Election Integrity, Political Censorship and What Matters Most

(Address given to the Glacier Country Pachyderm Club in Kalispell, Montana, on Friday, August 13, 2021.)

By Frank Miele

When Lyn Bennett asked me to give a subject for my talk today, I froze like a deer in the headlights. It was like the entire weight of history and human experience was bearing down on me at warp speed. So much was at stake. So many crises converging at once, and here was me given the dubious honor of trying to make sense of it all. Covid. Big Tech. Antifa. Black Lives Matter. Election hacks. Election audits. Critical Race Theory. RINO Republicans. Open borders. Two-tier justice system. Communist infiltration. The Chinese Communist Party. A mentally incompetent president. Fake News. Vaccine Mandates. The 1619 Project. Cancel Culture. Tyranny of the Majority. 

In the words of a now mostly forgotten 1960s Broadway musical: “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.” Or as the most famous song from the musical proclaimed, “What Kind of Fool Am I?” I would have to be the biggest fool ever to try to talk about everything wrong with our country in the 20 or 30 minutes allotted to me. So I just picked two: Election Integrity and Political Censorship. Of course, they are related, as we have learned.

It’s almost like someone in the United States has been studying how to gain power, and keep it, without going through the messy part about convincing voters you are the best candidate, or the party with the best ideas.

Coincidentally it was just 10 days after the 2020 election when I last had the chance to talk to the Pachyderm Club. At that point we had no idea just how messed up the country was, though we already suspected that the presidential election had been hacked, manipulated, stolen. Something was rotten — or at least not smelling right — in the state of Delaware. 

Moreover, we suspected that with the narrow GOP  lead in the Senate (remember that? Before Georgia elected two Democrat senators?) we were more dependent than ever on the kindness of strangers, er on the kindness of strange senators, or to put it plainly on the kindness of RINO senators who seemed to prefer the company of socialist Democrats and anti-American journalists than the folks back home. I noted, along with Abraham Lincoln, that after Republicans are voted into office, they ought to at least provide the courtesy of voting like Republicans for a year or two. But that of course was a pipe dream. No such thing happened. (I should add here that Montana’s Republican senator Steve Daines has been a reliably sane vote, and our congressman, Matt Rosendale, has been a godsend.)

But this week, we watched 19 Republican senators slither and slink as they helped the enemy team of socialist Democrats carry the so-called infrastructure bill across the goal line. Didn’t they read the headlines where it was being shouted at them that this would be a major win for the Biden administration — or that the $1 trillion bill would almost inevitably lead to acceptance of the $3.5 trillion economy-changing, deficit-busting, nation-destroying fake infrastructure bill with the AOC/Bernie Sanders green seal of approval? What the heck are these idiots thinking? Obviously not about what it means to be a Republican.

I think it’s worth taking the time to read the complete list of Republican senators who sold their constituents out for a mess of potage. They wanted a “victory” so badly that they agreed to CRT nonsense, new taxes on cryptocurrency and automobiles, social engineering, and any other socialist nonsense that the Democrats hid in plain sight in the 2,700 page bill. Here they are. 

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    • Roy Blunt, Missouri
    • Richard Burr, North Carolina
    • Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia
    • Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
    • Susan Collins, Maine
    • Kevin Cramer, North Dakota
    • Mike Crapo, Idaho
    • Deb Fischer, Nebraska
    • Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
    • Chuck Grassley, Iowa
    • John Hoeven, North Dakota
    • Mitch McConnell, Kentucky
    • Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
    • Rob Portman, Ohio
    • James Risch, Idaho
    • Mitt Romney, Utah
    • Dan Sullivan, Alaska
    • Thom Tillis, North Carolina
    • Roger Wicker, Mississippi

One name not on the list is South Dakota senator John Thune, but in justifying the votes of his fellow Republicans, he justified putting himself on the list of problem Republicans.

“If you’re a Republican,”he told the Los Angeles Times, “you want to prove that you’re not just here to completely block and stop the entire agenda” of Democrats. What? Can you imagine a Democrat saying that? Didn’t every Democrat work tirelessly to block the entire agenda of President Trump — including on the crucial national security issue of building a wall? Democrats apparently take pride in being Democrats, while Republicans take pride in compromising with Democrats.

