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29 Jul, 2016 11:09

Leaked emails, rigged elections, media blackout: Welcome to democracy, American-style

Leaked emails, rigged elections, media blackout: Welcome to democracy, American-style

The United States, which espouses democracy and has invaded countries in the name of democracy, is far from the perfect democratic state with fair elections, says Carla Howell, political director of the Libertarian Party.

Hillary Clinton has marked a place for herself in the history books after officially accepting the Democratic nomination for president on Tuesday. She becomes the first female candidate to represent a major US party in the presidential elections.

Outside the Democratic National Convention demonstrators have been protesting against Clinton's nomination for a fourth day in a row. Protesters showed their support for Clinton's former rival, Senator

Bernie Sanders, lashing out at the party's decision to go with Clinton.
Chanting “we won't vote for Hillary,” some even vowed to quit the Democratic Party. There have also been claims the media has turned a blind eye to the large demonstrations.

RT: How significant were the protests that were staged during the Democratic National Convention and will they play a part in Hillary Clinton’s chances for being elected the next US president?

Carla Howell: It is hard to know exactly the extent of the protests going on. I’ve seen different accounts. But I think it is quite significant. I think it is fair to say that the Democratic Party has a lot of incentive to suppress that protest. Lots of delegates walked out of the convention and that was not shown on the US television very clearly; it was mentioned more in passing where there were apparently a significant number of delegates who did walk out, who were Bernie Sanders supporters. So, we see this in the political process in the US all the time, both in the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and in the press that there is a strong bias not only for the two parties but also for their anointed representative candidates. In this case, Hillary Clinton. So there is no question that this is not being played to the degree that a lot of people wanted it to be played, and revealed as to what’s actually going on.

RT: Are US voters talking about the thousands of leaked emails that pointed to the manipulation of Bernie Sanders support base?  

CH: It is obviously getting attention. It is a story that seems to be unsubstantiated. It is hard to know where hackers really come from and I am guessing no one will ever really know. But it’s being thrown out there. An official with the Democratic National Committee did go on the mainstream media alleging that some expert claimed there was a link. As far as I can tell no one substantiated this and no one will. And so, you’ve got something that you could say the media is actually being irresponsible about and even perpetuating as a story when there is so little to back it up.    

What I think is more important here is the rigging of the American elections. I think probably most countries are all guilty of it to varying degrees. But the US that espouses democracy and has invaded countries in the name of democracy and establishing democracy is far from the perfect democratic state with fair elections. The elections in this country are not fair and evidence of that is speaking for the Libertarian Party. We find that when we go out and talk to voters that the principles of the Libertarian Party – our platform, which is low taxes, minimal foreign intervention, a foreign policy of peace, free trade, open borders… these are very popular themes and things that people want to see and yet we get boxed out of a lot of media coverage. It is changing somewhat in this election; we are getting more coverage than usual, but it’s still far from representative of what the American people really want to see.

"It does seem that there was more attention paid to the various outbursts that took place at the Republican convention than the attention that has been paid to those at the Democratic convention. This doesn’t surprise me. I think that in many cases the so-called ‘prestige press’ seems to be more inclined to overlook problems, protests and the like with respect to Democratic candidates than Republican candidates. It may simply be that Donald Trump makes better press and they are more inclined to cover any sort of problems associated with him than they are with problems associated with Hillary Clinton or President Obama."James Lark, secretary, International Society for Individual Liberty

RT: Explain the Democrat strategy at this point in the race to the White House.

CH: Clearly, they want to divert attention away from the content of the emails, especially during the all-important Democratic National Convention, which is very important to the Democrats in positioning themselves and giving publicity to their top spokespersons and of course greasing the skids for the Hillary Clinton campaign for president. They have every incentive to try to create a distraction. They have a lot of allies in the media who are willing to talk about this and cover someone making effectively unsubstantiated claims. It is a distraction.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.