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The US Election Recount Is a Long Shot – But the Alternative Is Catastrophe


The US Election Recount Is a Long Shot – But the Alternative Is Catastrophe

Rebecca Solnit

When big changes and dangers arise, you have to think big. You don’t put out a forest fire with a glass of water. Thinking small can prevent you from even recognizing trouble, let alone your options for overcoming it. There’s never been a time when thinking big matters more than now. Many across the United States are now trying to figure out how to survive Trump, but it may still be possible to stop him. His regime is not yet inevitable.


Still pushing the Russian-hacking conspiracy theory? This recount will not address election integrity. It is a desperate scam to flip the election to Clinton, who would be equally as dangerous as Trump.


The massive investment in electronic voting machines has been a wet dream for abusive oligarchic designs. I like Bernie Sander's response: They are exercising their right to recounts AND we need to return to paper ballots.
By the same token - the barbaric practices of the Clinton campaign laid bare for all to see what has been going on for far too long. To steal a comic take on it: Their karma ran over their dogma.


I'm all for the recount, best stated by Jill Stein.

That's step one - find out, if possible, if the election process was tampered with.

And I do agree with the part of this article which articulates 'non-obedience', if I may phrase it so.

Trump is in my own view a monster - there is no ground for compromise - no 'dealing' with this man.

The neo-conservative medieval take on science must be utterly destroyed.

Unscientific America must grow up.

I'll say it again - throwing the neo-liberals out was a giant step.

Now a bigger challenge needs to be met.

Endless war as a strategy must end - and those who have perpetrated this nightmare on the world removed from position, power and influence.

The survival of the human race is at stake. This assertion will be laughed at by many, most - again - unscientific America must get with the program.

Chances of this happening - vanishingly small.

"Optimism is true moral courage"
- Sir Ernest Shackleton, Polar explorer


Most people haven't figured out that a wolf in sheeps clothing is even worse than wolf in wolf's clothing http://charleseisenstein.net/hategriefandanewstory/


Post-truth, this year's new dictionary word, is quite an interesting and popular subject. It goes deep and relates to the human animal defined. Scientific inquiry, to my knowledge, has avoided seeing the human as an animal that is quite easily manipulated. Do not be disappointed with ordinary people and not also examine the awesome reality of a wondrous being Cosmos took 14 billion years to develop.

Yes, there are individuals awarded doctorate degrees who study marketing and advertising as well as psychological warfare. Even so; these realms of study concentrate on results and methods employed to reach those results. Such result oriented expertise is actually quite far from science as a vehicle for philosophical understanding. Reproduction of a result with controlled inputs sans morality or ecological perspective is capitalism, not science.

Let's start with the moment during early big bang when quarks began to precipitate out of primordial plasma and whiz bang join into beginnings of more and more complex particles — Evolving 14 billion eventful years later into humans. There are ranges of explanation for this. They stretch from loving attraction to ideas of increasing possibilities creating an accelerating cascade. The exact details of how we came to share humanity with each other are open for study. The salient truth is we are somehow cosmic powered biology able to view and appreciate Cosmos together across the scales of time, size and interactions creating new evolutionary possibilities at an accelerating rate.

Now we are attempting to understand the dismaying appearance of a post-truth age. Where does it come from? How does it exist?

Start with the general human case. A playful animal born into the wonderful gift of life. Humans, not too different than other playful young creatures, soon grow to discover the opposite sex, start families and launch careers with additional expanding responsibilities. All but a very few humans remain enamored and completely absorbed by the gift of a blossoming life.

A vanishingly small percentage of humans are afflicted with insatiable want. For these poor souls, each new possession or conquest is like a fix from heroine that temporarily holds withdrawal pains at bay. Until the next fix.

Individuals afflicted with insatiable want live in raw terror that someone will come from behind and surpass them. They wear fine cloths and project themselves as responsible leaders of government, military, university and industry. The truth is that such leaders are mostly pirates willing to do anything to anybody and Earth to get more before someone else beats them to it.

The problem for post-truth political leaders is that evolution is accelerating along with everything but their stagnating infinite growth world economy.

Science reasons the human economy is a giant thermodynamic system on a solar budget and that the current world economy requires 1.5 Earths. If everyone lived like the US, the world economy would require almost five Earths for replenishment of aquifers, forests, fish stocks, erosion and pollution recycling.

