October and Other Election Surprises
The thirty days before an election are the season of political dirty tricks. It is frequently referred to as the “October surprise” and is generally launched by desperate candidates or campaign consultants with moral compasses aligned to power rather than ethical conduct and the public good. It is often a Halloween basket filled with misleading or outright false statements and statistics; character defamation; economic, social, and historical ignorance; and the usual litanies and virtue-signaling of victimhood politics Delivering this blizzard of falsehoods and distortions during the last weeks or even the last few days before an election will usually prevent opponents from responding before most of the damage is done.
The form of this assault on truth and election integrity can take many forms—TV, radio and social media ads and last minute mailers and robo-calls. False accusations and distortions are often fed into targeted groups to either get out the vote or to suppress or discourage their vote. Such late campaign operations may not be picked up by news media.
For example, a few nights before an Alabama U.S. Senate election in 1986, I was listening to the car radio while driving through southwest Alabama. I heard attack ad after attack ad strongly insinuating that Republican U.S. Senator Jeremiah Denton was a KKK sympathetic racist. Jeremiah Denton had spent almost eight years of his life from 1965 to 1973 as a North Vietnamese POW, often suffering torture. He received the Navy’s second highest award, the Navy Cross for his courage and leadership and was later promoted to Read Admiral. I had met Denton a few times and followed closely his press coverage. He was a man of immense and courageous integrity and was if anything more liberal than most on race issues. Yet that made no difference. These late night and last minute unscrupulous barrages of slander helped defeat him in November 1986.
The same unscrupulous tactic helped defeat Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore in a special election in 2017. In Moore’s case, the Republican vote was suppressed by unsubstantiated allegations of possible sexual misconduct that had occurred more than 25 years ago, none of which could be substantiated, and much of which was easily refuted. To this was added the usual last minute insinuation mostly by robo-calls that he was a KKK leaning racist.
If you will permit me an aside—with less than 8,000 members nationwide, the KKK is very inactive to the point of near non-existence, but leftist organizations like the SPLC (Southern Poverty and Law Center, headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama) collect millions of dollars in donations every year trying to magnify the Klan’s current minor significance into a constant and titanic national emergency. This, of course, serves standard Democrat playbook allegations that Republican candidates are Klan sympathizers. Playing the race card in one form or another has become DNC standard operating procedure (SOP).
I wish I could say that Republicans never engage in such conduct. Dirty tricks are considerably less common in Republican campaign tactics, but they do occur. It is my strong contention that the RNC should take a stronger stand in assuring that truth and ethical election conduct should be first principles for all Republican candidates and their campaign staffs and professional campaign consultants. An unfortunate violation of this occurred in the June 2014 Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate in Mississippi.
Mississippi has open primaries. Registered voters may vote in whichever primary they choose. In the June 2014 Republican Primary, the incumbent Republican, Thad Cochran, was fighting off a conservative Republican State Senator, Chris McDaniel, backed by the Tea Party. The polls were showing a virtual 50-50 standoff. The campaign consultants for Cochran decided to draw normally Democrat voters into the Republican Primary. Cochran was somewhat disabled by personal and spousal health problems, and his senior campaign consultant used a robo-call trying to connect McDaniel with an alleged supporter of the KKK. Literature was distributed saying that McDaniel’s Tea Party supporters wanted to stop blacks from voting. One campaign ad included this narrative: “If the Tea Party with their racist ideas win, we will be set back to the 50s and 60s” The ad further warned that voting for McDaniel could mean losing food stamps, school lunches, and other government programs. A robo-call voiced by a woman began: “The time has come to say no to the Tea Party, no to their disrespectful treatment of the first African-American President.” The principal campaign consultant, Henry Barbour, admitted to hiring Democrat Party activist and Atlanta pastor Mitzi Bickers to do the robo-calls, but denied running any racially charged commercials. McDaniel alleged that there was significant illegal voting in the primary run-off. Run-ff voting was up 40 percent in heavily black counties. Cochran, since retired, won the primary run-off and the general election.
Ed Martin, Chairman of the Missouri GOP and RNC member, called on the RNC to censure Henry Barbour, but his request was tabled without action. Ed Martin is now President of the late Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum. The remarkable thing about this unfortunate breach of ethical campaign standards was that it occurred in a Republican Primary, with one side stooping to the standard Democrat Party KKK and race card tactics. McDaniel is running again for Senate in the Mississippi General Election. There are actually four candidates, two Republicans and two Democrats on the November 6 ballot, which will probably result in a runoff on November 27 to get the 50 percent required. The incumbent Republican, Cindy Hyde-Smith, was appointed by the Governor on April 9 of this year. Although she was a Democrat in 2010 and may have voted for Obama in 2008, she has voted in-line with President Trump so far, and Trump has endorsed her election. McDaniel has been endorsed by nationally syndicated radio host and Fox News commentator Mark Levin, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Gun Owners of America, and Americans for Legal Immigration.
In September and early October, the nation witnessed the Democrat Party’s savage character assassination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to block his appointment to the Supreme Court. Not only did they engage in unconscionable dishonesty to bear false witness against him, they abandoned the American judicial and social principle of presumption of innocence and any semblance to the rules of evidence. I am old enough to remember when the Democrat Party stood for many noble Constitutional principles, and in the 19th century Democrat and conservative were virtual synonyms, but they have gone so far left in appeasing socialist airheads and social radicals that they have become a totalitarian Marxist Party bent on hatred and destruction of the principles that have made America free, safe, and great.
The Democrat Party has also been flooding the country with unvetted immigrants and asylum seekers in order to multiply Democrat voters with no allegiance to real American principles and values. The big October-November surprise is a literal invasion of thousands of immigrants attempting to push through our borders by force of massive numbers. No sane government can allow this, and Democrat sympathy and financial, logistical, and moral support for this invasion could easily result in needless casualties. Moreover, it is outright sedition and subversion. It is giving aid and comfort to invaders. It puts the country, legitimate government, and public safety in jeopardy. Perhaps they think this will finish Trump and the Republican majority in Congress. Their hatred of Trump and Trump supporters has driven them mad, and this madness is the path to national destruction.
We are fortunate that Trump’s strong direction of the FBI, DOJ, Secret Service, and other government agencies quickly resulted in the arrest of mail-bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc. Sayoc registered as a Republican in March 2016 and displayed many pro-Trump and anti-Democrat indications on his highly decorated van and social media, but there are many things that just don’t smell right. One is the immediate and intensive full court press of the usual mainstream media suspects to blame the mail-bombs on Trump. The news seemed to have slowed Republican progress in the polls for now. There is a legal principle first stated by Cicero in Rome but also now common to the U.S. and Western nations. It is “Cui Bono” in Latin. In regard to investigating crimes, it asks, who benefits, gains, or profits? Who would want something like this to happen? It seems that the Democrats have gained so far, and no sane Republican could think Republicans or Trump could benefit from such acts. Furthermore, it has strong marks of being a “false flag” operation.
The selection of potential victims required savvy political knowledge, and Sayoc’s blatantly illustrated van windows were much too obvious an indication of Trump support. None of the selected victims had any realistic chance of being injured. Several probably benefited from favorable Democrat voter approval. Maybe Cesar Sayoc is a mental case, probably so, but were others involved, and what motivated them? Just asking, and honestly, I have already voted straight Republican. The increasing madness of the Democrat Party is endangering our country and the survival of us all.