Just when you’ve given up all hope – just when you’re getting used to the idea of having a President Trump in your life – that little devil sitting on your left shoulder pokes you in the head and says, “Hey stupid, what about the polls?”
I may be too simple for this upcoming Age of Trump, but nagging questions remain about why and how the polls could possibly be so wrong? Polls that showed Mrs. Clinton capturing a significant majority of the electoral college.
If you believed the polls, Trump was going to lose. Now we’re supposed to believe that all those polls simply got it wrong? It’s happened before.
No matter what they say, “they” being anyone who wants to win an argument disputed by polling, the polls are generally not this wrong. Except when the Republicans are trying to win the White House, as in the case of John Kerry, and now Hillary Clinton. I spent nearly seven years inside the Los Angeles Times, marveling at how accurate their polling division was under the direction of Susan Pinkus. The polls, generally, are more right than wrong, and almost never this wrong. Therefore, it is probably not unexpected to find some very heavy-duty election watchers urging a recount in some battleground states where Clinton was expected to win.
According to a piece in The Guardian, Dr. Barbara Simons, an adviser to the US election assistance commission and expert on electronic voting is among those calling for a recount. “We need to have post-election ballot audits” she says.
The article goes on to point out that, “A second group of analysts, led by the National Voting Rights Institute founder John Bonifaz and Professor Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan’s center for computer security and society, is also taking part in the push for a review, and has been in contact with Simons.”
There are bound to be questions when polling indicated a different result, particularly with intelligence agencies warning of Russian hackers with more than a passing interest in the outcome of the election as Donald Trump heaped praise on the governing style of Vladimir Putin.
This is all very troubling to me, but then I’m a pretty simple guy. So simple that I can’t fathom how the electoral college is expected to tilt in favor of Donald Trump when Hillary Clinton is expected to win the popular vote, possibly by as many at two-million votes. How does that work? Too complicated for me, because, by my simple way of thinking, if the electors are bound by law to represent the popular vote in their states, then it doesn’t work at all. Which is entirely possible – that it doesn’t work at all and should be abolished, but even then, how could the polls all be so wrong?
Lastly, but by no means least, comes the question of Donald Trump’s view that he is immune from any conflict of interest. Isn’t that just great? No blind trust necessary here, just trust in the Donald. “Trust me,” he says. “Trust me to do the right thing,” even though he is refusing to put his numerous international business interests in a blind trust. Even though he refused to release a full accounting of his tax records. Even though he is backpedaling on campaign promises to his ultra-right base even before being sworn in. Do you trust this guy? Seriously?
What if he decides to simply ignore the press, holding one news conference a year as his hero Vladimir Putin does? What if he decides he can simply rule by decree, and does so, unless there is tremendous pushback from …..where? From his Republican colleagues in the congress? A legal scholar on MSNBC this morning suggested that the conflict of interest question needs to be settled before the electoral college casts its ballots on December 19th. It would appear there are other questions as well, such as, did we elect a new president or anoint a king? His m-o in private life appears to have been to do whatever he wanted, whatever was in his best interest and then letting the courts sort out any disputes. Can you afford to take a billionaire to court? Can we afford to have this kind of legal mindset in the White House? Beyond that, there is a very real question of whether the election could have been rigged by the Russians, and whether voter suppression by the Republicans again might have been a factor, as it clearly was with Al Gore in 2000, and maybe again with John Kerry, four years later.
To what degree were voter roles “purged” by Republicans in how many states in an effort to limit the Black vote in 2016? How many electronic voting systems were possibly hacked by the Russians seeking a victory for Donald Trump? Does anyone even know? What exactly do the Russians expect to gain from a Trump Presidency? Will there be an investigation or are the American people expected to just let it all slide……again?
With all these questions, is it unreasonable to expect at recount in some battleground states, and barring that, if a recount is blocked by Republicans in the House, Senate and state legislatures, or by the Supreme Court as it was in 2000 by a Republican-backed majority on the Court, is it wrong to demand that the electoral college votes to reflect the popular vote, rescuing the nation from a Trump presidency? Or is all this just too simple, for our oh-so complicated electoral process?
I’m fairly sure it is, but then I’m just a simple guy who would like these issues of legality and fair play to be ironed out before another Republican who lost the popular vote is again sworn in as President of the United States, leaving the nation and the world with a terrible taste of electoral corruption as the broadcast media proceeds as though this Trumpist reality show is normal.