US election recount: Jill Stein raises funds to examine Wisconsin result
A former presidential candidate looks likely to spur a last-minute recount of part of the result of the US election.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein says she has gathered enough money to fund a recount in Wisconsin.
Donald Trump narrowly beat Hillary Clinton in the state, but two voting rights experts say the result needs to be more closely analysed.
There is no indication Mr Trump's win was down to cyberhacking, one of the experts said on Wednesday.
One election official in Wisconsin said they are preparing for a possible recount.
What are the concerns?
On Tuesday, New York magazine first reported that a group of experts, led by voting-rights lawyer John Bonifaz and J Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, had contacted Mrs Clinton's campaign.
The experts urged her campaign to request recounts in two states narrowly won by Mr Trump - Wisconsin and Pennsylvania - as well as Michigan, where he has a small lead.
In a post on Medium on Wednesday, Mr Halderman repeated concerns he has voiced in the past over the vulnerabilities of paperless voting machines.
Critics say electronic votes could be easily manipulated because there is no paper trail to check
The fact that the results in the three states was different from what polls predicted was "probably not" down to hacking, Mr Halderman said. Concerns over possible Russian interference had been expressed in the run-up to the vote.
"The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence ," he wrote.
There is a deadline for any candidates to demand a recount, and they need to pay fees to file a request.
The deadline for Wisconsin is Friday. Pennsylvania's is Monday, and Michigan's is Wednesday.
This is where Jill Stein comes in - on her website, she wrote that recounts were needed "to attempt to shine a light on just how untrustworthy the US election system is".
By late on Wednesday, she had raised, through a crowdfunding campaign, more than $2.5m (£2m), enough to fund a recount request in Wisconsin. The campaign estimates that up to $7m may be needed to pay for recounts in all three states.
What happened in Wisconsin?
Unofficial results from the state showed Mr Trump won by only 27,000 votes, media in the state say. The BBC's results show he won 47.9% of the vote, with 46.9% going to Mrs Clinton (Jill Stein won only 1% of the votes there).
Before then, the state had gone with the Democrats for seven elections running.
A Clinton victory in Wisconsin alone would not have been enough to overturn Mr Trump's lead - it provides only 10 votes in the crucial electoral college that gave him victory. But wins in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania would have clinched the presidency for the Democrat.
The Wisconsin State Journal quoted the state's election commission director Michael Haas as saying that the organisation had not seen "any reason to suspect that any voting equipment has been tampered with".
The commission was now preparing for a recount, Mr Haas told the newspaper, that added that such a move would be "unprecedented".
It is a truism that America has become a more diverse country. It is also a beautiful thing to watch. Visitors from other countries, particularly those having trouble incorporating different ethnic groups and faiths, are amazed that we manage to pull it off. Not perfectly, of course, but certainly better than any European or Asian nation today. It’s an extraordinary success story.
But how should this diversity shape our politics? The standard liberal answer for nearly a generation now has been that we should become aware of and “celebrate” our differences. Which is a splendid principle of moral pedagogy — but disastrous as a foundation for democratic politics in our ideological age. In recent years American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.
One of the many lessons of the recent presidential election campaign and its repugnant outcome is that the age of identity liberalism must be brought to an end. Hillary Clinton was at her best and most uplifting when she spoke about American interests in world affairs and how they relate to our understanding of democracy. But when it came to life at home, she tended on the campaign trail to lose that large vision and slip into the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, L.G.B.T. and women voters at every stop. This was a strategic mistake. If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice and feel excluded. Which, as the data show, was exactly what happened with the white working class and those with strong religious convictions. Fully two-thirds of white voters without college degrees voted for Donald Trump, as did over 80 percent of white evangelicals.
The moral energy surrounding identity has, of course, had many good effects. Affirmative action has reshaped and improved corporate life. Black Lives Matter has delivered a wake-up call to every American with a conscience. Hollywood’s efforts to normalize homosexuality in our popular culture helped to normalize it in American families and public life.
Have you changed anything in your daily life since the election? For example, have you tried to understand opposing points of view, donated to a group, or contacted your member of Congress? Your answer may be included in a follow up post.
But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life. At a very young age our children are being encouraged to talk about their individual identities, even before they have them. By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse, and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good. In large part this is because of high school history curriculums, which anachronistically project the identity politics of today back onto the past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces and individuals that shaped our country. (The achievements of women’s rights movements, for instance, were real and important, but you cannot understand them if you do not first understand the founding fathers’ achievement in establishing a system of government based on the guarantee of rights.)
