The charge that liberal groups are trying to steal elections through massive voter fraud has become an integral part of the conservative belief system. I used to think it was just a claim they used in a cynical effort to gain political advantage, and maybe that’s all it was in the beginning. But at this point, the charge is fully and sincerely believed by millions, and they are acting on that sincere belief.
Yet, there is no factual evidence whatsoever to sustain that claim. For eight years, the Bush Department of Justice tried very, very hard to come up with evidence of such a conspiracy. They even pushed good, conservative, effective federal prosecutors out of their jobs because those prosecutors were allegedly lax in pursuing such cases.
But eight years of effort and investigation produced nothing. In the end, they found no proof whatsoever of any conspiracy to commit large-scale voting fraud. Zero, nada, zilch.
Yeah, I know:
At this point in the debate, conservatives wave that word around as if it were a silver cross capable of fending off all manners of vampires, zombies and facts that they might find threatening to their world outlook.
It doesn’t work. Mythology aside, ACORN has never been charged, let alone convicted, of any effort to subvert free and fair elections. If the Bush DoJ had any evidence that ACORN or any other group was involved in such an enterprise, you can bet every single thing that you own that it would have tried to make that case. And it should have, because election integrity is crucial.
Yet it did nothing of the sort.
Given all that, the GOP fixation on voter fraud is explainable only as a case of mass, self-induced hysteria. I understand that sounds harsh. But if you have a better explanation, I’d love to hear it.