What will the Republican Party do to discipline these rogue senators? Of course, I’m joking. Nothing will be done because the Republican Party does not have party discipline. If it did, then Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger would have been sent packing months ago. Isn’t one of the definitions of treason giving aid and comfort to the enemy? How exactly does demonizing the most popular Republican president in a generation help Republicans? How does calling people like you and me white supremacists or domestic terrorists help strengthen our agenda or help us to gain majorities in the House and Senate? 

Please don’t tell me that Republicans are a “big tent” party unless you are talking about a circus tent. Republican elephants are one thing, but Republican clowns are quite another.

Which brings us to election integrity. Back on Nov. 12 when I last talked to you, we had suspicions about election fraud. Since then, there has been a mountain of evidence that has been collected to raise serious questions about the 2020 election, if not prove conclusively that the election was stolen. Patriots in Arizona have led the way with their full-scale election audit of the votes in Maricopa County. We are waiting on their report. In the meantime, other states have toyed with the idea of doing audits or other investigations, but it seems like at every step of the way, there are courts, governors or yes Republican legislators who are standing in the way. What are they afraid of? What don’t they want you to know? When Republicans blatantly lie about the facts of election fraud, like Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp saying there is nothing unusual about ballots being hauled out from under a table after all the election observers have been sent home and then running the same ballots through tabulators multiple times — when that happens, it just destroys what little credibility our government and our elections had in the first place.

But that’s not all. This is where we have to introduce the compounding factor of political censorship into the equation. When Rudy Giuliani and President Trump were presenting their evidence to legislators and the public back in November and December of last year, you began to hear the mantra from so-called journalists that they were presenting their “baseless” claims or that they were claiming the election was stolen “without evidence.” As if the thousands of people who signed affidavits alleging voting irregularities didn’t exist, as if the film of the Georgia flim-flam didn’t exist, as if the Constitution did not exist, with its provision that electors shall be appointed by each state “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” Sorry, but the manner of determining electors in the election of 2020 was decided in many cases not by Legislatures, but by secretaries of state, district judges, and private entities like Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife donated more that $500 million to various states to influence and in some cases control how votes were cast or counted. In a story I wrote for the Michigan Star and the Star News Network, I demonstrated how $12 million of Zuckerberg’s money went to a non-profit in Michigan that was supposed to use the money for “nonpartisan voter education.” How did they spend it? Virtually every penny went to two bigtime Democrat media firms — first, Waterfront Strategies, which is a D.C. subsidiary of the largest Democrat consulting firm in the country, GMMB, which brags about electing Bill Clinton, Obama and Biden. And second, Alper Strategies in Michigan, which is headed by Jill Alper, the former political director of the Democratic National Committee. 

Michigan, of course, is one of those swing states where vote counting was mysteriously helped in the wee hours of the morning on the night of the 2020 election. It’s a state where election observers were shut out of vote counting in Detroit precincts. It’s a state where ballots were offloaded from vans in the middle of the night. But nothing to see here, move along. And what makes the $12 million infusion of cash by Zuckerberg in Michigan so transparently deceitful is that the nonprofit that received the funds and gave them to Democrat operatives to spend in ways undisclosed, is that the nonprofit — the Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration — was founded in 2008 by none other than Jocelyn Benson, the current secretary of state who was supposed to oversee the election in a fair and nonpartisan manner. Fat chance.

When you bring Facebook into the equation, however, it goes way further than just the hundreds of millions of dollars of cash they dropped into swing states. Facebook, along with Twitter and Google, made massive in-kind contributions to the Democratic Party by restricting access to information harmful to Democrats and promoting information harmful to Donald Trump or other Republicans. The Hunter Biden laptop scandal alone could have, would have, should have swung millions of votes away from Basement Joe Biden except the social media companies, including Google’s YouTube, banned any discussion of the facts of the laptop on the basis that the laptop was either fake, hacked, Russian disinformation or any other excuse they could manufacture. 

