Karl MerrittThe opening line of the welcome to my website says, “After all my years of living, there are still some things I do not understand.” That is, I cannot make sense of, cannot reason my way to some conclusions reflected in the actions or words of others. The 2016 presidential election and follow-on are presenting me with a multitude of things I do not understand. Allow me to share one of these happenings that confound me.

Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. He won the Electoral College by a substantial margin (306 to 232). He did not win the popular vote. That edge went to Hillary Clinton by over 2 million votes. Secretary Clinton conceded the election to Trump. Her campaign said they had not found reason to suspect any irregularities in the voting process. The White House takes the same position. Then, at the last minute, Dr. Jill Stein, who ran as the Green Party candidate, calls for and gets a recount of votes in Wisconsin. By the time this column is published, she might have done the same in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Why would Stein call for these recounts? This question is especially relevant since she only received 33,006 votes in Wisconsin. An article by Erick Mack titled “Jill Stein Officially Funds, Files For Wisconsin Recount” reports, as follows, based on accounts in the Wall Street Journal:

‘“After a divisive and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts are causing many American to wonder if our election results are reliable,” Stein wrote in a statement Tuesday. “These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified. We deserve elections we can trust.”’ Stein added according to The Journal:” “’We are not attempting to overthrow Donald Trump, and I don’t expect that that will be the outcome.’”

In the third general election presidential debate, Trump was asked if he would accept the election results. His response was that he would make that decision when the election was concluded. Hillary Clinton and media types were outraged that Trump did not commit to accept the results. They lambasted him for days. Given the overwhelming negative media response to Trump’s refusal to commit to accept election results, I would expect the same media response in this case. Nothing ... media is quiet. Now word comes that the Clinton campaign organization will be represented in the Wisconsin and any other Stein-initiated recounts. 

A Newsmax article titled “Clinton Campaign Will Participate in Jill Stein’s State Recounts” attributes the following quotes to Clinton’s campaign lawyer, Mark Elias, from a post on the blogging website Medium.com:

“’We believe we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported,’” Elias said.

“‘We do so fully aware that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states — Michigan — well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount,’” Elias said. “‘But regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself.’”

“The Democrat’s campaign didn’t plan to initiate recounts on its own because it hasn’t found ‘any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology,’ Elias wrote.”

Jill Stein estimates the recounts will cost about $7 million. States must be reimbursed for their costs. Stein has made it clear any amount raised above required payments to states will go to Green Party efforts. 

Stein’s call for a recount in Wisconsin, along with Michigan and Pennsylvania, make no sense to me. Beyond making no sense, this episode shows a lack of reasoning and the possibility of a financial scam on the part of Jill Stein. Add to this the hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton and the media. As though all of this is not enough, media bias against Trump, and in favor of Clinton, shows through again in this situation.

This is just one example of what I cannot make sense of regarding the 2016 presidential election and follow-on events. It troubles me, drains me, that there is a long listing of similar “makes no sense” situations. Pick one: (1) Protests, even violent protests, opposing the election of Trump with no clear aim that simply divide America even more than was already the case; (2)Mayors who are defying Donald Trump in his intention to end sanctuary cities, which means they refuse to cooperate with federal authorities regarding immigration matters.  On and on the list goes. 

Not being able to make sense of these kinds of happenings wears heavily on me, but I recently saw a glimmer of hope. Myron Pitts, a columnist for the Fayetteville Observer, makes no secret about not being a Trump supporter. However, in a column titled “Myron B. Pitts: It’s time to focus on what really matters,” Pitts talks about his routine after an election and then about his son crawling into bed with him and his wife early Wednesday morning after Pitts had processed Tuesday’s election. After describing how his son complicates the sleep process, Pitts says he was happy to see his son Wednesday morning and writes:

“I’m about giving a president a chance to show me whether he knows what he’s doing. That extends to President-elect Trump. You would have to be short-sighted to want the leader to fail of the country in which you are living. As I mentioned, I have a family - which includes a little girl, Helen Ann, and a kitty-cat, Gus. I want my children to be safe and have opportunities, and I think that makes me about like 99 percent of parents out there, at least among the ones who are trying.”

In his column, Myron Pitts puts forth the thought process that Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton, Clinton surrogates, media, and all who seem willing to jeopardize the future of America because of their opposition to President-elect Trump should take on. My struggle to understand much of what is happening in our country is draining, but I see hope not only in Pitts’ column but in the course being pursued by Donald Trump. 

God, save and bless America.

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