By John F. Di Leo
What can today's patriots learn from Cato the Elder?
The year is 150 B.C. Cato the Elder has been a Roman senator for some forty years. He’s a good senator, and a heck of an orator. Old he may be, but he can’t retire; he has a mission: He must convince Rome to go to war with Carthage. Again.
There have already been two Punic Wars, and they have been taxing for the Senate and People of Rome. There are many reasons to go to war again, some very good, some bad. Carthage remains a rival on the seas, a rival in trade… and Carthage still engages in the horrible practice of feeding children to a furnace, as food for their satanic “god.” All this must stop. But the people don’t want war; only Cato does.
So Cato has made it his mission in life. Every speech he gives – on agriculture, on the budget, on taxes, on spending, on requisitions for the troops, on cobblestones for the roads, no matter the topic – he always ends the exact same way, with conviction: “…and furthermore… Carthage must be destroyed!”
It took years. Years and years and years. But eventually, Cato won. He had to gather up all the good reasons, and all the bad reasons, and slowly win over the Senate and People of Rome to the idea of a Third Punic War. He was dead by the time it finally took place, but at least he went to his deathbed secure in the knowledge that his life’s work was a success. Rome would soon defeat Carthage, would win her productive lands and trade routes, and would burn the city to the ground, to ensure that its ghastly death cult – the worship of “Baal of the Furnace” – would never rise up to consume human sacrifices again.
We have such an issue in Illinois, and perhaps our battle to defeat it would benefit from a study of our Roman stateman.
Illinois’ Most Famous Crop
Illinois is a great agricultural state. We produce corn, some wheat, oodles of soybeans... outside Cook County it’s farmland from border to border. But our most famous crop doesn’t get popped and munched at the cinema, or ground into flour, or pressed into oil. Our most famous crop is generated at polling places all over the state, on the first Tuesday in November, in every even year.
The Democratic Party creates votes. No, there’s no fear of accusations of slander or libel here; it’s a well-known fact. Everybody knows it; they’ve known it for a century or more. The most common jokes in Illinois (besides our governors, that is) concern the stealing of elections.
- Every Election Day, we greet our neighbors with the words “Vote Early and Often!”
- When a friend announces the birth of his newborn baby boy, the response is “Is he registered to vote yet? Twice?”
- If Mayor Daley and three aides were stuck in a crashing plane with only one parachute and they had to vote on who gets to use it and survive, the mayor would win… twelve to six.
But it’s no laughing matter. Vote fraud is deadly serious. Every illegal ballot cancels out the ballot of some honest voter; a thousand cancel out a small town, ten thousand cancel out a city. There is no way to know how much it occurs, but we do know it’s huge. All told, hundreds of thousands of ballots are likely stolen in Illinois, using the many different methods familiar only to the practitioners.
- There are the multiple registrations – you’ve moved three times without cancelling your old registrations, and you vote two of them by absentee ballot – or unknown to you, your old registrations get voted by the old precinct captains.
- There are the faked registrations – the made-up names registered by ACORN, or the tombstone names added to the rolls by the precinct captains – so that the party can file absentee ballots on their behalf.
- There are the poor addled thousands in the nursing homes; robbed of their minds by senility or painkillers, their nursing home staffs cast their ballots “on their behalf” – whether they know it or not.
- There are the illegal aliens, and legal aliens too, who nevertheless have no right to vote, but they do anyway, casting ballots as if they were citizens. No one dares question them at the polling place; the fear of a discrimination lawsuit, or even just the fear of being called “prejudiced,” is overwhelming.
- Even the felons get into the act. Banned from voting by so many states, convicted felons are actually recruited in Illinois – as enforcers, as registrars, as voters. They may not be the best-educated voters, but not to worry; there’s always somebody to show them how to vote, and for whom. And how often.
This is of course just the tip of the iceberg; there are as many forms of vote fraud in this country as there are occupations. And for your garden-variety Chicago pol, vote fraud all-too-often is an occupation.
Famously, the faked votes of Chicago won Illinois – and therefore the election – for John F. Kennedy in 1960. So everyone knows about it. But what’s worse is the residual effects of this widespread fraud. There are whole towns, even whole congressional districts, in which no Republican bothers to run, as a result. The race would be stolen so completely, what would be the point? So, neighborhoods, towns, even counties are full of Americans who don’t know what it’s like to have conservatives to choose from on Election Day. These voters have never even heard a conservative position argued.
This unchallenged domination of a community makes both parties worse. The GOP abandons these districts (no Republican ran for mayor this year, for example, in the first open Chicago mayoral race in twenty years)… and the Democrats neglect the districts as well; if you don’t have to do any work to get the votes, why work at all?
The Democrats love their system; they’re proud of it. With their patronage army, their computer skills, their city services to divvy up and distribute like a privilege, they’re a force to be reckoned with.
No Republican presidential candidate has made a serious play for Illinois in twenty years, though Ronald Reagan won it comfortably in 1984. Like California, Illinois is assumed to be impenetrable, so when Republicans do win the White House, and do so without California or Illinois, why should they bother to consider the issues and legitimate desires of these states in their policies? Without any hope of being considered in a state or locale, the savvy politician disregards it, and moves on to the desires of the next state over: the competitive one.
Tilting at Windmills
Paddy Bauler, the old Depression-era Chicago alderman, is known for only one thing: that once upon a time, he wisecracked “Chicago ain’t ready for reform.”
It’s still true, 70 years later, but so what? Must we wait until the city is willing to face the 21st century, or can’t we strike a blow for freedom before Hell freezes over, for once?
The problem is that Illinois, and particularly Chicago, is stuck in a vicious circle: crooked politicians won’t reform the election system, and without a reformed election system, you can’t replace the crooked politicians. We’ve been caught in this loop forever.
