Liz Wheeler covers three main topics in this show. The first is a notification that Liz received on YouTube due to her daughter adding a hippo video to her show’s playlist by accident.
The second, and what the majority of the show focuses upon, is President Biden’s controversial decision to trade WNBA star Britney Griner—who was arrested in Russia for drug smuggling—for a notorious Russian arms dealer and terrorist, leaving a former U.S. Marine behind in a Russian prison. Liz argues that the Biden administration’s efforts to secure the release of Griner are deeply dangerous and disturbing. She claims that the administration’s motive is to pander to black voters and de-legitimize drug laws in other countries, which would pave the way for the mass release of drug offenders in the US, and ultimately help felons to vote for Democrats. Liz also criticizes the Democrats’ narrative of over-incarceration, arguing that it does not consider the higher percentage of crimes committed by black people and suggests that the ulterior motive behind their efforts is to condition the population for the mass release of drug offenders.
The final topic is an article published in Time Magazine about how Democrats electioneered during the 2020 US election. The article discusses the efforts made by a group of leftists and progressives to protect the election from what they saw as potential threats from former President Trump. The effort was led by Mike Podhorzer, a senior adviser to the president of the AFL-CIO, who gathered a network of contacts from the progressive universe to protect the election through a wide-scale effort. Liz suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on elections was not a coincidence, and that this was a constructed crisis to be used as a justification for the second stage of the plan. She further suggests that the Black Lives Matter protests were a part of this effort, and that the liberal alliance included key leaders from the racial justice movement. Finally, she mentions that the effort to protect the election eventually reached across the aisle to skeptical Republicans who were appalled by Trump’s attacks on democracy.
This transcript was generated automatically and may contain typos, mistakes, and/or incomplete information.
Welcome to The Liz Wheeler Show. I’m Liz Wheeler. Did you guys get a weird notification from YouTube from my page recently? I just realized that this happened. If you go to my YouTube page, which is just YouTube.com/LizWheeler, I know a lot of you guys probably watch over there. A lot of you are subscribed. But if you go over there, we have playlists of all of our videos. So there’s a playlist with just the episodes. There’s a playlist with clips, which are, you know, 2, 3, 4, 5 minute clips. We pull from the show. There’s a playlist of interviews that I do, and I was letting my daughter, who’s almost to watch a video on my phone on YouTube. We had visited my parents in Cincinnati and we took her to the zoo, the Cincinnati Zoo. And at the Cincinnati Zoo, they have a hippo exhibit, and the hippo, the mama hippo just had a baby.
The baby’s hippo’s name’s Fritz. And ever since I took my daughter, this was in, I wanna say September maybe, I think it was September that I took my daughter to see the Baby Hippo. And ever since then, she’s been so obsessed with baby hippos. She wants to watch videos of this hippo on YouTube and I let her watch this hippo. It’s just the baby frolicking with the mom, right? Harmless zoo content. And I didn’t realize, look at this on the screen, she added it to the playlist of, because I was watching, I guess for my official, I hadn’t changed the account away from the Liz Wheeler Show just to my official viewing or my personal viewing account. And she added the Hippo video to the playlist for my show. And I saw that and I sent this emergency panicked text to our marketing manager.
I was like, oh my God, lady baby just added this to the playlist. How do I remove this? Does this send a notification to the 300,000 people who subscribed to my YouTube? So I don’t know if it did or not, but I thought it was pretty funny. And if you did get a notification about a hippo, you weren’t out of your mind. It did happen. And it was just a little message from my baby to you. So mom life and work life intersecting right there. And this is also a perfect opportunity for me to say, if you haven’t subscribed to my channel on YouTube, go ahead and do that because, you know, you may tune in for a show, you may tune in for an interview, or maybe you’re just tuning in for some good, hippo fun, like some good, harmless, hippo fun.
Okay, what are we going to talk about on the show today? We have a lot to talk about. First of all, Joe Biden traded Britney Griner, who was the WNBA star who was arrested by Russia. She’s been in Russian prison for nine or 10 months because in her suitcase she had marijuana, or I think it was like a vape pen with cannabis oil in it. And that’s illegal in Russia. Britney Griner smuggled it in. She was arrested for drug smuggling. They sentenced her to a long time in prison. Biden just traded her. She’s now free. She’s near back in the United States. He traded her, which I don’t have a problem with, right? It’s part of the job of the president to secure the release of American citizens when they’re held in foreign custody, especially by nations that are unfriendly or hostile to the United States.
