I get that President-elect Donald Trump is not the candidate many people wanted to see come out on top in the 2016 race, but the country’s political leaders need to stop promoting distrust of the man being inaugurated in January.
Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has recently been on a fundraising campaign to request a recount of votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. This campaign comes just as a group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers are asking Hillary Clinton’s campaign to request a recount due to the possibility of hacking in these same states.
These recount appeals are a response to the discovery of possibly coincidental differences in election results between Wisconsin counties that used electronic voting machines and counties that used paper ballots. Apparently, this recount is purely an attempt to check the integrity of the U.S. voting system.
Now, I’m all for making sure elections in this country are honest, and I get that Trump only won by a small margin: 0.2 percent in Pennsylvania, 0.8 percent in Wisconsin and 0.2 percent in Michigan. A few votes going for Clinton instead of Trump could have made a, in the words of the president-elect, “YUGE” difference in this election.
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But the fact of the matter is, having people with as big of a name as Stein running around shouting cries of a rigged election can do nothing more but add fuel to the already roaring fire of overall mistrust in the man who is currently next in line to take over the oval office — especially, when this suspicion is based in something no more substantial than a guess.
Think back to the protests have occurred in the wake of Trump’s victory in early November. Granted, I was not able to attend any of these protests, but I highly doubt the crowds were chanting “we trust Trump enough to give him a shot.”
Nope. Instead, like most protests, these gatherings were rooted in an overwhelming, but not necessarily misplaced, distrust that Trump would not act in a way to benefit all people as the future president of the United States.
So having prominent political figures leading the charge in a petition for a recount can really only promote this overall distrust and unrest in Trump’s leadership, and we really don’t need four years of anti-Trump protests.
Sure, there are plenty of reasons for the public to have mixed feelings about Trump being elected as the next president of the country. But the last thing we need right now is fuel the already burning fire of mistrust.
To be honest, Trump really hasn’t done anything wrong since being elected president. So why not give him a chance to succeed instead of undermining his leadership before he has even reached the oval office?
So go ahead Stein. Keep your tabs on the integrity of the U.S. election system. But at the end of the day, the president-elect needs at the very least the respect of the public in order to succeed and continuing to call fraud on his election victory won’t help anyone.
Phil Michaelson ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in biomedical engineering.