by Diana Johnstone
sent by MJGdeA
President Donald Trump
arriving in Ashville, N.C., Aug. 24, 2020.
House, Shealah Craighead)
Diana Johnstone considers
the fun and
games surrounding the possibility
of a disputed
U.S. election result
that the future
is being planned
for instance at
the next meeting in Davos.
A small number of very rich men are quite sure they know what is
best for the future of the world and have enough wealth and
influence to believe they can make it happen.
They can be called
oligarchs, but the term is inadequate. They are a special category,
the shapers of the Global Governance destined to replace bourgeois
I can name two:
one who is
famous, notorious even, but very old
another who is a
generation younger, not yet so well known or so rich but
probably even more influential...
The old one is of course
George Soros, who needs no
He has no doubt that the
world should be one big Open Society - in a word,
globalization - in which borders
and nation states dissolve into a kaleidoscopic mix of cultural
identities in which major decisions are taken by brilliant financial
oligarchs like himself.
The younger one is
Nicolas Berggruen, the dashing
59-year-old Paris-born son of a leading art collector.
Berggruen enjoys double U.S.-German citizenship and membership in,
on and on.
helped get Emmanuel Macron elected president of France and
has friendly relations with Ursula von der Leyen, head of the
European Union Commission.
The billionaire has his own "think and action tank," the
Berggruen Institute, to promote his
interests which center on "global governance."
is particularly interested in technological ways to shape and guide
the world of the future. The future for Berggruen belongs to
digitalization and above all
a short video, he
muses over whether or not the digital age makes us "less human."
Nicolas Berggruen, center, in 2017.
(Financial Times, Flicker, CC BY 2.0)
We are all connected and
"less free" but we are all "part of something bigger - communities,
The digital world,
"looks less human but
it's still being created by us."
(And who is "us"
Berggruen's model of the
future family may be seen in his own choice: two motherless children
manufactured with donated ovules and born by two surrogate wombs.
Like European-born Soros and Berggruen, the United States is above
all the current command and control center of the Western world
still aspiring to be the nucleus of a global empire. U.S. elections
are important to these world visionaries in staying the course of
For both of them,
Donald Trump can only be an
intolerable glitch in the screen. This must be corrected in 2020...
The entire liberal elite
is in overwhelming agreement.
Rosa Brooks, center, in 2018,
a New America conference.
America, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)
So, it has been easy to arouse near panic in the Washington
Establishment and beyond over the notion that Trump might not be
dislodged by the November 2020 election.
Fear is being spread less
that Trump might win the election (too unthinkable to think) than
that he will lose the election but refuse to budge.
This possibility received
a big boost from a unique social event organized by Professor
Rosa Brooks of Georgetown University, a leading champion of
women's participation in the National Security State, and historian
Nils Gilman, a head researcher at the Berggruen Institute.
This well-connected pair easily enlisted dozens of power pointers to
take part in what The Boston Globe called "a Washington
version of Dungeons and Dragons," on the model of Pentagon planners
who form teams to imagine what the U.S. and Russia might do in a
nuclear war confrontation.
They named their fun and
games the Transition Integrity Project (TIP),
clearly suggesting that the "integrity" of the anticipated
transition from Trump to Biden was their main concern.
Only a few of the 67 participants have been identified:
Republican Michael Steele
Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff John Podesta
David Frum (ghost
writer of President George W. Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech)
political analyst William Kristol
On Aug. 3, the
Transition Integrity Project issued its report, entitled
a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition."
This report gave the
results of the make-believe gaming scenarios, which
provided imaginary support to the growing liberal Democratic
hypothesis that Trump is determined to 'steal' the November
authoritarian leaders, President Trump has begun to lay the
groundwork for potentially ignoring or disrupting the voting
process, by claiming, for instance, that any mail-in ballots
will be fraudulent and that his opponents will seek to have
non-citizens vote through fraud."
It was taken for granted
throughout that Trump's fears and accusations are fake whereas his
opponents' fears and accusations are soundly based.
The Transition Integrity Project report made a feeble attempt
to appear neutral:
"TIP takes no
position on how Americans should cast their votes, or on the
likely winner of the upcoming election; either party could
prevail at the polls in November without resorting to 'dirty
consistently violated by the entire exercise.
The exercise comprised four scenarios:
clear victory by
the Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden
clear Trump win
narrow Biden win
The game was played by
teams, primarily "Team Biden" and "Team Trump," but it is pretty
clear that none of the players were pro-Trump, including the players
on "Team Trump."