Truth? There are 420 unique mostly known or suspected carcinogenic chemicals persistent or constantly flowing through each American body. The north pole is way above normal temperature.

Post truth is not speaking about eternal war or historical evidence that that policy causes national collapse; 100%, no exceptions. Unending war is an extreme symptom of insatiable want expressed via destruction of weaker but fearfully imagined potential rivals. Insatiably want is an affliction.

Scientific curiosity about avoiding ecological collapse directs information-age attention to distributed human intelligence. Some say each human brain stores a number of petabytes similar to the entire www. Gossip and science are the biological internet.

What, then is the tool that can focus distributed human intelligence? Especially an intelligence that is now, apparently for fun, playing poker with opinion polls? There is such a tool; information-age autonomous democracy. It cannot see or be seen like the Hubble telescope etc, yet construction of an autonomous democracy experiment is equally grand.

Additionally, we are here after 14 billion years and specie survival is at stake.

Sources listed at http://www.zerowastenews.org


In Oregon we vote by mail, using a simple paper ballot.

Our statewide turnout for the 2016 election was 81.67%, compared to the national average of just under 56%.

There are very doable options available.


I think the recount will not show any major problems with hacking. The electronic machines used in Pennsylvania are not connected to the Internet. Should it turn out there was evidence of hacking that would be big. The outcome of the election of was painful to many of us but we have to accept the fact that many of our fellow Americans are willing to vote for a fascist, pathological liar, racist, con artist, with little knowledge of the most important government issues and who has business ties to foreign governments and will not reveal his tax returns. This is the man many of our neighbors voted for. I think it shows a more clear picture of what America is today. Not a pretty picture from my perspective but it is a country with a wide variety of views on what direction to take.


Quite frankly the more these pundits harp on "possible Russian ties to trump" the stupider they look.

First and foremost even if Russians behind the leaks of from WIKI (which they were not) what difference does it make to the truth? Ms Solnit is absent of any integrity when she implies that the information leaked is not material to the character of Ms Clinton and the corruption of the DNC. Again this like Rumsfeld blaming cameras for the torture at Abu Ghraib. What IF those pictures not taken? in Ms Solnits mind torture would not have occurred.

Added to that here is another what if. If the recount does not change the election, Trump is still President. What then Ms Solnit? Nothing is solved.

Lastly there a heck of a lot more evidence of fraud and corruption in the Democratic primaries where the DNC colluded to marginalize Sanders. Here is another what if..."What if Sanders had been selected over Clinton....?". I suggest there would be no worries about what Trump will do as president.

I do not remember Ms Solnit calling for an investigation and recount in those primaries. In fact she called on people to get on board with Ms Clinton.

Here is some what ifs that the people in the United States of America can work towards.

What if all elections run under one standard with paper ballots counted by an election commission comprised of all political parties rather then Corporations?

What if all Political parties were given equal air time with the Media rather then focusing on the two establishment parties?

What if all spending on Political campaigns was publicly funded with severe penalties for those that tried to cheat the system and use Superpacs and millionaires riches for the same?

What if the people could involve themselves in major policy decisions via forms of direct democracy so that they could have a say on things like national health care or war with Russia.

Trump will be a catastrophe. Clinton would have been a catastrophe. In order to prevent such catastrophes in the future systemic reform is needed, not a recount in three states in an attempt to exchange one catastophre for another.

the reality is this. Any system that would offer up only Trump or Clinton as choices to lead a Country is a lousy and rotten system. It has nothing to do with Russia. Barack Obama recently extended the war on terror to Somalia. he used the AUMF which was passed in 2001 to justify that war. That AUMF authorized the use of force to be used against any groups that offered support to those that were said to have committed the attacks on 9/11. The group Mr Obama uses to justify this extended war did not even exist then. These are the kind of bull shit leaders the people of the world have to deal with when it comes to the United States of America as the worlds one "indispensible nation". I think it high time the people that write these sort of articles realize that there systemic corruption and at the end of the day it that system that offers up these catastrophes.


A nation that currently rates Saint Ronny higher than they did when he was POTUS and will soon repeat that behavior when Obama hops on the speaking circuit gravy train has a long way to go to attain anything resembling a democracy.


Fact: Jill Stein has raised more money for a recount than she did for her presidential run.

Why is Stein carrying water for the Clintons? Does this not seem suspect. This spells trouble for the Green Party who now appears to be in bed with the Democrats and/or Clintons.