The problem here is who Biden traded Britney Griner for. He traded her for a notorious arms dealer, a Russian arms dealer. And not only that, he allowed a Russian terrorist to go free while not including in this trade a former US Marine who is also being held in custody in Russia. And the outrage here is valid. It is justified. And there’s two reasons why Biden did this part of it. Kareen Jean Pierre admits in a press conference. We’re gonna watch that video today and talk about just how egregious her answer actually is. Most of the media’s ignoring her words, but we can’t ignore that. And then we’re gonna talk about the unspoken reason, the ulterior motive that Biden had for releasing, or for trading Britney Griner for a terrorist while leaving a US marine rotting in a Russian prison. That’s one thing we’re gonna talk about.
The other thing that I wanna talk to you about is it was brought to my attention, this week we’ve been talking a lot about the difference between fraud, voter fraud, and fraudulent behavior in elections. And it was brought to my attention an article that was published actually February 4th, 2021 in Time Magazine. It is the craziest article ever. Like, I cannot believe that this article has not been read by every person in this country, let alone by every conservative and Republican, especially the Republicans in the apparatus, the voting apparatus, the elected officials, the RNC. This is the answer to all of our questions, exactly what the Democrats did to electioneer. It is laid out, and this is written from the prospective of a Leftist who is bragging about this. It’s quite something. I wanna read this with you because once we read this together, I think you will share my opinion that it’s bananas that this article has not circulated for. So let’s get to it.
Okay, before we get into the craziest article ever, and I’m not trying to build that up. I’m not trying to be hyperbolic or clickbait. This genuinely blew my mind, this article. Before we get to that, let’s talk quickly about Joe Biden trading WNBA star Britney Griner. Britney Griner is, is probably one of the most prominent female professional basketball players in the United States. She traveled to Russia, she took a vape pen in her suitcase that contained cannabis oil. Marijuana’s illegal in Russia. Arrested her for it, tried her and convicted it. She appealed, she lost the appeal, and they sentenced her to an extremely long prison sentence. And there’s been a lot of outrage in our country about this, and I know we’ve talked about this briefly before. Here’s my opinion on this. I understand why the United States does not want any American citizens to be held in Russian custody because Russia is hostile to the United States.
Russia is not in alignment with our values. Their labor camps and prisons are borderline human rights abuses. And so, regardless of the facts of the matter, or the crime that was committed, I understand why the United States would try to remove American citizens from Russian custody. That being said, on a personal level, I struggle a little bit to feel sympathy for Britney Grinner because, and I don’t mean to sound coldhearted here, right? I don’t want anyone who commits a petty crime to have their entire life ruined. That’s not what I mean. But what I do mean is that when you as an American citizen are traveling to Russia, you understand that Russia’s a hostile nation. And when you as an American citizen, travel to any other country, it’s your responsibility to respect their laws. But the argument that, that we’ve seen from the Left is because the Left doesn’t like laws criminalizing marijuana.
They think it is a human rights abuse that Britney Griner was convicted in a Russian court. And that’s where I agree with the vast majority of commentary about Britney Griner. I don’t disagree with her conviction. They have a, a law, a zero tolerance policy in Russia for drugs. Britney Griner deliberately broke that. She is guilty of violating their law. Now, if you don’t like their law, that’s fine, but it doesn’t make it a human rights abuse just because you disagree with their law. In fact, we have plenty of American citizens. If I had a family member right now who was incarcerated in the United States for some kind of marijuana possession, marijuana use, marijuana trafficking, I’d actually be really annoyed. I’d be really angry at the Biden administration because while American citizens are in American prisons for marijuana-related offenses, an American citizen who deliberately violated a Russian law about marijuana was traded by the President of the United States and set free in the United States.
That doesn’t seem fair to me. That seems to be a misplaced priority. That’s kind of the first red flag here about this trade before we even get into who was traded for Britney Griner. But the Biden administration seems to have an ulterior motive, which I’ll get into in just a second because I believe they do have an ulterior motive. But the second aspect of this is Britney Griner was traded for a man named Victor Bout. Victor Bout was sentenced in the United States for 25 years in prison for conspiring to kill Americans. He’s a notorious arms dealer. His nickname is the Merchant of Death.
