You probably remember where you were on Nov. 8, 2016. And you surely remember what you saw that evening: the American political establishment melting down in realtime.
We saw Wolf Blitzer and John King frantically circling counties where maybe, just maybe, Hillary Clinton could still eke out enough votes to win. We saw sobbing media personalities and producers, unable to grasp what had just happened. And we saw the new president-elect, Donald Trump, give an epic victory speech. What we didn’t see was the network of Democrat operatives, politicians, nonprofit leaders, and tech billionaires promising themselves behind the scenes: Never again.
Fast forward four years to the 2020 election. The neverending pandemic, we were told, required that states change or ignore election laws. Election Day became election season, as hundreds of millions of blank ballots were mailed out, often to people who didn’t request them.
Shortly after the media networks declared Biden the winner, journalist Molly Ball published an account in Time boasting about how business and nonprofit leaders conspired to deny Donald Trump another four years (they called it “fortifying the election”). Big Tech played their part: mere weeks before the election, Google, Twitter, and Facebook censored explosive stories about Hunter Biden’s business dealings with the Chinese Communist Party. Given the narrow official margins in critical swing states, tech manipulation alone likely changed the outcome of the election.
Yet all this pales in comparison to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s half-billion-dollar effort to buy the presidency for Joe Biden.
Last week, the New York Post reported that Zuckerberg donated more than $420 million to help “administer the election” all across our country. The official narrative is that this was nonpartisan charity, an urgent and neutral greasing of the wheels of democracy.
But economist William Doyle has shown that the cash was deployed in extremely partisan ways. Swing states received more Zuckerberg cash than safe states. Democratic districts received more, on both an absolute and a per-capita basis, than other districts. Thanks to Zuckerberg, election officials in Democratic-leaning Green Bay, Wisconsin, saw their funding boosted to $47 per voter, while most rural areas had about $4 per voter.
Other large cities in battleground states saw similar disparities. In Milwaukee, election officials gave operatives from the Zuckerberg nonprofits a running scorecard of who had failed to return mail-in ballots, allowing those operatives to focus on increasing “non-partisan voter turnout.” In important ways, this election was run not by local officials accountable to the people, but by political activists accountable only to the world’s most powerful tech CEO.
If Zuckerberg was simply interested in helping local elections boards run a fair process, he would have given as much to non-battleground states as battleground states. If he was interested in neutrality, he would have given as much to Republican-leaning areas as he did Democrat-leaning areas. But he didn’t.
And his multi-million-dollar vote-buying effort reflects poorly not just on Zuckerberg but the company he runs. What did his fellow executives know? If they were aware of the spending spree, why didn’t they try to stop it? Facebook — both the product and the wealth generated for its executives — was leveraged to elect a Democratic president. At a minimum, the company’s leaders should be forced to answer for this before a congressional committee.
President Trump is right to focus on what happened in 2020: We must ban Zuckerberg (and anyone else) from privately funding election administration. Partisan groups masquerading as “charities” cannot control our voting process. Ongoing election audits and state attorneys general should investigate how these Zuckerberg-funded groups commandeered our election. Where appropriate, criminal charges must be brought.
It’s not going to be easy. Suggesting that anything went wrong in the 2020 election draws immediate scorn from every institutional power center in our country. The media will label you a conspiracy theorist. Public officials will accuse you of abetting “insurrection.” Social media giants will censor your speech.
But the only way to fight back against the people who run things in our country is to tell the truth. And the simple truth is that in 2020 our oligarchs used their power and money to do everything they could to steal an election.
Republicans J.D. Vance and Blake Masters are running for the US Senate in Ohio and Arizona respectively.
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