When young people arrive at college they are encouraged to keep this focus on themselves by student groups, faculty members and also administrators whose full-time job is to deal with — and heighten the significance of — “diversity issues.” Fox News and other conservative media outlets make great sport of mocking the “campus craziness” that surrounds such issues, and more often than not they are right to. Which only plays into the hands of populist demagogues who want to delegitimize learning in the eyes of those who have never set foot on a campus. How to explain to the average voter the supposed moral urgency of giving college students the right to choose the designated gender pronouns to be used when addressing them? How not to laugh along with those voters at the story of a University of Michigan prankster who wrote in “His Majesty”?
This campus-diversity consciousness has over the years filtered into the liberal media, and not subtly. Affirmative action for women and minorities at America’s newspapers and broadcasters has been an extraordinary social achievement — and has even changed, quite literally, the face of right-wing media, as journalists like Megyn Kelly and Laura Ingraham have gained prominence. But it also appears to have encouraged the assumption, especially among younger journalists and editors, that simply by focusing on identity they have done their jobs.
Recently I performed a little experiment during a sabbatical in France: For a full year I read only European publications, not American ones. My thought was to try seeing the world as European readers did. But it was far more instructive to return home and realize how the lens of identity has transformed American reporting in recent years. How often, for example, the laziest story in American journalism — about the “first X to do Y” — is told and retold. Fascination with the identity drama has even affected foreign reporting, which is in distressingly short supply. However interesting it may be to read, say, about the fate of transgender people in Egypt, it contributes nothing to educating Americans about the powerful political and religious currents that will determine Egypt’s future, and indirectly, our own. No major news outlet in Europe would think of adopting such a focus.
But it is at the level of electoral politics that identity liberalism has failed most spectacularly, as we have just seen. National politics in healthy periods is not about “difference,” it is about commonality. And it will be dominated by whoever best captures Americans’ imaginations about our shared destiny. Ronald Reagan did that very skillfully, whatever one may think of his vision. So did Bill Clinton, who took a page from Reagan’s playbook. He seized the Democratic Party away from its identity-conscious wing, concentrated his energies on domestic programs that would benefit everyone (like national health insurance) and defined America’s role in the post-1989 world. By remaining in office for two terms, he was then able to accomplish much for different groups in the Democratic coalition. Identity politics, by contrast, is largely expressive, not persuasive. Which is why it never wins elections — but can lose them.
The media’s newfound, almost anthropological, interest in the angry white male reveals as much about the state of our liberalism as it does about this much maligned, and previously ignored, figure. A convenient liberal interpretation of the recent presidential election would have it that Mr. Trump won in large part because he managed to transform economic disadvantage into racial rage — the “whitelash” thesis. This is convenient because it sanctions a conviction of moral superiority and allows liberals to ignore what those voters said were their overriding concerns. It also encourages the fantasy that the Republican right is doomed to demographic extinction in the long run — which means liberals have only to wait for the country to fall into their laps. The surprisingly high percentage of the Latino vote that went to Mr. Trump should remind us that the longer ethnic groups are here in this country, the more politically diverse they become.
Finally, the whitelash thesis is convenient because it absolves liberals of not recognizing how their own obsession with diversity has encouraged white, rural, religious Americans to think of themselves as a disadvantaged group whose identity is being threatened or ignored. Such people are not actually reacting against the reality of our diverse America (they tend, after all, to live in homogeneous areas of the country). But they are reacting against the omnipresent rhetoric of identity, which is what they mean by “political correctness.” Liberals should bear in mind that the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan, which still exists. Those who play the identity game should be prepared to lose it.
We need a post-identity liberalism, and it should draw from the past successes of pre-identity liberalism. Such a liberalism would concentrate on widening its base by appealing to Americans as Americans and emphasizing the issues that affect a vast majority of them. It would speak to the nation as a nation of citizens who are in this together and must help one another. As for narrower issues that are highly charged symbolically and can drive potential allies away, especially those touching on sexuality and religion, such a liberalism would work quietly, sensitively and with a proper sense of scale. (To paraphrase Bernie Sanders, America is sick and tired of hearing about liberals’ damn bathrooms.)
