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Time Reveals ‘Shadow Campaign’ of Corporations & Left-Wing Groups Ensured Democracy Didn’t Prevail in Trump Re-election Bid

    It is a historical fact that “democracy” can give rise to fascism. The American people are witnessing this sadly predictable phenomenon take place before their very eyes.

    Time has published an incredible acknowledgement that corporations, unions and radical groups maneuvered in the shadows to ensure the constitutionally protected process of challenging elections, one invoked by the Democrats themselves in the elections of 2000, 2004 and the first election of Donald Trump in 2016, would not prevail.

    The American people would not see their political “outsider” prevail a second time, and these disparate groups — a bi-partisan coalition that spanned the political spectrum — joined forces to ensure their prerogatives came before those of the voters.

    Time’s article is remarkable in many ways, but we will merely mention the relevant swathes. It notes the following disturbing corporate maneuvers in the run-up and aftermath of the November election.

    A second odd thing happened amid Trump’s attempts to reverse the result: corporate America turned on him. Hundreds of major business leaders, many of whom had backed Trump’s candidacy and supported his policies, called on him to concede. To the President, something felt amiss. “It was all very, very strange,” Trump said on Dec. 2. “Within days after the election, we witnessed an orchestrated effort to anoint the winner, even while many key states were still being counted.”

    In a way, Trump was right.

    This is where even the language gets striking. It explicitly highlights a “conspiracy” to ensure Trump wasn’t somehow re-elected.

    There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day. Both sides would come to see it as a sort of implicit bargain–inspired by the summer’s massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests–in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace and oppose Trump’s assault on democracy.

    The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election–an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted.

    Here is the issue: Corporations don’t get to decide if elections are “free and fair, credible and uncorrupted.” That is the role of the states, their legislatures, the Electoral College and the Congress.

    The confessions get even more remarkable, considering the complaints of Republicans and Trump supporters that the system was being “rigged.” It turns out that their views were not all baseless conspiracy theories. More from Time:

    The scenario the shadow campaigners were desperate to stop was not a Trump victory. It was an election so calamitous that no result could be discerned at all, a failure of the central act of democratic self-governance that has been a hallmark of America since its founding.

    Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears.

    This sounds an awful lot like election interference. However, the article tries to spin this all as above board and very necessary to saving the republic from four more years of a largely peaceful and prosperous Trump presidency, albeit hammered in the final year from a suddenly appearing Chinese-fueled pandemic that would devastate the United States, no small thanks to Democratic governors’ questionable reaction.

    This is the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election, based on access to the group’s inner workings, never-before-seen documents and interviews with dozens of those involved from across the political spectrum. It is the story of an unprecedented, creative and determined campaign whose success also reveals how close the nation came to disaster.

    The story goes on to list the several shadow operators who moved behind the scenes to deprive the American people of a constitutionally compliant election. There was Mike Podhorzer, senior adviser to the president of the AFL-CIO, which is the nation’s largest union federation. He drafted a three-page confidential memo on March 3: “Threats to the 2020 Election.” There was Laura Quinn, who ran a secret, unnamed project to fight “disinformation” on the right. Dick Gephardt, a former Democratic House leader, led one coalition.

    “We wanted to get a really bipartisan group of former elected officials, Cabinet secretaries, military leaders and so on, aimed mainly at messaging to the public but also speaking to local officials–the secretaries of state, attorneys general, governors who would be in the eye of the storm–to let them know we wanted to help,” Gephardt said.

    The activity was widespread and included a bevy of left-wing and pseudo-conservative activists. It appears that the BLM/Antifa coordinated actions throughout 2020 was a trial run of what America would see if Donald Trump had been re-elected. The report states that, “more than 150 liberal groups, from the Women’s March to the Sierra Club to Color of Change, from to the Democratic Socialists of America, joined the ‘Protect the Results’ coalition.”

    In Podhorzer’s confidential memo, he explicitly mentions the Electoral College as a target to ‘prevent disruption,’ meaning, of course, lawful objections made by Republicans:

    In Podhorzer’s presentations, winning the vote was only the first step to winning the election. After that came winning the count, winning the certification, winning the Electoral College and winning the transition–steps that are normally formalities but that he knew Trump would see as opportunities for disruption.

    There is some remarkably suspect and explicit omissions:

    There was one last milestone on Podhorzer’s mind: Jan. 6. On the day Congress would meet to tally the electoral count, Trump summoned his supporters to D.C. for a rally.

    Much to their surprise, the thousands who answered his call were met by virtually no counterdemonstrators. To preserve safety and ensure they couldn’t be blamed for any mayhem, the activist left was “strenuously discouraging counter activity,” Podhorzer texted me the morning of Jan. 6, with a crossed-fingers emoji.

    This all but admits that this “shadow campaign” was coordinating with left-wing activists. It is not a far leap in inference to believe the eye-witness accounts that there were radical infiltrators, including one pro-BLM/Antifa agitator named John Sullivan, in the mix at the Capitol protest to fan the flames of “disruption.”

    It was set up to be a debate before the American people that was pre-emptively shut down in spectacular fashion. Yet this debate would never fully happen in the Halls of Congress, thanks to the Capitol “siege.”

    The Capitol police and National Guard had a deliberately weak presence. Several Capitol police held the door open for protesters who walked the halls of Congress in tourist-like single-file lines. Meanwhile, surreal figures with mixed ideological backgrounds took over the Senate floor as Capitol police watched. One colorful character, a failed actor with purported Q Anon conspiracy views and climate activist leanings, gave a scripted speech to his fellow “patriots.”

    It was the pretext for shutting down the Electoral College objections and proceeding as if nothing was awry with the presidential election, the most consequential political event that takes place every four years.

    The reaction to Time’s apologia has been explosive:

    “Democracy won in the end. The will of the people prevailed. But it’s crazy, in retrospect, that this is what it took to put on an election in the United States of America,” Time concludes.

    Did “democracy” win in the end? Or did “fascism”? Since when do corporations, unions and radical activists get to unilaterally decide what a “free and fair” election looks like, as opposed to the law of the land known as the U.S. Constitution?

    This blatant admission by Time puts an end to arguments that there was no conspiracy to deprive Donald Trump of re-election.

    Editor’s note: This article was lightly edited after publication to clarify that the groups involved were disparate and went beyond merely “corporations.”

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    OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.