He was convicted for providing material support to a terrorist organization because he was attempting to acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles. He wanted to use these weapons, he wanted to literally give these weapons to terror organizations so that they could kill Americans. He was serving 25 years in prison here in the United States. Basically, he was one of the deadliest individuals in Russia after Vladimir Putin. This is almost Osama Bin Laden level terror. I know that no Osama Bin Laden committed the nine 11 terror attacks. So it’s hard to equate him to anyone else if there wasn’t this, this publicized mass death on American soil. But I’m talking the motives of this guy are for the mass destruction of Americans, for the crime of being Americans. The same way that Osama bin Laden’s Jihad ideology was for the mass death of Americans because we were Americans.
Because we are Americans. This guy is obviously incredibly close to Vladimir Putin. And this is the thing, this is what, this is what Vladimir Putin does is he, he sometimes unfairly holds American citizens, maybe sentences them heavily, for less serious crimes so that he can use them as bargaining chips to free much more powerful, much more dangerous criminals that the United States has in custody. And that’s exactly what happened. That’s exactly what happened here because we have former US Marine Paul Whelan, who is also being held in prison by the Russians, and he was just Left out of this deal. Like, are you telling me that a cannabis offense is the same as conspiring to kill Americans by providing material support and weapons to a terror organization? That’s a one for one trade for you? I don’t think so. I don’t think so.
I don’t think so. And just to contrast, the Biden administration’s extremely poor negotiation here that has Left an American citizen still incarcerated in Russia, contrast this with what President Trump did with Kim Jong Un, the dictator of North Korea. Kim Jong Un released three prisoners to Trump without Trump making any concessions. It was just Trump convinced him, convinced Kim Jong un to release these prisoners as a goodwill gesture to the United States. That’s what we had under Trump. This is what we have in the Biden administration. So why did the Biden administration do this? They have to know that it’s gonna make them look weak. They know that an American citizen, this former US Marine Paul Whelan, who is being charged or who was convicted by the Russians of espionage, even though he denies it, they have to know that this is not going to play well with the American public. So why did they do that? Well, Karine Jean-Pierre, the Press Secretary for the Biden Administration, gave at least one version of the answer to that
Treat Paul Whelan differently, given the nature of the totally illegitimate charges they have levied against Paul. Unfortunately, the choice became to either bring Britney home or no one. As the president said this morning, he will never stop working to secure Paul’s release and return home and he will not give up. On a personal note, Britney is more than an athlete, more than an Olympian. She is an important role model, an inspiration to millions of Americans, particularly the LGBTQI+ Americans and women of color. She should never have been detained by Russia. And I am deeply proud of the work that the President has done.
And there you have it, the three reasons. She should never have been detained by Russia. So they’re arguing that the law that criminalizes the use of cannabis in Russia’s illegitimate, because that’s the Biden Administration’s and the Left domestic agenda here. They want to illegitimized that type of law in other countries so that it looks illegitimate here. That’s the first thing. But the real reason here is they say Britney Griner is so important because she’s a role model, an inspiration for so many people because she’s LGBTQIA and she’s a woman of color. Oh, okay, so you’re using her as a puppet. So you use these supposedly immutable characteristics, this LGBTQIA, a status or identity and the color of her skin to choose that she was more important than a former US Marine. This is deeply illustrative of what the Biden administration and the Left, how they view the idea of justice and the application of justice. This is just an example of what they want in our country, where certain people with certain immutable characteristics, whether it’s because you’re a woman, whether it’s because you are black, whether it is because you identify as gay, they want those things to create a situation where the standard for penalties in the criminal justice system are different for you than for straight, white men.
That’s deeply disturbing. That is deeply dangerous. And they openly admit this, that’s bad enough in and of itself. But what’s worse is that this is clearly the ulterior motive of the Biden administration. This is what I mentioned before. The ulterior motive is very clearly pandering to black voters in our nation, even though we just passed the 2022 midterm elections. Make no mistake, the Democrats are already focusing on 2024. They’re pandering to black voters and they’re using this narrative of over-incarceration. We’ve heard this for many years now, that the percentage of black people who are in jail compared to the percentage of how many black people are citizens in our country is disproportionate. That’s the word they use, disproportionate. And they claim that this is because of systemic racism. They don’t look at the fact that, well, black people commit more crimes than white people.
