Recently, publications such as The New York Times have reported on Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s efforts to hold vote recounts in key swing states. In an effort to investigate the fairness of this past election, Stein is specifically looking at possible cases of vote tampering in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, states that are usually seen as Democratic, but have a high vulnerability to Republican influence should white voters over 50 years old turn out, according to POTUS 2016, a website that offers facts on candidates and their policies. Although both President-elect Donald Trump and other members of the Grand Old Party are now accusing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton of being hypocritical, she has every right to double check the results of an election that she conceded in.
Trump and other Republicans may have had a right to criticize Clinton if she was leading the measure, but as it stands, Clinton and her staff are reticent regarding their opinion on the investigation. It’s no wonder; it is unlikely to change how the election turned out and Clinton is most likely tired of having to drag the process on any longer than she needs to. She, like most of America, is tired of the 2016 Election and the ugly, contentious nature of how it unfolded. To top it off, her loss was one that came after her more than 40 years of public service and experience to a man with nothing resembling that, which must be extremely painful. Nonetheless, she conceded with grace and dignity, but enduring the campaign and the result must have taken an emotional toll on her. Given the small chance of the investigation changing the results of the election, it’s no surprise that Clinton is reluctant to delve back into the controversy.
Even if she wasn’t hesitant in pursuing the aforementioned course of action, she still has every right to support a recount. She conceded in the election before it was even finished, bowing out gracefully to a man who now holds a position that he does not respect or understand. Trump is a man who was unwilling to accept the results unless he was the victor and who treated the United States’ democracy like one of his reality shows when he said in the third debate he was going to “keep [us] in suspense.” If he hadn’t won, there is a real possibility that he could have prevented a peaceful transfer of power, which shows the little respect that he has for the office that he holds.
What sticks out to me the most is that since Trump’s threat to not accept the election results was just one on a list of ridiculous comments that he has made in the past year, it was treated as such. Meanwhile Clinton, who acknowledged her loss and never stooped to Trump’s level of absurdity, hesitantly chose to go along with someone else’s choice to recount votes in three states to make sure that our voting system isn’t fraudulent. Doing so is apparently a flaw and a sign of hypocrisy in comparison to a man who was prepared to go against the laws that our country was founded on. Maybe it’s because she’s a woman or maybe it’s because Trump’s now in an elevated position of power, but whatever the case is, the fact that Clinton was continually vilified for making choices that wouldn’t cause a blip on the radar if she were a man is infuriating. She should be able to exercise her rights without attacks on her character, especially since the man about to assume office is, according to the New York Magazine and CNN respectively, accused of sexual assault and just settled a tax fraud suit for $25 million.
Clinton should be allowed to show interest in a recount without criticism and the latest judgment on her character, along with all the scrutiny that she was under during the entirety of the campaign, are clear signifiers of the double standard that she and women everywhere are held to. Even if she wasn’t a woman, making a controversy out her small part in the recent investigation into a fair voting process, after everything that Trump did and continues to do that disrespects democracy, is outrageous. Clinton, her decisions and our voting process deserve respect, all of which were never acknowledged in such a way by Trump. Stein should also be applauded for her efforts, as she is trying to make sure that our voting process was conducted in an honest manner.