Monday, May 9th, 2022
With so many still unwilling to accept that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, documentaries like 2000 Mules by Dinesh D’Souza fuels more division and anger, and the rampant censorship of it creates more conspiracy.
To be very clear, given the evidence provided, I have no reason to believe there was enough widespread, coordinated voter fraud to usurp then incumbent President Donald Trump. In fact Trump's own officials, whom he appointed, claim that this was the most secure election in modern history and that none of the claims alleged by the campaign or Mike Lindell of MyPillow are even remotely based in any sense of reality. In addition, Trump's team lost nearly 70 lawsuits at state and federal levels due to the lack of any evidence supporting their assertion that Trump's win was stolen by the Democrats.
But believing all this means you'd have believe and trust our institutions. Right? CNN and MSNBC parroted the "most secure election" line repeatedly. If people are so far down the rabbit hole in claiming that the election was truly stolen, why would a government agency or news organization telling them otherwise convince them? That agency could benefit from getting rid of Trump. Or it could be a part of the "deep state". And we already know how tarnished our citizen's relationship with mainstream media is.
I honestly can't blame anyone who has lost trust in our government or its agencies. We've been repeatedly lied to about less consequential topics, so why wouldn't they try to sweep widespread election fraud under the rug? Our leaders, for decades, have failed to be transparent and honest with us.
Big Tech Censorship (Pre-Elon Musk)
Our biggest mistake has been complacency with big tech censoring differing opinions. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. knee-jerkingly block and ban any claims that are outside the mainstream consensus. Their workforce in California seem to live in a liberal bubble, making it too easy for conservatives to point the finger to their bias in controlling content. D'Souza's documentary, 2000 Mules, has itself been blocked on nearly every platform. All this censorship does is embolden the idea that the government, and the Democratic party, have something to hide.
An even more nefarious tactic is called "shadow-banning" in which social media platforms can "throttle" or slow down organic traffic to your post. For example, Twitter can use an algorithm to flag posts that contain the words "vaccine", "COVID", "Ivermectin", and prevent others from seeing that post without you ever knowing. In fact, this blog post will likely get flagged on social media with a "fact check" link and will have far less reach than it otherwise would. Curious to see how Elon deals with this situation at Twitter.
Sunshine is the most effective disinfectant. I honestly don't care what D'Souza claims in his doc, so long as it doesn't call for any violence (which to my knowledge, it does not). Let it be seen and let truth fight it out and win. Rather than bury any claims of election fraud, shouldn't we at least give people with claims of "evidence" a chance to speak? If they are wrong, so be it?
The seeking of truth and being skeptical should not be partisan issues. Our failure to engage in this complex discourse is one of the most dangerous issues we face, and if we don't start course correcting now? I fear it will be the ultimate demise of our republic.
Democracy is built on choice, and if those choices are illusions or eroded to the point in which trust can no longer exist - how can Democracy stand? If there is any doubt in the results of 2020's election, we should be doing everything we can to bring those accusers to the table and discuss how to move forward. Claims should be adequately investigated, and that process should be wholly transparent.
What is 2000 Mules Claiming?
In 2000 Mules (May 7th, 2022), Dinesh D'Souza alongside Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote, claim that at least 2,000 “mules” were paid to illegally collect ballots and deliver them to drop boxes in key swing states ahead of the 2020 presidential election. D'Souza and Engelbrecht use analysis of cell phone geo-location data and ballot drop box surveillance footage to "prove" fraud. Triangulating anonymous users' positions during the election, True the vote labels someone a "mule" if they go near a ballot drop off location more than 10 times AND go to a non-profit more than 5 times. However, experts assert this analysis is flawed due to the imprecision of geo-location.
Statement from Former President Donald Trump as showcased on D'Souza's documentary website.
It is impossible to know for certain that those who are hitting those arbitrary thresholds are physically going to a drop off location, or simply just driving by it. Cellphone location data, even at its most advanced, can only reliably track a smartphone within a few meters.
The states in question are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. D'Souza and True the Vote claim to have evidence of payment to these suspected mules yet fail to produce any evidence of such payment.