So, you know, a higher percentage of black people are put in jail than white people. And they don’t look at the question, well why is that? Why is it that more black people commit crimes than white people? They’re not interested in untangling this and figuring out the truth. They just wanna make it seem like the criminal justice system, whether it’s the police, whether it’s judges and juries, whatever it might be, that they’re wrongly convicting people and therefore wrongly incarcerating people just because they’re black, because there’s some sort of racial animus. There’s no evidence of this. None. In fact, all the evidence shows opposite. But again, the Democrats wanna distract from the real question is why is it that more black people commit crimes or at a higher percentage than white people do? Because it’s a higher percentage, not at a higher overall number
in our country, they’re a higher overall number of white people actually commit crimes because the percentage of our population, a higher percentage of our population is white than black. So what is the reason? What is the ulterior motive of the Biden Administration? Well, because this is what type of move happens if you are making an effort to prepare or condition a population for a mass release of drug offenders. First, you illegitimize drug laws in another country. You prop up someone who you feel fits your victim narrative. Someone who is a woman who is black, who is LGBTQIA+, you secure her release as if this is some kind of heroic move that she was targeted because of those characteristics versus because of her criminal activity. And then you use this to proceed an effort for mass release of drug offenders.
Now, why would the Left want mass release of drug offenders? Because the Left desperately wants felons to be able to vote. They desperately want the population of prisons to vote Democrat. And this is part of their effort. Alright, you ready for this article? So you and I have been talking a lot, especially over the course of this week, but overall too, we’ve been talking a lot about the difference between outright voter fraud, this idea that someone that maybe I walk into a voting place and instead of saying my name’s Liz Wheeler, I’m coming to vote, you know, cast my ballot in my name, that I say actually my name is Jacqueline Smith and cast a ballot fraudulently that that would be outright voter fraud. And we’ve been talking about the nuance, the distinction between voter fraud and fraudulent behavior. Fraudulent behavior means it’s a valid voter, someone who’s voting in their own name and they are, they are a legal voter, they’re allowed to vote, but they’re voting via a procedure that previously would’ve invalidated their vote.
Meaning election season, early voting, universal mail-in ballots, unmanned drop boxes, whatever signature, degrade, signature verification, degradation, all of these election processes that were changed by Democrats in the lead up to the 2020 election. Which in my opinion, and when I say in my opinion, the Wisconsin Supreme Court also said it is the opinion, the legal opinion of the justices on that court, that said that many of these rule changes, these process changes. The people who changed them didn’t have the authority to change them, meaning that valid voters casting votes through illegitimate processes were counted as valid votes instead of it invalidating their votes. There’s a big difference between that. Republicans need to understand that. We’ve talked a lot about building up our Republican early voting, our ballot harvesting apparatus. But here’s the question. And I’ve gotten this question from a lot of you guys, especially this week when we’ve been talking about the RNC.
The question is how did Democrats pull this off? Who was behind this? Who paid for it and who executed it? These are all excellent questions. And months and months ago we talked about a lawyer named Mark Elias. Mark Elias styles himself as a Democrat super lawyer. And he was the one who executed many of the changes at the state level to these election procedures, especially where there was litigation involved in this. And he’s an important player. But let me tell you, the Leftists who concocted this, who paid for it and who executed it, published their entire blueprint. It’s publicly available. You can read it, I can read it. The people behind this, the money behind this, the organizations behind this, the propaganda, the manipulation, it’s all there. It’s laid out. Anyone could, could take this and replicate it because it’s all there. And it was published in an article by Time Magazine on February 4th, 2021.
I kid you not. The title of this article is the Secret History of The Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election. It’s written by a woman named Molly Ball. And I will warn you as we begin to read this, that Molly Ball has written this from a very Leftist perspective. I mean, even the title shows you that the shadow campaign that saved the 2020 election, yes, it’s, it saved Joe Biden is what you mean. But this entire thing is written as a as bragging. This is how we did it. This is why it was important. And so all of her writing is framed as a Leftist would frame it. But if you look past that, it’s a blueprint. It tells us exactly how the Left did it. So let’s read a little bit of this because it’s pretty fascinating. So she says, for more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and autocratically inclined president.
