You're 100% right.
But at least now, I think we're more aware of it than we were in 2016. I several times was wavering towards voting third party in 2016 (until all the 3rd party candidates proved themselves to be horrifically incompetent, and Trump proved himself to be horrifically incompetent AND evil). Now I, and hopefully many others, KNOW where this support for these 3rd party candidates come from, and exactly what its intention is.
From the amazing[ly disheartening] documentary, The Great Hack:
Their goal is to drive apathy. They don't care about the third party winning. They don't even care about the 3rd party stealing votes. The goal is to dishearten you from voting at all. These third party candidates are being propped up to drain your enthusiasm for your major party candidate. The goal is to make the third party candidate seem to be everything the major party candidate isn't (in this case, the Democratic candidate), so you start thinking, "I'll vote for them as a protest vote, so next time my party picks a candidate that's more like this third party candidate I like."
But you know in your heart, they aren't going to win. Your protest vote doesn't matter. Voting doesn't matter. So by now, you're so frustrated with the major party candidate, and the electoral process, that on election day you probably just stay home.
If the DNC were smart, they'd be pumping money into the coffers of Joe Walsh and every possible primary challenger for Trump. Buy them ad time, so they can get on TV and talk about all the things Republicans used to care about. And they'll start going, "Man I wish we had a guy like that. Trump's great because he owns the libs, but if I'm being honest, I'm getting sick of all the scandals and the economy, and the stupid tweets. I wish we could just have a gold old stiff shirt Reagan/Bush/Romney type again."
You'll never swing them to vote for a Dem, but you can discourage them from voting at all. If you could frustrate them, sap their enthusiasm for Trump, I think enough of them would stay home that go to the effort to grudginly vote for him because he's "our guy."
I wish people would actually think about how ridiculous it would be for the NFL to actually rig games.
First of all, this would have to be coordinated with a large number of people, namely the referees. The more people you have involved in a conspiracy the more likely it is to get out.
Secondly, if it were ever to get out it would absolutely ruin the NFL and cost the owners billions of dollars. The extremely tiny amount of money there is to be gained by rigging games does not even come close to offsetting the high risk it would get out and destroy the league.
There is no chance the NFL is conspiring to fix games. There is always the possibility of a rogue referee like with Donaghy in the NBA but there is definitely no league wide conspiracy. If there was you would think they might try helping the most popular team, the Dallas Cowboys, rather than let them languish in mediocrity for decades.