But there are ways to move mountains. Chicago reversed the course of a river, reclaimed miles of swamp to expand eastward, became the transportation hub of the nation. Nothing is truly impossible, if you have the will, and if right is on your side. It just might take awhile, that’s all.
The public doesn’t know how much fraud there is, so educate them. They don’t know how many votes are stolen, so educate them. They don’t realize that vote fraud robs the black and Hispanic districts of their rightful representation just as much as it robs the Republicans… and on that note… consider how much the blacks and Hispanics who also happen to be Republican are robbed! Why, they’re left with nothing at all!
Anyone would say that to stand up to the problem of vote fraud in Illinois would be tilting at windmills, to recollect Cervantes’ famous image of an addled hero’s pointless effort.
But the comparison is flawed. Don Quixote had no real enemy; his quest was imagined, so the windmills he fought were of no consequence. Not so in Illinois, where vote fraud steals – from millions of people every cycle – the very right to share in the honest selection of our government. Vote fraud is a worthy foe indeed.
The theft of our very republic – by precinct captains and ward committeemen, by judges and legislators – can be stopped… and therefore must be stopped. It may not happen in a day, but it must happen someday, even if that means wearing down the opposition one by one, day by day, hour by hour.
Joining the Wave
A wave of republican principles is sweeping across the nation. From the tea party rallies of the past two years to the stirring electoral upsets of November 2010, the nation is awakening at long last. After a century-long slow descent into socialism, the American people are invigorated. They’re studying the Founders, and especially the Framers. They are learning the founding principles of our nation and realizing how much we have lost, how far we have fallen. And they are demanding a return to those very principles.
Illinois may well be behind the times – we failed to join our neighbors in flipping the governor’s mansion or the legislatures this time. But it can be done someday, if we eliminate the vote fraud. That’s the critical first step. Outside Cook County, we can be competitive already. We may need 53 or 55 percent to win, instead of the traditional 50% plus one, but we can do it; it’s within reach. The problem is Cook County itself; that’s where the ability to steal is nearly unlimited. We have no prayer at an honest chance in Cook until the fraud is at least mostly contained.
And this is where the tides of time are on our side. Wisconsin passed a Real ID requirement for voting four times in eight years, only to see it vetoed each time by its corrupt ex-governor, Jim Doyle. Now that he’s gone, though, it passed at last, and was signed by their new governor, the great Scott Walker.
Indiana had already enacted its Voter ID law, and had already done the heavy lifting of getting the Supreme Court’s blessing, removing one of the left’s principle excuses for opposing it: the ridiculous claim that it would be unconstitutional. Rick Perry signed it in Texas; Nikki Haley signed it in South Carolina. Arizona and Georgia have joined the bandwagon; Kansas has arguably accomplished the most in this cause, with the most wide-ranging protections for the honest voter.
There has been vote fraud in every state – certainly hundreds per election in some, thousands in others, tens of thousands in others. But Illinois is likely the home of the most widespread fraud, using the most different methods from precinct to precinct, from criminal to criminal. Illinois, one could easily argue, needs this reform the most.
Illinois has a hostile governor, hostile legislative leadership, an incredibly hostile judiciary. Far too many of the incumbents in these offices owe their careers, their current offices, and their political futures, to vote fraud and, where it still exists, to the Chicago Machine, a complex mechanism powered by the steam engine of systematic vote fraud for as long as the city has been on the map.
But Illinois also has good politicians – conservatives in the state assembly and senate – who do the best with what little power minority status grants them. They do rise to speak in the assembly and senate. They do host town halls, visit civic groups, grant interviews to local papers, radio and television stations. Our Republican politicians have the same dream that others do: remaining in office to represent their constituents, competing for higher office, making a name for themselves.
Like ancient Rome, we have plenty of issues to debate in Illinois. Agriculture, spending, taxes, the budget. We have a pension system in crisis, a manufacturing environment that bleeds jobs like a gusher, an overwhelmed criminal justice system that leaves whole cities as war zones. All these are important, but none will truly be solved until the right people are elected. So breaking the stranglehold of the Democrat party’s vote fraud machine is the solution not just to some questions, but quite literally, to all of them.
When will Illinois politicians grab the ballot by the horns and make this his life’s work? When will some Illinois representative, senator, or treasurer speak to the multi-level wickedness of vote fraud in his speeches, not just once but again and again and again, until it sinks in at last?
As in the experience of Cato the Elder, it may take awhile. Ending every speech – every speech, press release, and op/ed – with “And furthermore, vote fraud must stop!” may not be exciting; it may even get tedious… but it is imperative to hammer this critical point home.
First we must remind the public that it is there, then inform them of the damage it does, as widespread as it is. We have seen Silver Shovel, Operation Greylord, and so many other probes result in the conviction and imprisonment of Illinois’ officials. How many of these crooks would ever have held office in the first place, were it not for the enabling nature of the fraud machine? If we educate the public, remind the public, and perhaps shame just enough of the Democrats in office to cobble together a majority on the issue, it can be done!
It is time to join the 21st century. To join the wave of honesty and patriotic fervor now sweeping our country.
We must join the rest of our nation and cut taxes, cut spending, cut the red tape, cut the size of our overgrown bureaucracy.
And furthermore, vote fraud must stop!
Copyright 2011 John F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based Customs broker and international trade lecturer. A longtime precinct captain in Maine, Ela, and Palatine townships, he served as County Chairman of the Milwaukee County GOP in the mid-90s. His semi-fictional series on vote fraud, “The Tales of Little Pavel,” has appeared in Illinois Review over the past year, in an effort to raise awareness about how widespread and varied vote fraud is in America. Regarding the rumor that he sleeps with a copy of John Fund’s “Stealing Elections” under his pillow every night, he will say only “not every night…”
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