I could not agree more. It's time for a uniform (across states) mail in ballot that supports ranked choice voting. I do absentee every election in California and when I hear about 1, 2, or 3 hour lines I get so annoyed. No way could the voter intimidation by a spouse issue be as bad as what we have with too many precincts.


To Garret_Connely:

That surprised me !

Your post & reply - especially the reply.

It is hard to gain perspective from inside a paradigm - so I did what I could to leave the civilized world - I climbed mountains full-time for seven years after leaving the oil patch.

Best thing I'd ever done, exceeded only when I met a young woman, a climber also - our son just turned twelve !

I think nature the only sounding board worth more than ten cents.

Science is a distant second, as scientists at least study nature.

But the real McCoy is being there, day after day, experiencing the seasons come and go - becoming a part of it all.

This is why some white men 'went Indian', why even those 'savages' who were absorbed into white society often went back to their 'savage' ways.

Why the native Americans considered themselves, and many still do, infinitely superior to their civilized overseers, despite the power and control dichotomy.

And as I consider myself a 'neo-savage', i.e., a recovering 'civilized', I agree.

I like your initial thought - to not be too disappointed with my fellow human beings.

I would be happy to let each person have their own way - to experience life as they see fit, were not my son's future not in jeopardy because of their stupendous ignorance and facile drives.

But since the world now proverbially hangs in the balance, unless you happen to be an insect, jellyfish or microbe - I cannot stand aside.

'They' won't let me.

Fair enough.

I'll be in everybody's face until this thing is settled, one way or the other.

If all that is left is to fight - I'll fight.


Russia! Russia! Russia! By all means, recount, but please stop demonizing Russia without substantive proof. It's almost, well, "Clintonion". And, of course, the U.S. has never interfered in the elections or internal affairs of sovereign nations, ever!


Suspect in what way? Do you think someone has bribed somebody? The simpler explanation is that Jill Stein and the Greens care about how we run our elections and fight for the issues that matter to progressives more than democrats do.


Wisconsin has raised the cost of the recount to $3.5 million from $1.1 million. The recount effort (DFA and MoveOn among others are helping with fundraising) is also having to sue to force the process to be done by hand.


I keep thinking about how during the 3rd debate, the moderator asked Trump & Hillary if they would accept the results of the election, & Hillary jumped up & said yes like she was trained Jack Russell Terrier. Meanwhile, Trump refused to say.

Immediately the MSM in lockstep jumped on Trump's refusal to play along...that was the official story for a day.

Knowing that all politics is a conspiracy, I look back on that moment with suspicion. Trump supporters thought they were setting up Donald, but in reality...was Hillary being set up?

The consensus has so far been that Trump represents a giant mistake on the part of The Establishment.

But maybe he isn't. Maybe the plan was for Hillary to be the Mitt Romney of 2016. That scenario would explain why the Dems picked the absolute worst possible candidate.

Goes to show you never can tell.


Anyone who would think that Dr Stein and the Green Party would "carry water for the Clintons" didn't hear a word of the truth she and Ajamu Baraka told about HRC during the campaign. Any serious look at how the Democrats have used unethical and illegal means to sabotage the Green Party and our ballot access efforts FOR DECADES--not to mention colluding with the other wing of the Duopolist Party to keep us out of the debates FOR DECADES--should convince any intelligent person that this idea is totally absurd. People spreading this type of BS are just joining the corporate-imperialists in trying to make us Greens shut up and go away--which we will not do!


Sorry for the double post, but this is too important to let slide: Anyone who would think that Dr Stein and the Green Party would "carry water for the Clintons" didn't hear a word of the truth she and Ajamu Baraka told about HRC during the campaign. Any serious look at how the Democrats have used unethical and illegal means to sabotage the Green Party and our ballot access efforts FOR DECADES--not to mention colluding with the other wing of the Duopolist Party to keep us out of the debates FOR DECADES--should convince any intelligent person that this idea is totally absurd. People spreading this type of BS are just joining the corporate-imperialists in trying to make us Greens shut up and go away--which we will not do!


This article actually asks the American people to do regime change in the United States, which goes to show that Hannah Arendt was right about the nexus between imperialism abroad and the suppressive, undemocratic effects at home. Also to be noted is that what has been called “regime change” is often an article of faith among the neocons - Hillary’s best friends.

When Americans kept quiet and even assented to regime change abroad, they never thought it could happen to their own country as well.