Throughout much of the 2020 Presidential race, voting, the fundamental act of democracy, has been troubled. Casting and tabulating ballots has proven a tricky process during the primary/caucus season and serves as a warning sign for November’s general election, particularly with an unpredictable incumbent desperate not to leave the White House. Thankfully, Greg Palast, America’s top watchdog on the electoral beat—the man who exposed Bush’s theft of the 2000 election in 2002’s The Best Democracy Money Can Buy—is back on the case.
Palast’s reports from the frontlines of injustice have been carried by BBC, Rolling Stone, Democracy Now! and many other outlets. A cross between legendary muckraker Jack Anderson and detective Sherlock Holmes, Palast has just released his new book: How Trump Stole 2020 from Seven Stories Press. In this cautionary tale Palast ferrets out the facts, exposing ballot bandits and voter suppression. The book is chock-full of hard-hitting investigative reporting, research and data, enlivened by Palast’s wit and cartoonist Ted Rall’s illustrations.
Alarmed that our struggle to ensure “one person, one vote” may be lost, the impassioned Palast invokes a hero of the American Revolution, writing, “As Tom Paine said, someone who takes away your right to vote is worse than a horse thief. You can always get another horse. But you can’t get another democracy.”
In this candid conversation, Palast details voter suppression tactics and ponders what the problems during the 2020 primaries bode for the scheduled November Presidential election—if it takes place.
HUSTLER: How Trump Stole 2020’s first chapter is entitled “The End” and consists of only two lines: “Donald Trump was reelected President on November 7, 2018. Two years before a single ballot was cast.” Explain.
GREG PALAST: I know it sounds grim. What happened in November 2018 was a test run for the GOP successful program to eliminate millions and millions of voters they don’t like. Those are particularly of the George Floyd color. The Republicans have figured out how to remove the young, African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics from the voter rolls. The mass purge method was taken for a test drive in November 2018. In the election between Stacey Abrams—the first Black woman ever nominated by a major party to run for state governor—versus Brian Kemp, Stacey Abrams has stated that she won, but wouldn’t be inaugurated because of the Jim Crow tactics used by Brian Kemp [who, as Georgia’s secretary of state, oversaw the same election he ran in].