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The Oxford Press

Peddling Truth in Journalism

Respect The Vote

Responding to calls from Green Party candidate Jill Stein, a vote recount has been initiated in Wisconsin follow the razor-thin victory by President Elect Donald J. Trump almost three weeks ago. While this in itself might not garner a fair share of the news pie, the Clinton campaign has now joined the effort.

Marc Elias, the Clinton team’s general counsel, has said the campaign would take part in the Wisconsin recount being set off by Ms. Stein and would also participate if she made good on her plans to seek recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Already a smoldering fire in all camps of the recent election, the social media world is now piling more kindling on the fire as voices of dissent begin to rise.

This raises a number of points on respecting the vote, and both sides have valid points. On the one hand, you have those that say the vote should be accurately and properly counted, so that a true and clear number is reached. This makes perfect sense to those who valid accuracy and who wish to see the vote of every American counted. It also hopes to put to rest concerns that electronic voting devices could have been hacked by people not so friendly to the United States.

On the other hand, the winning side, those who supported Donald Trump, feel the vote as it stands should be respected. Since neither side holds out much hope that a recount could actually produce election-changing results, why put the country through yet another bruising chapter of the already long-in-the-tooth 2016 election tome? Exactly when is enough enough?

People have legitimate right to be concerned about either outcome, including the long shot possibility of an election being overturned. It is unfathomable to some that the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, lost the election while garnering over 2 million more votes than the winning candidate. On the other hand, the Electoral College has decided every election since the founding of our country and while it may be time to retire the outdated format in our country, it still stands today and counts for this election.

Regardless of the various scenarios, all American people should respect the vote enough to want it to be right-even those who supported the winning candidate. I would not want to win a prize if I became aware that there were improprieties in the judging and that my win was fraudulent and if someone does want that win, even if compromised, then it shows a surprising lack of moral character on the part of that person.

Neither side should be afraid of truth. If Trump won fair and square, then he is owed the victory and the allegiance of the nation; if Clinton won, everyone should respect that as well. An overturned election would give rise to dissention and protest the likes of which we have likely never seen in this country. An upheld election probably does little to assuage the fears and worries of those on the losing side of the ticket.

One thing is certain though…by whatever means necessary, the United States needs to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the future elections of this country are unimpeachable and above reproach, worry or concern; such things give rise to the deranged conspiracy theorists that have taken over much of the social media world and who continue to stoke the fires of doubt in our electoral process. We owe it to our children to give them a country where this process, regardless of the outcome, can be judged by all to be fair and above-board. Without it, we become little different than those other nations who promote free and democratic elections while manipulating the outcomes to serve their purposes.

Fidel Castro Dead at 90

Fidel Castro, the fiery author of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, died Friday. He was 90 years old.

In declining health for several years, he will long be remembered from without for his cigars, his uniforms and his fiery oratory, while being remembered for both a benevolence and despotism that shaped the island nation for over 5 decades.

While not dwelling on a well-documented past, one’s eye must now turn to the future of Cuba and what will come in the weeks, months and years ahead. Much has changed in the past few years, including the unprecedented détente that recently led to a hesitant level of normalization in the relationship between the United States and its neighbor to the south. How will that continue and will it?

How will this new relationship develop with a new President Donald Trump in the White House instead of a President Obama? It has long been felt that Cuba must change and reform in order to survive, but will the recent election of a president whose views are almost diametrically opposed to the current incumbent bring Cuba closer to the United State or push them away, possibly into the arms of its oldest ally, Russia? These questions and more will unfold soon.

Journalists in Cuba reported that the news of Castro’s death was met with shock and sorrow by older Cubans while simultaneously being met with mostly indifference from the younger generation. This is the generation that will eventually lead the island nation and their views, beliefs and political doctrines are not aligned at all with those of many of their elders. They will welcome positive change while older Cubans will view it with suspicion and resistance initially.

One thing is certain though…nothing will quite be the same as it was before and it will be interesting to observe how it all unfolds.

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