Many of us gave a few bucks -- not next month's rent check, a few bucks -- to Jill Stein's recount efforts. Why? Because we have no other alternatives to stop what we feel is an unfair election. The institutions we have trusted in the past have lost our trust, and let us down. In a little more than 24 hours, Stein's efforts raised $4.5 million from we the people. The voters.
In response to Stein's recount effort, there's been a whole lot of snide and condescending comments by members of the media and prognosticators. Quick trip down memory lane: a couple of weeks ago, almost all of you said Hillary was a sure thing. Take that in. With few exceptions, which no one took seriously, every media pundit and reporter and columnist had the election going for Hillary. The prognosticators, who we were supposed to trust, were without exception wrong too. If memory serves, here are the odds they gave Hillary of winning: Sam Wang (98 percent), Nate Cohn (84 percent), Nate Silver (70 percent). So you'll forgive us after you look down your noses at, and disparage we the people -- the people who en masse donated to Jill Stein's efforts over the past 24 hours -- when we say in return, we don't give a rat's ass what you think!
How can we trust that this election was fair? Starting with the allegations of Russian interference: the hacks into the DNC, the voting machines in Florida, and Hillary's campaign; the efforts to spread fake news; the conversations with Donald and Donald Jr. before the election (the media missed these pre-election). Oh, and someone may have bugged the DNC headquarters. Wonder who was behind that? The NSA chief said Russia hacked the election, but did so after the election, and did nothing about it. Then there's the FBI, which, while in contact with Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani, issued the Comey letter 11 days before the election, which seems a whole lot like a deliberate action to throw the election (it succeeded). The "damn emails" again FBI, but not a single public update or action on Russia's interference with our election? So you'll forgive us if we've lost our trust in institutions responsible for protecting we the people.
Then there's our media, which, with the exception of a handful of journalists, was essentially a moribund appendage of Trump Entertainment TV during the election. Admissions like, "It may not be good for America, but It's damn good for CBS," (Leslie Moonves), and "We wanted access and Donald Trump gave it to us," (Jeff Zucker) -- don't exactly inspire confidence from the American people! No, we get it: you're out to make a buck and boost ratings, not practice journalism. Almost none of the bombshells now coming out each and every day about Trump, were reported before we voted -- so, you'll forgive us if we've stopped watching and clicking, and increasingly find our news from people we trust on Facebook and Twitter.
I'll admit I was prodded a little by Rachel Maddow's show Wednesday night, but where I am coming out is this: regardless of the #Recount2016 results, I do not view Donald Trump as a legitimate president. There I said it. He has over 2,000,000 FEWER votes than Hillary from we the people. When all is counted, that number likely will be closer to 2,5000,000 fewer votes -- the biggest margin of loss since the unusual election after the Civil War in 1876. So no, he does not have a mandate. And after eight years of saying President Obama wasn't legitimate because of the color of his skin, I say to Donald Trump for all the reasons above, including your apparent collusion with Russia to get here, you do not have a mandate and you are not legitimate in my eyes, and I am hardly alone. You have unearthed and legitimized the worst in us -- the hate, the bullying, the violence, the fear -- you are not legitimate.
Pray for #Recount2016.
UPDATE: Yesterday, prognosticators Nate Silver and Nate Cohn came out in favor of the recount. Over the weekend, PEOTUS Donald Trump sent out 13 bizarre and factually incorrect tweets about the recount.
First published on Medium.