Political discussion in this country seems to have somewhat more in common with trash talk among sports fans than it does with any form of constructive dialogue.
OK. Now that I’ve practiced understatement, let’s look at the current state of political talk. I had hopes that I might find my Facebook feed more palatable after the election. No, not so much. I really enjoy carefully thought out pieces written by people I disagree with. I can’t stand trash talk, even by people I agree with, perhaps especially by people I agree with.
And so goes talk of fraud in the election. While voter fraud is vanishingly rare in this country, there will always be reports of suspicious activity, and almost any anomaly produces some sort of complaint. Back in my college years I served as poll watcher in a couple of elections. The slightest perception that we weren’t being treated with due honor would morph in our minds into a sinister intent to mess up the vote in our precinct.
All parties do this and all parties criticize other parties. It is in the nature of something as complex as a U. S. federal election that there will be allegations of fraud. Of course, the president-elect has managed to carry this to new heights in a tweet claiming that there were “… millions of people who vote illegally,” and this in an election he won!
I think I agree largely with Nate Silver in his article, Why I Suppport an Election Recount even though It’s Unlikely to Change the Outcome. As he points out, it is statistically incredibly unlikely that a recount will change the results. Those who think this might somehow produce a Clinton win are probably smoking something that’s only legal in Washington and Colorado (bless their hearts!). At the same time, in an age of electronic voting and hacking, I think it would be worthwhile to have an audit of our security procedures, not to change this election, but to make good security plans for the future.
But hypocrisy will reign, as those who threatened not to accept the election results if they lost criticize others for questioning them in any way, and those who criticized them advocate recounts.
Scripts are exchanged. Life goes on. Truth is the victim.