I started by reading that line because I wanna get you an idea of exactly what kind of bias we’re gonna have to peel back to get to the real good stuff. In this article. She said, this loosely organized coalition of operatives. Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and help secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers, and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and use data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction.
So you might have suspected that there was an organized effort behind the election and all of this, that it wasn’t just a coincidence. It wasn’t just, oh, the American people preferred Biden to Trump and you would be correct. So this is what she writes. This is the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election, based on access to the group’s inner workings, never before seen documents and interviews with dozens of those involved from across the political spectrum. It’s the story of an unprecedented, creative and determined campaign, whose success also reveals how close the nation came to disaster. Ian Bassin, co-founder of Protect Democracy. And by the way, guys, I highly recommend writing down the names and the names of the organizations listed in this article because they are people and groups to keep an eye on because they were successful at doing this in 2020, which is just going to embolden them to do it again.
And if we watch them and report on them and understand what they’re doing, we will be able to fight back against it. So Ian Bassin, co-founder of Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan rule of law advocacy group said, but it’s massively important for the country to understand that Biden’s victory didn’t happen accidentally. The system didn’t work magically. Democracy is not self-executing. That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream, a well-funded cabal of powerful people ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election, Ball rights. They were fortifying it. And they believe the public needs to understand the system’s fragility in order to ensure the democracy in America endures. So first of all, they were not rigging it, they were fortifying it, lol to that.
But as I said, we have to read this through her lens and she is a Leftist who wanted this to happen. So then Molly Ball goes on to write about the architect who was the one who conceived of this plan. She said, sometime in the Fall of 2019, Mike Podhorzer became convinced the election was headed for disaster and determined to protect it. This was not his usual purview. For nearly a quarter century, Podhorzer, Senior Advisor to the President of the AFLCIO, the nation’s largest union federation, has marshaled the latest tactics and data to help its favored candidates win elections. Among Democratic insiders, Podhorzer is known as the wizard behind some of the biggest advances in political technology in recent decades. She goes on to talk about a couple of these, the Analyst Institute and Catalyst, which is a flagship progressive data company.
She calls it. She goes on to say Trump’s selection in 2016 credited in part to his unusual strength among the sort of blue collar white voters who once dominated the AFLCIO prompted pod hoer to question his assumptions about voter behavior. It was only after months of research that he introduced his concerns to his newsletter. In October of 2019, the usual tools of data analytics and polling would not be sufficient in a situation where the president himself was trying to disrupt the election, he wrote. Now don’t you wonder what he meant by that. Like what does disrupt the election? Does disrupt the election mean appeal to voters that aren’t typically Republican voters? It’s bananas. So just using data and analytics is not enough. We have to actually change the process of the election. But I digress. I editorialize, I should say.
Molly Ball goes on to write and says on March 3rd, pod hos are drafted a three page confidential memo titled Threats to the 2020 Election. He wrote, Trump has made it clear that this will not be a fair election and that he will reject anything but his own reelection as fake and rigged on November 3rd, should the media report otherwise he will use the right-wing information system to establish his narrative and incite his supporters to protest. The memo laid out four categories of challenges, attacks on voters, attacks on election administration, attacks on Trump’s political opponents, and efforts to reverse the results of the election. Molly Ball write, then COVID-19 erupted at the height of the primary election season. Normal methods of voting were no longer safe for voters or the mostly elderly volunteers who normally staff polling places. But political disagreements intensified by Trump’s crusade against male voting prevented some states from making it easier to vote absentee and for jurisdictions to count those votes in a timely manner.
Chaos ensued. Ohio shut down in-person voting for its primary, leading to minuscule turnouts, a poll worker shortage in Milwaukee where Wisconsin’s heavily democratic black population is concentrated, Left just five open polling places down from 182. In New York, vote counting took more than a month. Now I do have a little editorializing on this paragraph that I wanna share with you because this paragraph just stuck out to me. This author actually represents the viewpoint of the entire Democrat apparatus, right? This is not an isolated individual who’s espousing something nonsensical. This is a widespread viewpoint. These things that she mentions, Ohio shut down in-person voting for its primary, a poll worker shortage in Milwaukee, and in New York, vote counting took more than a month. What caused that? It wasn’t a virus that caused that.
