daily Signal are given any credence.

The Heritage Foundation has maintained a database of voter fraud cases for several years, and provides a sampling of allegations and the resulting outcomes of voter fraud investigations on its website.

So yes, it is pretty clear that voter fraud happens, and reports such as these may well be the source of the data Sean Spicer alluded to in the January 24 White House press briefing.

Whether it is a serious enough problem at the national level to swing a presidential election is unknown, but even if it is simply a mayoral or city council election it subverts the integrity of the process.

Apparently the question of its impact at the national level is about to result in a Federal-level investigation, prompted in no small part by requests from both the mainstream media and the SM crowd for “proof” of  the President’s offhand remark that there could have been “3 to 5 million” fraudulent votes cast in 2016.

Whatever the cause, it’s another example of the distraction potential of social media.

Unfortunately that’s the world we live in now.

Much has been made of “fake news” or deliberately planted untrue news stories, but the more unsettling result of the current culture clash between left and right is that pretty soon no one will believe anything they read.

It is a given that society’s worst flaws are accurately portrayed on SM.

Every single day brings instances of the supposedly “tolerant and diverse” left proving that they are neither, as evidenced by the well-documented instance of some pea-brained celebrity attacking the members of the First Family in an effort to rattle President Trump.

Predictably, that sort of trash-talking provokes a response from the target or the target’s defenders, in this case the President himself.

The MSM loves it.  Reporting on that sort of thing fills up airtime. Heck, even citizen journalists react to it, as witnessed by this post.

After all, we have to have something to fill up the actual hard news dead air time, right?

The larger problem here is that there won’t be any hard news to report on in the near future.  C’mon, how many clicks or ad buys can you get from “Senate confirms Nikki Haley?”

Returning to the voter fraud issue, this “investigation” has real monetary consequences.  It costs money to have Federal employees conduct these investigations, and occupies time that might better be spent dismantling ISIS-inspired U.S.-based jihadist cells, for example.

And that’s the danger in President Trump’s personal involvement with social media.

That doesn’t mean someone or several someone’s on his staff shouldn’t be appointed to monitor the medium.

When someone like the Handler woman insults our First Lady, it’s not only just unseemly, but it helps to foster the divisiveness that is tearing the nation apart.

It’s OK to note that Mrs. Trump speaks five languages, or that if having an accent is a crime, there are a lot of people in Brooklyn, NY, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Deep South that could be indicted as well. Not very many of us speak Californian.

So fine, let’s investigate voter fraud once and for all, and get it out of our systems for now. But let this be a lesson for the future.

Social media shouldn’t dictate policy, and it would be nice if someone in the White House could make that point stick.

From → op-ed

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