Viewpoint: The Narcissistic Narrative of Recounts


Politicus USA

Noah Finco, Staff Reporter

As soon as the American public felt as if it were finally free of the 2016 Presidential race, the candidates manage to thrust it into the spotlight once more.

A campaign for a recount in the key battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania is being led by failed Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein. Stein has raised over $7 million for the recounts, nearly doubling what she raised for her actual presidential campaign.

The recount has no chance for changing anything for Stein as she only netted 2% of the popular vote in these states. She cites unfounded claims of “cyber fraud” with our voting system as her reason for calling the recount to “preserve the integrity of the democratic process.” Her real reason for calling the recount is simply to gain attention. After all, Stein’s entire campaign was about getting as large of the share of the limelight as she could since she knowingly had no chance at the Oval Office.

The Clinton campaign, despite not finding any evidence of voter fraud via hacking, has stated that they are backing the recounting efforts. Clinton does however, currently lead in the popular vote by over 2 million votes.

The fact of the matter is that there is only one number that matters, 270. Trump’s current electoral count in 306 and Clinton is at 232. Clinton is behind in Michigan by about 11,000 votes, 25,000 in Wisconsin and 70,000 in Pennsylvania. Clinton still requires 38 electoral votes to secure the presidency which would require her to somehow win all three states. Needless to say, the entire operation is a massive waste of time and nearly $7 million.

During all of this, all that President-Elect Trump had to do was sit back and let the chaos unfold and appear presidential. He did appear that way for a time, until he turned to Twitter. Trump claimed that he not only won the electoral vote but also the popular vote if you “deduct the millions of people who voted illegally”. An assertion that he has absolutely no evidence to support.

This drama over the recount is the perfect narrative for the lunacy that is American politics. Even after the votes are counted, somehow all sides are jostling for position in the spotlight. It’s no secret that to run for president you have to be somewhat of a narcissist. But 2016 has brought that to a new level as we were given the choice between the two most disliked candidates ever.

It is too much to ask for a humble victor and loser? Apparently so, because instead we get a candidate who cannot accept the truth and a president elect who constructs his own in order to appear better than the other.

Quite frankly, this presidential race and resulting recount worries me for future elections. Is every election going to feel like choosing the lesser of two evils or will this election spur a new generation of leaders who we can feel are representative of the majority? I hope for the latter but I worry that the former is true.

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