Vote recount buzz a distraction

ballot-boxSo, Jill Stein, whose morally smug supporters modestly helped to sink the Clinton campaign, now wants to do recounts in precisely those states where her votes exceeded Trump’s margin over Clinton. For what? To hope she gets fewer votes and is less tarred with Ralph Nader infamy? Or is it just to put more money in her coffers, since her one percent of the national vote means her party will be ineligible for federal matching funds next time?

The Clinton campaign, whose own smugness did far more to contribute to Hillary’s defeat,  has said there is “no actionable evidence” of hacking or tampering. But the campaign apparently wants to be a free rider to provide some succor to her disappointed supporters, who hope she might have lost the electoral college by fewer votes than she has. Call me skeptical, but, because our voting system is so decentralized, even if the Russians had hacked some voting machines, it wouldn’t have changed the final outcome.

Trump’s behavior in this is far worse. Claiming that he not only won the election in a landslide but would have won the popular vote too, had not millions of nefarious aliens voted illegally, goes to the heart of delegitimizing our democracy and puts on full display his most un-Presidential characteristics.

Trump did well in the electoral college, but it was no landslide. Reagan/Carter in 1980 (489 to 49) and Nixon/McGovern in 1972 (520-17) were landslides. Trump’s electoral college margin is more like Kennedy/Nixon in 1960 (303 to 219) and Carter/Ford in 1976 (297-240).  Indulging in Trump’s hyperbole  encourages him to believe he has an overwhelming mandate and can govern without making efforts to compromise.

Trump’s unsubstantiated claim goes to the heart of his longstanding canard that the election would be rigged and that he’d accept the results only if he won.  Now he’s claiming he won despite a rigged system.  Perhaps he shouldn’t assume office under such a cloud? Perhaps he should pay for a national recount to make sure every vote cast was legitimate? It wouldn’t change the outcome, but  could give everyone more assurance, especially those in his paranoid base.   If he really believes his own tweets, he should open his ample wallet and make sure all recounts are done by the electoral college vote in December.  But this isn’t going to happen.

One of the unresolved questions of the campaign was whether Trump’s greater liability was his cavernous lack of information on critical issues (and disinterest in learning) or his dogmatic assertion of false information. We now have a more serious wrinkle.  His outsized reliance on patently false sources. The millions of illegal voters story came from Infowars, one of the wild-eyed conspiracy sites. Heaven help us if Trump, who tells us he knows more than the generals, turns to these social media cesspools for making critical foreign policy decisions.

Heaven help us also if, in four years, voters in our “rigged” system vote him out of office, but Trump, then holding the armed levers of power, chooses not to accept the results.

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6 thoughts on “Vote recount buzz a distraction

  1. Arthur Singer

    I grew up in the last days of FDR, followed by Truman, Stevenson (God love him) and then JFK. On the eve of the 1960 election, Kennedy arrived at the old Boston Garden (where my future wife and I were lucky enought to have seats in the first row first balcony). He was late but no matter to the 13,909 plus present. We sang Irish songs and waited patiently for 45 minutes or so.. And then a rumble and then the roar as he finally entered — bringing many a grown man and woman to tears. Kennedy gave a memorable speech from the heart. He inspired me that night and for years afterwards. How unfortunate for all of us especially our children and grandchildren, Republican or Democrat, that there was no JFK to run, win, and lead us this time. Instead we see a very wild and dangerous man. l God help us all. As Bette Davis once said in All About Eve, “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.” Very, very bumpy. Art Singer


  2. Mike Rice

    “As democracy is perfected the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron” ~ H. L. Mencken


  3. Hopkins Holmberg

    “Jill Stein, whose morally smug supporters helped to sink the Clinton campaign,”. Doubtful. But if they did contribute they probably come in about 50th on the list. Much higher on the list are a smog, arrogant, campaign that avoided dealing with the press, spent lots of money on a field operation that didn’t do the basics (try identifying your voters first instead of relying on 4 year old lists from Obama – and not even matching those lists against current registration addresses), … And the list goes on.

    Clinton and cronies (like the DNC chair) did a good job of killing off opposition among Democrats, and then was so taken with itself that we now have a disaster.


  4. Judy Holmberg

    Margie, jill stein DID NOT SINK clinton!! She no doubt is trying to give strength to the Green Party and it is a pathetic attempt. But Clinton did alot of self- sinking and I am angry at her for that!!

    We are left with this unbelievable, horrible, vile ending. O M G !


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