It was two things. It was politicians, in the case of Ohio, it was actually a Republican politician. This wasn’t exclusive just to radical Leftists. It was Republicans who fell prey to the narrative from the public health establishment that was influencing Democrat politicians. This was a constructed crisis. The COVID-19 virus and its impact on elections was not a coincidence. This wasn’t something that everyone just said, oh, you know what, I’m personally afraid of this virus. I’ve done my research, my analysis. I’m gonna, I’m gonna decide to lock myself down, wear a mask, and not see anybody, social distance. No, no. This was something we were told by a government who wanted these things to happen so that these things could be used as justification for stage two of this plan. We get back to the article, Molly Ball writes, suddenly the potential for a November meltdown was obvious. In his apartment in the DC suburbs,
Podhorzer began working from his laptop at his kitchen table, holding back-to-back zoom meetings for hours a day with his network of contacts across the progressive universe, the labor movement, the institutional Left, like Planned Parenthood and Greenpeace resistance groups like indivisible and move on. Progressive data geeks and strategists, representatives of donors and foundations, state level grassroots organizers, racial justice activists and others. In April, Podhorzer began hosting a weekly two and a half hour zoom. Protecting the election would require an effort of unprecedented scale. As 2020 progressed, it stretched to Congress, Silicon Valley and the nation’s state houses. It drew energy from the summers racial justice protests, many of whose leaders were a key part of the liberal alliance. And that’s something, isn’t it? Let’s just put a pin in that one. So all of the Black Lives Matter riots that destroyed cities across our nation, they were part of this. Shocker. And eventually it reached across the aisle into the world of Trump’s skeptical Republicans appalled by his attacks on democracy.
So they don’t name who they’re talking about, everyone else they name, they don’t name that. So I assume we’re talking about the very, very never Trumpers, maybe like the creepos at the Lincoln Project. But that’s just my speculation. Molly Ball goes on to write, she says, the first task was overhauling America’s bulky election infrastructure in the middle of a pandemic for the thousands of local, mostly nonpartisan officials who administer elections. The most urgent need was money. They needed protective equipment like masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. They needed to pay for postcards, letting people know they could vote absentee, or in some states to mail ballots to every voter. They needed additional staff and scanners to process ballots. This is also very interesting how COVID was used. This, this urgency give us money to protect people with protective equipment was coupled with absentee ballot postcards, letting people know that they could vote by mail, and universal mail-in ballots
in some states. Those two things are very, very different, right? Hand sanitizer and universal mail-in ballots. You couple those together and apparently Congress just used the hand sanitizer. Ball writes, in March, activists appealed to Congress to steer COVID relief money to election administration led by the leadership conference on Civil and human rights. More than 150 organizations signed a letter to every member of Congress seeking 2 billion in election funding. It was somewhat successful. The CARES Act, passed later that month, contained 400 million in grants to state election administrators. But the next tranche of relief funding didn’t add to that number. It wasn’t going to be enough. So you hear that? Our Congress members, this includes Republicans by the way, shame on them, who passed the CARES Act. This was during the Trump administration. Trump signed this. This was the radical Left’s effort to secure money to change election procedures.
It wasn’t about COVID. It never was about COVID. That’s government money, which means your money and my money. Then Ball writes, private philanthropy stepped into the breach and assortment of foundations contributed tens of millions in election administration funding. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative chipped in 300 million. That’s Mark Zuckerberg, the head of Facebook or Meta whatever he calls it now and his wife, they paid for this. They paid for the electioneering that happened in the 2020 presidential election. Ball writes, Amber McReynolds two year old organization, national Voted Home Institute, became a clearing house for a struggling to adapt. The institute gave secretaries of state from both parties technical advice on everything from which vendors to use to how to locate drop boxes. Local officials are the most trusted sources of election information, but few can afford a press secretary. So the institute distributed communications toolkits. So propaganda from the Left funneled through supposedly nonpartisan election officials in states.
In a presentation to Podhorzer’s group, McReynolds detailed the importance of absentee ballots for shortening lines at polling places and preventing an election crisis. So again, the real reason that the Left wants universal mail-in voting and early voting has nothing to do with the reasons that they used to pitch the idea to state and local election officials and to voters. Ball writes, the institute’s work helped 37 states and DC bolster mail voting, but it wouldn’t be worth much if people didn’t take advantage. Part of the challenge was logistical. Each state has different rules for when and how ballots should be requested and returned the Voter Participation Center, which in a normal year would’ve supported local groups deploying canvassers door to door to get out the vote, instead conducted focus groups in April and May to find out what would get people to vote by mail.
