The election recounts are a reduction to childish logic


Flickr\Ted Eytan

An anti-Trump rally in Washington D.C. on Nov. 12.

Aidan Denehy, Opinion Editor

Just a few short weeks ago, American voters elected Donald Trump into the highest executive office in the United States.

Almost immediately afterwards, the country was plunged into nationwide protests, with many people saying that Trump is ‘not their president.’

Regardless of whether or not you voted for him, the ultimate reality is that he is our president- and no, I didn’t vote for him either. However, the reality of the situation is that we can either choose to be involved in the political process through civil discourse, or involve ourselves in protests which accomplish nothing.

I digress, however, because I am not writing this opinion piece about general demonstration in regards to Trump’s election, but rather I am writing in regards to the efforts of Green Party nominee Jill Stein to further destabilize the entire electoral process.

Jill’s stated mission is sensible- that she wants to ensure that the vote is accurate, that the election process was not corrupt, and that Donald Trump did, in fact, legitimately win the U.S. Presidency.

However, I don’t think that Stein’s message is genuine- I think she is playing into a scheme in which American voters who were dissatisfied with the results of the presidential election would fork over money for a recount in the hopes that it would change something. However, what I’ve seen from her so far has been inconsistency- raising more money to recount than she did for her entire campaign, then backing away from Pennsylvania and saying she needed to ‘restrategize.’

Furthermore, there hasn’t really been any credible evidence that the elections were, in any way, affected by tampering. The concerns of election fraud weren’t even brought forth by Hillary herself- rather, it’s all come from the rumor that some aides within the campaign were notified that there may have been an attempt to tamper with results- and again, this was only reported to the Clinton campaign- not the FEC, and not the Trump campaign.

Furthermore, if the Clinton campaign isn’t concerned, why is it in the best interest of a candidate who says she is independent to be so caught up with the possible scent of corruption in an election? Either Stein isn’t who she claims to be, or this is a fundraising attempt by her campaign with a new spin.

Don’t get me wrong- if there were credible evidence of widespread corruption in this election, I would be in favor of recounting votes, because for elections to be effective, they have to be free and fair. However, thus far, there really hasn’t been credible evidence that there was widespread tampering or cheating- just rumors here or there that somewhere, someone might have wanted to do something.

The situation is even more hypocritical when considered in context with the flow of the election cycle. When Trump said earlier that he would not accept the results of the election if he lost, most Americans considered it absolutely ludicrous, childish and selfish that someone who would have feasibly fairly lost an election would deny the results because they didn’t go his way.

So, what changed? It doesn’t really seem like much has, except that the tables have turned- the childish, ludicrous candidate is the one who ended up winning the election, and the general attitude of the American people has largely been to respond with the flawed logic, the self-centered individualism, and the denial of contradictory information that we all criticized Trump for. It is, for a lack of a better term, shameful that the American people would react to an election with “I didn’t like how that one turned out, so let’s keep counting until I get the results I want.”

To draw it back to the past a little bit, let’s look at the quagmire of the 2000 Bush-Gore election. The result of recount after recount was the same; Bush had won, albeit by an incredibly small margin. For people to call for an end to polarization only to screech on the sidelines that the wrong ballot was used, that people were misled, or even that Russians had hacked the electoral counting system seems hypocritical.

In such tumultuous times, if we disagree with Trump, the way to fight is not to repeatedly contest the results of the election; rather, it is to call on our elected officials to support or oppose decisions made by our new executive. It is not enough to protest the cycle once, then remove ourselves from it; we must consistently and repeatedly advocate for ourselves and others in order to form an effective response to our political system.