The Wisconsin recount has wrapped up, and not only did Donald Trump remain the winner of the state, but the president-elect actually increased his net margin of victory by 162 votes. He had initially won the election in the Badger state by over 22,000 votes, showing just how misguided the costly stab-in-the-dark was all along.
The recount was spearheaded by Green Party nominee Jill Stein, and was based on speculation by data scientists that Trump’s victories in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan may have been due to hacking or manipulating of the results. Stein has raised $7.3 million for the recount according to her website, after raising only $3.5 million for her presidential campaign. The recount attempts in Michigan and Pennsylvania have been halted by the courts in those states.
From the beginning, this effort was always wishful thinking by people who were in denial after being blindsided by Trump’s victory. Political fundraising is always to a certain degree about riling people up to get them to donate, but this whole ordeal was a disingenuous way for Stein to raise her own political profile at the expense of undermining our democracy’s legitimacy. And at the literal expense of those who were convinced to donate to Stein’s crusade.
And it’s absolutely a problem that Russia orchestrated hacks to influence our election, no matter what Trump says. But there’s an important distinction being missed between the “hacking of DNC e-mails” and “hacking the election results”. There’s just no evidence to suggest that Trump’s electoral college victory should be overturned.
The fact that Trump actually gained net votes in the recount in Wisconsin shows just how ill-founded it was. It’s time for progressives to come to grips with the reality that Donald Trump is going to be the president, and use their resources to combat the parts of Trump’s agenda they disagree with instead of attempting to delegitimize his presidency altogether.