In August and September, it sent ballot applications to 15 million people in key states, 4.6 million of whom returned them. In mailings and digital ads. The group urged people not to wait for election day. The effort had to overcome heightened skepticism in some communities. Many black voters preferred to exercise their franchise in person or didn’t trust the mail. National Civil Rights Groups worked with local organizations to get the word out that this was the best way to ensure one’s vote was counted. Let me just put a pause button on that for a second. How would a mail-in ballot ensure that that’s the best way to get your vote counted? That is manipulation in the highest degree, to tell a black voter that their vote in person might not be counted just because you want to manipulate them into voting by mail because you feel like you can get more Democrat votes if you convince people to vote early and by mail.
It’s not just manipulative, that is so evil to play on, I guess the history of discrimination against black people in our nation to make people fear that they’re facing that. Now, if they don’t do what you say, when you have an ulterior motive that has nothing to do with that. Ball writes, in Philadelphia, for example, advocates distributed voting safety kits containing masks, hand sanitizer, and informational brochures. We had to get the message out that this is safe, reliable, and you can trust it, says Hannah Fried, of all voting is local. In the end, nearly half the electorate, this is by the way, what I think is the most significant sentence of this entire article. In the end, nearly half the electorate cast ballots by mail In 2020, practically a revolution in how people vote. About a quarter voted early in person. Only a quarter of voters cast their ballots the traditional way in person on election day. Of everything in this article that shows us that this blueprint was effective. Half of people cast ballots by mail in 2020.
An additional 25% voted early, only 25, only one in four voters showed up on election day. So then the article turns to disinformation. They say, Laura Quinn, Ball writes, Laura Quinn, a veteran progressive operative who co-founded Catalyst, began studying disinformation a few years ago. And by the way, let’s remember what they mean by disinformation. They don’t mean actual lies, not that it’s their job to police actual lies anyway, but that’s not even what they mean. They mean anything that dilutes or counter or counters the radical leftist narrative. Laura Quinn piloted a nameless secret project, which she has never before publicly discussed, that tracked disinformation online and tried to figure out how to combat it. One component was tracking dangerous lies that might otherwise spread unnoticed. Researchers then provided information to campaigners or the media to track down the sources and expose them. The most important takeaway ball rights from Quinn’s research was that engaging with toxic content only made it worse.
When you get attacked, the instinct is to push back, call it out, say this isn’t true, Quinn says, but the more engagement something gets, the more the platforms boost it. The algorithm reads that as, oh, this is popular. More people want more of it. The solution, she concluded, was to pressure platforms to enforce their rules, both by removing content or accounts that spread disinformation and by more aggressively policing it in the first place. The platforms have policies against certain types of malign behavior, but they haven’t been enforcing them. She says, Quinn’s research gave ammunition to advocates pushing social media platforms to take a harder line. In November of 2019, Mark Zuckerberg invited nine civil rights leaders to dinner at his home, where they warned him about the danger of election related falsehoods that were already spreading unchecked. It took pushing, urging, conversations, brainstorming, all of that to get to a place where we ended up with more rigorous rules and enforcement says, Venita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights who attended the dinner and also met with Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey and others.
She was also later nominated for Associate Attorney General by Biden, if you guys remember. She said, it was a struggle, but we got to the point where they understood the problem. Was it enough? Probably not. Was it later than we wanted? Yes. But it was really important, given the level of official disinformation, that they had those rules in place and were tagging things and taking them down. This is unbelievable, isn’t it? Ball goes on to say, she’s not done, she’s not done. This is really important. Beyond battling bad information, there was a need to explain, in a rapidly changing election process, it was crucial for voters to understand that despite what Trump was saying, mail-in votes weren’t susceptible to fraud and that it would be normal if some states weren’t finished counting votes on election night. You wondered, right, why it was just a few conservatives here and there who were like, wait a second, why can’t Arizona and Nevada count votes?