Teachers committed to such a liberalism would refocus attention on their main political responsibility in a democracy: to form committed citizens aware of their system of government and the major forces and events in our history. A post-identity liberalism would also emphasize that democracy is not only about rights; it also confers duties on its citizens, such as the duties to keep informed and vote. A post-identity liberal press would begin educating itself about parts of the country that have been ignored, and about what matters there, especially religion. And it would take seriously its responsibility to educate Americans about the major forces shaping world politics, especially their historical dimension.
Some years ago I was invited to a union convention in Florida to speak on a panel about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous Four Freedoms speech of 1941. The hall was full of representatives from local chapters — men, women, blacks, whites, Latinos. We began by singing the national anthem, and then sat down to listen to a recording of Roosevelt’s speech. As I looked out into the crowd, and saw the array of different faces, I was struck by how focused they were on what they shared. And listening to Roosevelt’s stirring voice as he invoked the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want and the freedom from fear — freedoms that Roosevelt demanded for “everyone in the world” — I was reminded of what the real foundations of modern American liberalism are.
Mark Lilla, a professor of the humanities at Columbia and a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, is the author, most recently, of “The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction.”
MARK LILLA IF WE DO NOT PROTEST WHO WILL SPEAK FOR US?
As I listen to and read Mark Lilla’s piece on defeating democracy. He seems to think that all the social progress of the last half of the 20th century should be done away with. He speak of White Americans meaning mostly religious Americans, when he does not understand why. Right-wing religionist took advantage of White Americans because under Reaganomics, the safety net that the Franklin Delano Roosevelt established in the New Deal was undermined, then snatched away completely by the Neoliberalism of Bill Clinton. They are religious out of habit because until Obamacare all they could do was pray and lay-on-hands in case of sickness. Neoliberals in Congress even objected to these whites receiving food stamps (SNAP) even during what I call “The Second Great Depression,” and the uninitiated call the Great Recession.
Identity Politics is not falling back into Separate-but-equal to win a victory that will move US back to a time of Plessy vs Fergusson. And Supreme Court Justices like Taney who declared that Negroes had no rights that a White man need respect. Identity Politics is the reassurance that WE too count as Americans.
Lilla seems intelligent, yet he quotes a young White man who talks politics with Blacks and other so-called minorities. As a professor of history he should know that any person of color who speaks truth to the power of whiteness about the state-of-the-human-condition, like Fredreick Douglas illustrated in his autobiographies, unless he is ready to die for his/her beliefs, had better lie. African Americans have served in the service of the Military since the Indian Wars down to this farce called the War on Terror. And the only gains we have made in the US is through protest and Identity Politics. And protest we will.
Truthfulness between the races, i.e., Black and others of color, is still a dangerous proposition. Truthfulness is what got Martin Luther King assassinated. Of course Black Lives Matter would not be a topic to discuss with this self-righteous young White man, not if the Blacks and browns wish to keep their jobs. But the truth still rides beneath the surface that White lives have not mattered since the 1980s when the Republican-man-god, Reagan took office.
Donald Trump played the Race Card and won. His model was Benito Mussolini and Fascism. This shows the weakness in the society, not the political inability to speak to or for all the people. The White working-middle class, just like in post-WWI Italy, needed to place the blame. And in the United States Whites are so used to placing the blame on first the Negro, next the undocumented Mexican, then China, but not on the “invisible hands” of privatization, technology, and most of all, not on the Neoliberalism/Reaganomics that has kept them down since the 1980s. Now they are about to become the victim of demographics. Yet they have not considered how this agenda was dealt with in the past: Just admit more peoples of color as being White. This is how it was handled in the late 19th and 20th century America until post WWII. See Madison Grant’s The Passing of the Great Race (1919). And Lothrop Stoddard’s The Rising Tide of Color Against White Supremacy (1921). Whiteness is a award that keeps on giving in privilege and power.
Arabs were White by law, that is until 9/11; thereby proving what the good overlord givith—the good overlord can take away. And that race is the biggest fiction there is.
Michigan Pediatrician Gives Update On Children's Health, One Year After Flint Water Crisis
Lilla speaks of “ordinary” Americans. America got rich, not because of “real” or ordinary Americans because our education system has been all but destroyed by Neoliberalism. Adjective-Americans, Americans that were left out of the American history books, other than being listed as slaves or Coolies, have a right to use Identity Politics—Win, lose or draw because living in cramped condition we have been forced to innovate via protests.