But the games claimed to
show how Trump supporters would react in these circumstances.
"Team Trump was
consistently more ruthless than Team Biden - more willing to
ignore existing democratic norms, to make use of disinformation,
to deploy federal agencies to promote Trump's personal and
electoral interests, and to engage in intimidation campaigns."
But "Team Biden" was much
"Team Biden generally
felt constrained by a commitment to norms and a desire to tamp
down violence and reduce instability."
"Team Biden often had the majority of the public on its side,
and the ability to mobilize resentment about the structural
disenfranchisement in the way we conduct presidential
intruded into the gaming in an odd and even ludicrous way:
"There was quite a
bit of speculation that Trump might […] attempt to rally
nationalist feelings to himself, or placate foreign leaders to
whom he may feel beholden, such as Vladimir Putin."
Campaign image of
Harris and Joe Biden.
A particularly alarming and disturbingly credible assumption of the
Transition Integrity Project game is that in this election,
neither side is prepared to accept defeat.
The scenario exercises,
"revealed that for
many Democrats and key Democratic constituencies, this election
represents an existential crisis, the last chance to stop a
rapid and potentially irreversible U.S. decline into
authoritarianism and unbridled nativism."
So, as much as Trump,
many Democrats are ready to stop at nothing to win this election -
for the best of reasons, of course.
Trump is depicted as equally desperate to win in order to avoid
being treated as a criminal.
assumption of this story-telling is that once out of office,
Trump will be arrested and tried for unspecified crimes.
This would indeed be
an incentive for him not to lose.
At this point, it is
necessary to recall that democratic election of national leaders
depends on a degree of mutual trust that is being lost in America.
The United States
regularly insists that all foreign countries should elect their
leaders by "fair and free elections."
But there are many
countries where, at some time of their historical development,
this method is not advisable because one party, or tribe, fears
for its very life if a rival party, or tribe, should take power.
In such states, peace depends on the rule of a king, a mediator,
The United States can
currently be seen to be regressing to just such a degree of mutual
hatred and distrust.
It seems to me that if the Democratic Establishment gave
priority to a peaceful election and transition, against the
possibility that Trump might reject the results, the smart and
reasonable thing to do would be to reassure him on the two counts
which they suggest might incite him to balk:
postal vote fraud
accusations and the threat of criminal charges against him.
2000 presidential election
underway in Palm Beach County,
Florida, Nov. 18, 2000.
CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)
As to the latter:
"Participants in the
scenario exercises universally believed that self-preservation
for President Trump and his family will be Trump's first and
possibly only priority if he is forced to concede electoral
So, it is a bit odd that
the Transition Integrity Project goes on to report that:
"During several of
the TIP exercises, Team Biden attempted to enter into
negotiations with Team Trump about a pardon and graceful
transition, but those overtures were consistently rejected."
Since there were no Trump
supporters on either team, these game results merely reflect the
intention of the Democratic Establishment to assume that
Trump will be charged with "state crimes," as yet unspecified.
No compromise deal is
As for postal balloting, it should be conceivable that Trump's
misgivings are justified. Trump is not against absentee ballots,
which require identification of the voter, comparable to going to
the polls, but is suspicious of mass mailings of ballots back and
In an age when anyone can photocopy any document, when mails are
slow and when there are many ways in which ballots might be
destroyed, such misgivings are not far-fetched.
Indeed, in the course of
Game No. 1,
individual destroyed a large number of ballots believed to
have supported Biden."
Why could the gamers
imagine Biden ballots being destroyed, but rule out destruction
of ballots supporting Trump?
For the sake of domestic peace, why not try to find a
vice-presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has
introduced legislation to generalize postal balloting.
Why not, instead,
extend polling time, opening polls not only on the second
Tuesday in November but on the preceding Saturday and Sunday?
This would provide time
to allow voters
afraid of Covid-19 to keep
distances from each other, as they do when they go to the
It would reduce the
number of absentee ballots, the time needed for counting and above
all the suspicions attached to postal voting. But the more wary
Trump is of postal voting, the more Democrats insist on making it
It becomes clearer and clearer that hatred of Trump has
reached such a pitch, that for the Democratic Establishment and
its hangers-on, defeating Trump at the polls is not enough.
They are practically
inciting him to contest the election...
