Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein wants a recount of the presidential election in a handful of states that Donald Trump narrowly won. Hillary Clinton has decided to go along with Stein’s recount.
Amazingly, Donald Trump, who won the presidential election, is also complaining about the results. He believes he is the real winner of the popular vote. His evidence for this claim is an article posted on Alex Jones’s InfoWars that alleges 3 million illegal immigrants voted, most of them presumably for Clinton. Currently, Clinton leads the popular vote by 2 million ballots.
None of these three candidates have presented any evidence of fraud or any irregularities in voting or counting. So why are we being subjected to this farce of a recount, especially when it is highly unlikely the results will be overturned? Because it suits the interests of all three sides to have a recount and put the results of the election in doubt.
Jill Stein wants a recount because she’s raising lots of money off of it, almost double what she raised running for president, at time of writing. Stein is also quick to point out that she may not spend the money on anything to do with the recount. It’s a classic bait and switch of anti-Trump donors, an opportunity for her to load up her campaign coffers and build her email list for a future campaign.
Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are fine with this recount because they want to delegitimize Donald Trump’s win. In fact, this is the third Republican presidential victory in a row they have sought to delegitimize. In 2000, the line was that George W. Bush was “selected, not elected” by the Supreme Court. In 2004, Democrats claimed Bush rigged the vote in Ohio. Now, they’re trying to cast doubt on Trump’s election win. Democrats want to keep their base angry for the next four years, plus, let’s face it, they truly cannot acknowledge defeat. That would force them to confront the fact that their views are not universally popular among Americans and they cannot abide that.
Donald Trump wants to cast doubt on his popular vote loss because he and his supporters want to believe that they really are the “silent majority” instead of just a well-motivated plurality of the electorate. Trump also wants to push back against the attempts to delegitimize his presidency by Democrats. And, of course, Trump himself can’t stand the fact that he lost the popular vote to Clinton.
But as far as the Democrats, and possibly the Russians (given Jill Stein’s ties to them), are concerned, the damage will be done because the seeds of doubt will be planted underneath a Trump presidency. It may be Trump’s opponents who end up as the real victors in all this.