Do We Really Want To Know?

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Are you sure you’ve thought this through?

The recount?

Yes, the recount. What if it turns out Hillary won Wisconsin after all?  Or those other states.

Well, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? To find out who actually won and if there was some … shall we say … ‘interference’ going on.

Yes, but that’s the problem, isn’t it? Say we do find out there was some ‘interference’ going on, and say we found out that she won those states … that she won enough electoral votes to rightfully be the president-elect … then what would we do about it?

What do you mean … what would we do? She would be the next president, plain and simple. If it’s what we find, that she won not only the people’s vote … by a substantial margin, I might add … but the electoral vote as well, she’s won. Obviously. What’s the problem?

But you can imagine what his supporters would do, can’t you?

I imagine they would explode. I imagine they would scream and froth and threaten and bluster and rant. I’m sure many of them would take to the streets and protest, and I’m pretty sure quite a few of them would resort to violence. On the whole, they would continue to do what they’ve already been doing for years. And it won’t surprise me if they continue to do it for many more years, whether he remains the president-elect or not.

Then, is it worth it?

Is it worth it to have the president the American people actually voted in? Is that what you’re asking?

In light of how disruptive it would be to America, yes. I guess that’s the question I’m asking.

So since when did Americans get too timid to demand that democracy be upheld? Or that our democracy isn’t worth putting up with a little ‘disruption’ to achieve? Since when did Americans start deciding that the truth isn’t worth the effort it takes to find it and to be guided by it?

You know what I mean. After all, look how upset your side is because it appears he won. Think what the other side might do if it turns around and it appears she won. It could tear this country apart.

And once again, you’re suggesting, we’re the ones who … for the good of the country … are supposed to back off and let the other side have their way, even though a recount might demonstrate quite clearly their way is not what the majority has chosen. How is that good for the country?

What do you mean … “once again.”

Like, 16 years ago, remember?

So now, you don’t think it was the right thing to do, what Gore did. You think he should have fought it harder?

He did fight it harder. A lot harder than we have fought this to date. He took it as far as the Supreme Court, and when he lost there … unjustly, as we all know now … he conceded there was nothing else to be done. We haven’t gone nearly that far … yet. And we have a great many more reasons to fight than Gore did.

Why? What reasons?

Mounting evidence of vote miscounting, which could be proven or disproven by a hand count. Mounting evidence of an intrusion into the election process by a foreign … and hostile … interest, which, if true, will only get worse in coming elections unless we do something about it now. Not to mention the mounting evidence that the man about to take power is a threat to the freedom of the press, a threat to minority rights, a threat to the stability of the entire world. That he doesn’t have any intention of conducting an impartial and just administration. That, judging by the spectacularly incompetent people he is choosing for his cabinet, he intends to dismantle the entire government of the United States like a butchered hog and sell off the parts to the highest bidders. That he will be the destruction of everything that offers the middle-class a chance, from public education to organized labor to decent pay. From health care to social security to environmental protection to worker protection and consumer safety.

I ask you if this isn’t worth fighting for … and I mean tooth and nail … what the fuck is?

It’s sort of frightening, though … don’t you think? We’ve never seen anything like this before. We can’t predict how it might turn out.

We’d never seen anything like Hitler and fascism. Not before we did. We’d never seen people willing to destroy the union to preserve slavery. Or global communism. Or the Ku Klux Klan or DDT poisoning our planet. Or the fight for woman’s suffrage or the struggle for civil rights for all Americans. We’d never seen oppressive rule until the British got oppressive on us. We had never seen most of our history before it showed up. But it didn’t stop us from, eventually, looking those challenges in the eye and doing something about them.

And you’re right … we can’t predict how it might turn out. But since when did American’s have to know ahead of time how something might turn out, before we at least tried to do the right thing about it?

You must know, though, that even if it turns out she won, and even if you manage to put her in the White House instead of him, you will be throwing her into such a mess like we’ve never seen. The Republicans will make her existence miserable and continue to attack her for everything she is doing and ever has done. She will be reviled by the Trump voters and never accepted as the legitimate president by much of the country. It almost seems like it would be the cruelest thing we could do to her.

Can’t argue with that. All I can do is ask you … again … whether the truth is worth pursuing. And perhaps more importantly, whether we should stand by, doing nothing, and allow the government of the people, by the people and for the people to perish in this land.

Honestly, don’t you have a feeling that America may be done as the great country it has been? I mean, in so many ways, it doesn’t even feel like we’re one nation anymore. I don’t know what we are anymore.

I can’t answer your question. I’m not convinced anyone can predict how a society evolves, or devolves. There are just too many variables and unintended consequences. I can say that every great country I can name … every powerful nation or broad empire or dominant national culture … has reached a point where their time at the top was over. With every rise has come a fall … or a decline, at the least … whether its dominance was built on beneficence or on malevolence. And there is no reason to believe America is immune to that pattern. Especially now, with such a bitter divide among its peoples.

But look, maybe being “great” isn’t what we should be trying to achieve, anyway. I would be satisfied if we simply tried to be decent. To be an honorable and noble nation. To act in a morally and principled way, with compassion and forgiveness. That would be the greatest gift we could give to our children and the world’s children … to be a kind and honest nation. That would be a nation worthy of being called “great.”

It’s a lot to ask for.

No shit. But we cannot build a nation like that on a foundation of lies, can we?

No shit.

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Proceeding on into an unknown land.
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One Comment Add yours

  1. David Clark says:

    Corny as it may seem to some, I have always loved this country. It is going to take me a long time to figure out what went wrong in this election and a lot longer (basically never) to get over the results. For now, your blog (and the column of Lennard Pitts—Miami Herald) is all that stands between me and total depression. Keep up the good work. DRC

    Liked by 1 person

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