Opinion

Recounts, ‘rigged’ rumors just a sign of a bunch of sore winners and sore losers

In this Nov. 9, 2016, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in New York, where she conceded her defeat to Republican Donald Trump after the hard-fought presidential election. A group of election lawyers and data experts have asked Clinton’s campaign to call for a recount of the vote totals in three battleground states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, in order to ensure that a cyberattack was not committed to manipulate the totals.
In this Nov. 9, 2016, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in New York, where she conceded her defeat to Republican Donald Trump after the hard-fought presidential election. A group of election lawyers and data experts have asked Clinton’s campaign to call for a recount of the vote totals in three battleground states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, in order to ensure that a cyberattack was not committed to manipulate the totals. AP

OK, let me get this straight.

Presidential candidates Jill Stein and Hillary Clinton now are interested in recounting votes in an election in which Stein never had a prayer, and in which Clinton earlier conceded. Correct? The premise is that foreign hackers may have caused election mischief in places like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, influencing the outcome.

Now, just how and why the hackers got this done — and why they didn’t arrange for President-elect Donald Trump to also win the national popular vote — is a mystery to me, and maybe to you. The Stein campaign must have some money to pay for this probe, and certainly Clinton does. Oh, and, there is this: Clinton doesn’t expect a recount to change the outcome, but what heck, let’s proceed.

Doesn’t it strike you as odd that this action, which is entirely legal, is coming several weeks after the Nov. 8 election — and that Clinton is acting Trump-like in stirring this debate with a sore-loser spoon?

Wasn’t it Clinton who said on Nov. 9: “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead”? Wasn’t it Clinton who insisted during the debates and the latter weeks of the campaign that Trump state unequivocally that he would accept the outcome of the election — no matter what?

This is a dangerous fishing expedition in which Trump, who has no restraint, already has taken the bogus bait — the hook, line and sinker. Rather than stand on principle and the accepted ground rules of the Electoral College that have shaped elections for two centuries and which will make him president, Trump resumes the fight with his own shadow. The president-elect has decided to engage with emotion –– sans facts –– about losing the popular vote, charging that millions of people voted illegally, thus resulting in the apparent discrepancy of his loss to Clinton by 2 million votes, give or take a hundred thousand.

So, there we have it, America. A sore winner and sore losers unable to move on with their lives and duties to we, the people, because of what?

Because of conduct unbecoming to people in whom we placed our votes and sacred trust.

I have long predicted 2016 would produce a transitional president, a one-term-and-done occupant of the White House elected as the result of something akin to a national backlash that often resembled a tantrum. Though I thought that would play itself out over the next four years and lead to a correction in the 2020 presidential election, I am getting concerned it may come sooner under the suspicion and clouds of doubt that the power brokers are dangerously peddling right now.

Just because a recount is legal, and just because president-elects have an option to lash out with ridiculous and unfounded opinions on social media — that doesn’t make any of this right.

If this election was hacked and millions cast their votes illegally across the nation — a dual premise that has absolutely no evidence to support it to date — the only unthinkable alternative is that we do it over again. Though that might be good for Clinton and her supporters, it would be awful for the nation and send us into a constitutional crisis from which we may never fully recover.

With any luck this unnecessary exercise in desperate politics fueled by election lawyers and data dweebs –– involving both parties and people who should know better –– will be over about the same time the darkness of December loses its grip to daylight on the other side of the winter solstice.

Robert Ehlert: 208-377-6437, @IDS_HelloIdaho

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