None of that was true. The laptop was a damning descent into the hell of addiction, arrogance and privilege that was Hunter Biden’s life. The laptop contained compelling evidence that Joe Biden was a partner with his son in illegal deals with the Chinese Communist Party, Ukrainian oligarchs and other foreign nationals. It also of course contained evidence of multiple criminal endeavors by Hunter Biden as well as pornographic videos of himself and various women engaging in sex and using drugs. No big deal. What’s worse, of course, is that this evidence was in the hands of the FBI when President Trump was being tried under articles of impeachment for his efforts to expose the Biden Crime Family for their illegal activities in Ukraine. So not only was the media censoring information that could have benefited Trump in the presidential election, but the FBI itself was withholding exculpatory evidence that should have been used to stop the fake impeachment in the first place.

But that was just the beginning. Every day in the wake of the election, multiple conservative voices have been silenced or demonetized by Facebook, Google and Twitter for the crime of violating the Democratic orthodoxy on election fraud (it never happened), COVID-19 (it happened just the way Anthony Fauci said it happened), transgenderism (don’t you dare call them freaks), Open Borders  or critical race theory (it isn’t a Marxist conspiracy after all.) I had videos removed from YouTube because they featured President Trump or his supporters decrying election fraud. I was told they violated YouTube’s community standards, which I took to mean that YouTube is in favor of election fraud. How many of you had Tweets blocked, videos removed or social media accounts closed? I bet not many of our Democrat friends did.

What is most infuriating is that these so-called private companies are getting special benefits from the federal government at the same time they are controlling and censoring our public conversation.

There is no way that democracy can exist without a free press, (Did I mention that the New York Times and the Washington Post and most other news outlets have also become left-wing propaganda machines?) And there is no way that elections can be considered fair and free if the public does not have access to all the information without it being filtered or rated by social media companies.

No wonder I spent months hunkering in a funk at the beginning of this year, especially after the Capitol incursion was orchestrated by the media into a case of domestic terrorism. President Trump was supposed to shut up and go away. So were people like me and most of you. But here we are, half a year into the Biden disaster, and it seems like it’s time to speak up again. You can read my commentary at my website HeartlandDiaryUSA.com. As I mentioned, I’ve also started writing for the Star News Network, and I’ve done my first segment on the TV show and podcast “War Room” with Steve Bannon. If you haven’t watched that show, I highly recommend it. Three hours a day of MAGA news and American patriotism. Bannon was  the architect of President Trump’s 2016 election victory, and he never utters one syllable of surrender. Action Action Action is his mantra, and patriotism is his calling.

Which brings me to my final topic: What Matters Most. That’s the name of my new book, the sixth collection of my columns from the Daily Inter Lake from 2003 through 2018. The subtitle tells it all: God, Country, Family and Friends. Those are the four pillars that have gotten me through the last year, and they are the keys to a healthy, happy life. Let’s face it, we don’t control the outcomes of elections, we don’t control the outcome of the next day. We are often overwhelmed by the insanity of it all, but somehow we know that there is more to life than just the steady drumbeat of depressing news that we read or watch every day. That’s what my new book is about, personal reflections on the mysteries of life and celebrations of the good stuff.

I’ll end with a reading from an essay I published on Nov. 12, 2006, what would have been my mother’s 77th birthday, three years after her death. It kind of summarizes in a few pages the theme of “What Matters Most,” and has a title that echoes it: “Something More Important Than Politics or Issues.” (You can read it here.) I’ll try to get through it without choking up, but don’t count on it.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you today, and for everything you each do for God and country, and for your families and your friends.


Heartland Diary is solely operated by Frank Miele, the retired editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. My new book is “What Matters Most: God, Country, Family and Friends” and is a collection of personal essays that transcend politics. The title says it all. My earlier books in the Heartland Diary series include “How We Got Here: The Left’s Assault on the Constitution,”  “The Media Matrix: What if everything you know is fake?” and the “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is “Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” As an Amazon Associate, I may earn referral fees for qualifying purchases through links on my website. If you enjoy reading my commentary, I hope you will SUBSCRIBE to www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com by leaving your email address on the home page.

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