I mean, we, we had the same conversation after midterms. Why couldn’t they count votes when Florida counted more votes in less time? Well, Dick Gephart, the Democratic former House leader, turned high-powered lobbyists, spearheaded one coalition. He said we wanted to get a really bipartisan group of former elected officials, cabinet secretaries, military leaders, and so on, aimed mainly at messaging to the public, but also speaking to local officials, the secretaries of state attorneys, general governors who would be in the eye of the storm to let them know we wanted to help. He said, WAMP, the former GOP congressmen worked through the nonpartisan reform group issue one to rally Republicans to the effort. This one just kills me guys, because this coalition, this cabal, that’s how they described it, of powerful people, actually convinced some Republicans to get on board with them. This is what he said.
We thought we should bring some bipartisan element of unity around the constituents, a free and fair, or around what constitutes a free and fair election. The 22 Democrats and 22 Republicans on the National Council of Election Integrity met on Zoom at least once a week. They ran ads in six states, made statements, wrote articles, and alerted local officials to potential problems. The Voting Rights Lab and into action to organizations created state-specific memes and graphics spread by email, text, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, urging that every vote be counted. This puts in people’s minds, by the way, the idea that your vote’s not gonna be counted immediately. Together. These memes were viewed more than 1 billion times, protect democracy’s election task force issued reports and held media briefings with high-profile experts. They mean cable news pundits, by the way, across the political spectrum, resulting in widespread coverage of potential election issues and fact checking of Trump’s false claims.
The organization’s tracking polls found the message was being heard. The percentage of the public that didn’t expect to know the winner on election night gradually rose until by late October, it was over 70%. A majority also believed that a prolonged count wasn’t a sign of problems. Can you believe that? You were manipulated. The American voter was manipulated. And then the tie-in to the Black Lives Matter riots. Ball writes, the racial justice uprising sparked by George Floyd’s killing in May was not primarily a political movement. LOL. The organizers who helped lead it, wanted to harness its momentum for the election without allowing it to be co-opted by politicians. Many of those organizers were part of Pod War’s network from the activists in Battleground states who partnered with the Democracy Defense Coalition to organizers with leading roles in the movement for Black Lives. Quite something, huh?
Quite something. So then what they learned from the Black Lives Matter rights, the summer uprising had shown that people power could have a massive impact. Activists began preparing to reprise the demonstrations if Trump tried to quote unquote steal the election. What is this number? The groups now defunct website. It was a group called Protect the Results Coalition had a map listing 400 planned post-election demonstrations to be activated via text message as soon as November 4th to stop the coup, they feared the Left was ready to flood the streets. So isn’t that interesting that the Left, which now accuses the right of committing political violence planned riots themselves if it didn’t go how they wanted? This is how the article ends. The Liberal Alliance, this is Podhorzer’s alliance, gathered for an 11:00 PM Zoom call. Hundreds joined, many were freaking out.
It was really important for me and the team in that moment to help ground people in what we had already known was true, says Angela Peoples, Director for the Democracy Defense Coalition. Pod Hoer presented data to show the group that victory was in hand while he was talking. Fox News surprised everyone by calling Arizona for Biden. The public awareness campaign had worked. TV anchors were bending over backward to counsel caution and frame the vote count accurately. The question then became what to do next. This is one of the last paragraphs, and by the way, this article actually has way more than I even read. These are just the most critical parts. Molly Ball concludes by saying, as I was reporting this article in November and December, I heard different claims about who should get the credit for thwarting Trump’s plots.
Liberals argued the role of bottom-up people power shouldn’t be overlooked, particularly the contributions of people of color and local grassroots activists. Others stressed the heroism of GOP officials like Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, who stood up to trumpet considerable costs. The truth is that neither likely could have succeeded without the other. No. The reality is that Molly Ball is deliberately missing the point. The reality is that the reason Joe Biden won, she just spent probably 10,000 words laying out a coordinated cabal of powerful people, a shadow campaign to manipulate and propagandize the American people, trick them into fearing for their safety if they didn’t vote early, as they were targeted by Democratic operatives, who had already changed election procedures in localities and states across the nation to allow people who are valid voters, legal voters, to cast their ballots in a way that previously would’ve rendered their vote invalid. They told us how they did it. This is the blueprint of how they did it. Who was the mastermind? What was the plan? How was it executed? Who executed it? Where did the money come from? It’s all right there, and it’s been right there in front of us since February 4th, 2021 when this article was published. The question that faces us now is, are we going to do anything about this? Thank you for watching. Thank you for listening. I’m Liz Wheeler. This is The Liz Wheeler Show.