So how is this year's US election different from earlier elections?
There have been other close elections that illustrate a deeply divided US electorate. But emotions have been higher this year than in most previous elections, with large numbers of black Americans promising to riot or assassinate Romney if the Republican were elected. The element of designed racial division on the part of the Obama campaign made this year's election a more dangerous battleground.
This year, a lot of problems were intentionally and successfully swept under the rug over a period of several months, to avoid getting voters upset with the ruling regime.
The news media were largely responsible for shaping the battlefield, and will have to bear final responsibility -- perhaps on a personal level, in some cases.
The US has been getting in deeper and deeper trouble, the longer that Obama has been in office, and too many arseheads appear determined to stay the course no matter where it leads.
US blacks are the biggest losers -- a fact made exquisitely poignant by the role that they themselves played in putting themselves in this position.
Putin's Russia has to be happy, since anything that weakens the US helps to strengthen Russia's relative position in the world.
China has to be ambivalent, at best. Four more years of Obama may put the US irrevocably on the road to default of its debt -- much of which is held by China.
Europe is another big loser, likewise poignantly so due to Europe's long unrequited love affair with the narcissistic US ruler.
Was the election rigged? That is the wrong question. The question is: How badly was the election rigged? No one will ever know the answer to that, although it is almost certain that Romney actually won the popular vote -- if one could remove all the dead voters, multiple voters, mentally incompetent voters, and general ballot stuffing and vote manipulation.
The electoral college reality will have to remain unknown due to the distributed and modular / cellular nature of the cheating that occurred across the battleground states.
The US is not quite as bad as Cuba or Venezuela. But it is well on the road.