The film further claims that surveillance footage of certain ballot boxes proves mules were stuffing in favor of the Democrats. People wearing gloves and masks in the dead of winter, during a pandemic, are presented as shifty characters trying to hide their identity and mask their fingerprints. They also point to a number of people on camera dropping off more than one ballot - which is completely normal if one member of the family is dropping of the rest of the family's ballots. There isn't anything inherently illegal caught on camera.
It seems that D'Souza relies on inflammatory assumptions rather than actual cold hard evidence. But does that mean there is nothing here to investigate? I don't know, but I would rather this film not be censored and allow our public discourse to discuss and vet. Lets investigate. Lets have the FBI, DHS, CIA, DOJ, and maybe some third-parties investigate these claims and try to heal this divide.
As someone who is no stranger to the world of censorship, Dinesh D'Souza hasn't let that stop him from speaking from his soap box. Whether he's right, wrong, or just completely full of shit, platforms have routinely blocked his content and throttled access to his conservative films. This has grown a massive base of sympathy for D'Souza and the election fraud cause.
Even conservative personalities like Tucker Carlson have apparently skirted the issue, or are even told to not utter the name of the documentary. Newsmax, often very friendly to the far right, even has blocked coverage of this movie.
YouTube and Facebook have refused to publish it, leaving conservative friendly Rumble and Locals to pick up the slack. Despite this censorship, the documentary allegedly raked in nearly $1million within 12 hours of its release.
What is the proper threshold for preventing media from circulating? Obviously things like child pornography, videos that incite/call for violence, or the doxing of individuals should be prevented - but claims of election fraud or the Wuhan Lab leak theory? Or what about a discussion on vaccine efficacy? What of the flat earth movement?
D'Souza is championed on the right as someone who routinely speaks "truth to power" but sometimes ineloquently finds himself trafficking in the same talking points as any partisan hack. Due to his extreme loyalty discussing what are considered to be controversial issues, he is unfortunately an easy target for platforms who do not want to circulate his information or claims.
But that doesn't make the censorship of D'Souza right.
Remain Skeptical, On All Sides.
I opened Facebook yesterday to mindlessly scroll as I wound down my weekend and found numerous posts claiming they had finally had a chance to see this new documentary, and they voiced their support for D'Souza's claims almost blindly. Comments like "I watched it! The Presidential election was PROVABLY stolen!"
I hate to tell you, but D'Souza has money to make and will grift at any chance he gets. Much like any major figure nowadays, he posts provocative claims for clout just to get clicks and likes. And now, he releases a "documentary" on the 2020 election and he's the ultimate truth teller? Perhaps he's an incredibly good hearted man who just wants to find the truth. Or perhaps he's just another hustling capitalist who is selling snake oil to idiots on the internet.
Regardless of the merit of his claims or findings, remain skeptical. Cross examine the data and double/triple check multiple sources.
Its incredibly disheartening to see loved ones, friends, fellow Americans, get sucked into drinking the Kool-Aid of any political issue or persona. We must remain skeptical of what we are consuming and quit accepting it at face value. Just because it confirms your own bias or suspicions doesn't make it valid.
For every article or documentary out there claiming that Trump won, there are an equal number refuting the claims. Which one is correct? The one you agree with? Is there perhaps truth in the middle somewhere? Or perhaps we've shot ourselves in the foot by repeatedly voting in power hungry narcissists who rely on division to beget authority.
As I stated at the beginning, I have seen no evidence of widespread voter fraud to the degree to what is being claimed. I fully welcome due diligent investigation and I am wholeheartedly against the censorship of accusations or opinions. If claims made by D'Souza hold any merit, they should be discussed and he should be held to account. We cannot block opposing thought or different perspectives just because we don't agree with them. Give everyone a seat at the table and allow the truth to win fairly.
Sunlight is the most effective disinfectant.
Read more at www.thecoganconvo.com
Listen to our podcast "The Cogan Conversation" on all podcast platforms!
Stay tuned for our upcoming 2-part podcast on "The Future of Abortion Rights". Part 1 will be available on May 9th and Part 2 on May 23rd.