By Jerry Alatalo
“In a democracy dissent is an act of faith.”
– J. WILLIAM FULBRIGHT (1905-1995) American senator
he Green Party’s candidates for President and Vice-President, Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, have taken steps calling for recounts of the 2016 vote in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Given their request includes a “paper trail” to verify the vote counts were accurate and that electronic voting machines in their current technology configurations make that likely impossible, recounts should make what has been highly disturbing for the few who’ve looked into problems associated with electronic voting universally known.
While Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are among those who have apparently settled on the legitimacy of the 2016 election, not acted by questioning the accuracy of vote totals and/or requesting recounts, and look forward, despite disappointment, to a “smooth transition of power” – big questions will become answered, concerns will become addressed, for good or bad in the three states specified.
Supporters of Stein|Baraka had their hopes dashed by results showing them receiving just 1% of the national vote – far short of the desired 5% goal Green Party organizers worked toward – and left many wondering whether there was some form of vote corruption or illegality occurring to lower final Green totals. Given that election 2016 took place during a time when “anti-establishment” sentiments were at the highest ever in America and around the Earth, and that the Green Party’s platform proposals clearly represented the most “anti-establishment” variety of all those in the race, the final results seem in the eyes of many difficult to reconcile.
During the campaign Dr. Stein and Mr. Baraka stated on numerous occasions that they wouldn’t “sleep well at night” if either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton were to become President; recounts in the three (3) states will not result in Green Party candidates winning the White House, so the primary impetus behind the action is more fundamentally in defense of democracy – to (finally) expose defects existing in the U.S. election system, viewed by experts as the worst in the developed world, and the need for long-overdue reform(s).
Some will view the act of calling for recounts as “sour grapes” after the Green Party candidates’ poor showing in the election, or perhaps as an attempt to reverse the election in favor of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine over Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Various responses and perceptions of motivations related to the recount action aside, it becomes difficult for any person moderately informed about the poor state of U.S. national elections to criticize efforts to improve the nation’s democratic process by identifying, acknowledging and then correcting as many problems and deficiencies as possible.
Protecting the will of “we, the people” through vigilance using checks and verification procedures commonly practiced in the accounting profession can only result in an ever-increasing potency and strength of democracy in America. Certainly, actions leading to such a result will receive nothing but the strongest support of current President Barack Obama, President-elect Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Bernie Sanders, their supporters, and all those who believe in democracy.
Knowing their fellow Americans have genuine concerns about protecting the democratic process, willing to act in its defense against manipulation or corruption, and intent upon making their election system the best possible, should rationally become perceived by citizens as completely positive. During Thanksgiving Day celebrations across the United States, people now have another good reason to give thanks.
(Thank you to RT America at YouTube)