Then they can have
something more exciting and decisive:
a genuine regime
The classic regime change scenario involves,
So, to start with, the
gamers posit an authoritarian leader who won't step down. That's
"a show of numbers in
the streets - and actions in the streets - may be decisive
factors in determining what the public perceives as a just and
In an interview stressing
"the flaws in our electoral system," Transition Integrity Project
organizer Nils Gilman said that what we need,
"is for people to be
prepared to take to the streets in non-violent protest" if
appeals to officials do not suffice.
"We've learned over the last couple of months, since the
Movement for Black Lives protest really took off again in
the wake of George Floyd's murder, that taking to the streets
and showing commitment to a democratic process beyond just the
ballot box is a really important part of driving change."
The demonstrations must
be non-violent, Gilman stressed.
As the Transition Integrity Project report put it,
"the scale of recent
demonstrations has increased the stakes for the Democratic Party
to build strong ties with grassroots organizations and be
responsive to the movement's demands."
Certain of these
grassroots organizations - MoveOn and Black Lives Matter
- have enjoyed financial support from Soros, as the Democratic Party
clearly tries to co-opt the protests.
According to the scenarios, such protests could arise not only in
case Trump refused to recognize a Biden win, but also, in
Game No. 3, in case of a,
Electoral College victory for President Trump (286-to-252) but
also a significant popular vote win (52 percent for Trump, 47
percent for Biden).
The game play ended
in a constitutional crisis, with threats of secession, and the
potential for either a decline into authoritarianism or a
radically revamped set of democratic rules that ensure the
popular will prevails (abolishment of the Electoral College…)"
The Biden campaign
retracted its initial concession, capitalizing,
"on the public's
outrage that for the third time in 20 years a candidate lost the
popular vote but won the Electoral College."
The Biden campaign
encouraged California, Oregon and Washington to secede,
Republicans agreed to a set of structural reforms to fix our
democratic system to ensure majority rule."
Congress supported Biden.
"It was unclear what
the military would do in this situation".
In reality, Democrats
know that they have managed to keep the Permanent State,
including the military and intelligence agencies, on their
side throughout Trump's presidency.
Where are the forces that
could carry out a pro-Trump coup d'état?
addressing Democratic convention,
(Gage Skidmore, Flickr)
the report notes, "winning 'the
narrative' emerged as a potentially decisive factor.
Either side can
expand or contract the 'margin of contestation' if they succeed
in substantially changing how key decision makers and the public
view the 'facts,' the risks of action or inaction, or external
events such as civil unrest."
Winning the narrative
appears to be a main purpose of the Transition Integrity Project,
and it was quickly seconded in its efforts by top Democrats.
"Joe Biden should not
concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to
drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don't
give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the
other side is,"
Hillary Clinton said in
an interview on Aug. 25.
A couple of days later,
Al Gore, the former vice
president and unsuccessful 2000 Democratic presidential candidate,
Trump, he said in a
particularly loaded image, is,
"attempting to put
his knee on the neck of democracy" by criticizing mail-in
"He seems to have no
compunctions at all about trying to rip apart the social fabric
and the political equilibrium of the American people, and he's
strategically planting doubts in advance."
People ask whether Trump
will leave office next Jan. 20.
"Well," said Gore,
"it doesn't matter because it's not up to him."
"Because at noon on
January 20th, if a new president is elected… the
police force, the Secret Service, the military, all of the
executive branch officers, will respond to the command and the
direction of the new president."
Outside the World Economic Forum
Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos-Klosters,
Switzerland, Jan. 24.
(World Economic Forum,
Mattias Nutt, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Meanwhile, Americans can listen to the extravagant rhetoric of the
two enemy camps, calling on them to choose between,
supremacy" and "radical Marxist socialism",
absolutely nothing in terms of coherent public policy of benefit to
the American people and the world.
The politicians cling to
ineffective office, while the future is being planned
Policy will be designed by the Global Governors, for instance
at the next
meeting in Davos of the World
Economic Forum which, according to its founder and chairman
Klaus Schwab, will lay out the
Reset" agenda for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
that is destined to reshape all our lives.
will be there with his ideas. So will other billionaires...
They will not be
"conspiring," but rather laying plans for what they consider
'best' for the world.
There is no political
system enabling us to influence or even fully understand the
projects they will sponsor.
Surely these projects
deserve to be sharply debated.
But the politicians
supposedly representing us are somewhere else, fighting
furiously with each other over contrived issues.
Electoral College is not the
most fatal flaw in American democracy.
Rather, it's the monopoly
of political discourse by a two-party system fueled essentially by
personal ambition, taking its cues from,