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What does it take to rig an election? According to the media, an election is fair if neither party stuffs ballot boxes in all fifty states. Believe otherwise and you’re a nut. Or a racist. Or anti-democracy. Or maybe all three. The media need to insist on a standard like that because it’s the only way to pretend that the 2016 election is fair. By any reasonable standard, however, America’s leading press outlets are playing an outrageous role in ensuring that the 2016 vote is the least fair American election in living memory.

The press has long had a pronounced double standard cutting against Republicans. The mainstream media’s messianic coverage of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign accepted his nomination as “the moment the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal” and the end of racial strife. Meanwhile, the same media directed attacks against Trig Palin, an infant with Down Syndrome whose mother was running for Vice President. In 2012, Mitt Romney’s magical powers to cause cancer via corporate restructuring provided a nice contrast to Obama’s planet-healing abilities. And of course, Al Gore and John Kerry were geniuses compared to the imbecilic George Bush, who nonetheless somehow managed to earn more impressive academic credentials at elite Ivy institutions.

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Every Republican expects this type of treatment. Until 2016, however, most prominent media outlets and personalities at least attempted a facade of objectivity. When it comes to Trump, they’re not even willing to pretend. The New York Times ran a front-page article in August announcing that it had no interest in objectivity; its goal in reporting on the election was to ensure Trump’s defeat. The advertorial-style pseudo-journalism that has followed demonstrates its commitment to the cause. The Grey Lady has plumbed new depths to become perhaps the most reliable purveyor of regime propaganda since Pravda’s Soviet heyday.

America’s “paper of record” is hardly alone. The country’s entire establishment—media, academia, Wall Street, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, left, right, and center—has united as never before. They have made it clear that they will do whatever it takes to guarantee that Donald Trump is not our next President. To their bewilderment and chagrin, however, many of the things that Trump has said or done to make him radioactive in establishment eyes have done little to sour voters on him; he remains neck and neck with Clinton. Shocked by the masses’ inexplicable acceptance of a candidate so self-evidently odious to them, the media have moved into a new phase. For the past few weeks, the establishment media simply ignores Hillary Clinton’s manifest flaws, censors newsworthy investigations and blockbuster leaks, and lies baldly about Donald Trump.

Were the press anything other than a propaganda outlet for the progressive regime, America might appreciate that though Clinton’s CV includes numerous positions from which she could have made a positive impact on America and the world, she can point to no positive foreign policy achievements. To the contrary, her fingerprints are all over the collapse of the Middle East into anarchy, a nascent nuclear arms race, a Caliphate whose terror has already reached America, and the resurgence of an aggressive and hostile Russia.

When asked why she should become President, Clinton really has only two answers: she has earned it through long years of service; and she would be the first woman to hold the office. Neither is compelling and she knows it. The former argument, of course, gave us the presidencies of Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Bob Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry, and John McCain (among others). Whatever sad relevance the latter argument once had was lost when gender became a matter of preference; today any man can identify as female.

So it’s no surprise that Hillary Clinton and her allies remain laser-focused on lying about Donald Trump. When Trump told a room full of veterans that the VA scandal was unacceptable, that soldiers returning home suffering from PTSD deserve more help than they get, and that as President he would provide that help, the press insisted that Trump had labeled veterans with PTSD “weak.” When Trump said that Mexico’s best and brightest were not the folks flowing across the border illegally, but rather that Mexican criminals saw it as an escape route, the press claimed that he had called all Mexicans rapists. When Trump echoed Justice Sotomayor’s notion that a judge of Latino heritage might bring that background to bear in reaching decisions distinct from those that non-Latino judges might reach, he was universally pilloried as a racist.

Members of the establishment grimly agree that Trump’s complaint that the system is rigged, his willingness to call out the press for its obvious pro-Clinton advocacy, and his observation that Democratic opposition to voter ID laws seem tailored to promoting fraud, constitute a threat to the republic. Actual press bias and voter fraud, on the other hand, do not distress them at all. Nor, for that matter, does anyone in the establishment seem concerned that repeated Democratic accusations—from Clinton on down—that Vladimir Putin is employing Russian hackers in an attempt to hand Trump an unearned victory are at least as disturbing signals of their own pre-emptive delegitimization of a Trump victory. Perhaps they fail to take that possibility seriously because they have already decided that Trump will not be allowed to win.

The American establishment is committed to blocking Trump’s election. Are the 2016 elections rigged? You bet they are—no matter how many ballot boxes do or don’t get stuffed come November 8.

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Bruce Abramson, a technology lawyer in private practice in NYC (www.bdabramson.com), is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research. Jeff Ballabon is CEO of B2 Strategic (www.b2strategic.com) and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Statesmanship and Diplomacy.