Socialism in Action

It’s difficult to quantify how upset progressive America was in the wake of Donald Trump’s winning the presidential election, but one reliable measure of that anguish is $7.3 million. That’s how much money 161,000 Americans donated to the Green party presidential candidate after she promised to spearhead a recount effort in swing states that would ostensibly prove Donald Trump had not, in fact, won the election.

Nearly two years later, people want to know what Jill Stein did with all that money. The Daily Beast reports that well over $6 million has been spent, and while significant sums went toward recall efforts, it’s unclear whether much of what was spent on salaries and other expenditures had anything to do with the recount. And in violation of the law, Stein hasn’t filed an FEC report on the funds since September of last year.

It took a bit of chutzpah to pitch this fundraising effort to progressives—Stein’s name on the ballot, after all, may have cost Hillary Clinton the election. Donald Trump’s Electoral College margin was the result of besting Clinton by about 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Jill Stein took 130,000 votes in those three states, and it can be safely assumed that a significant portion of her voters would have backed Clinton.

To the extent Stein did engage in recount efforts, they were not promising. Wisconsin officials found another 131 votes—for Trump. A federal judge rejected the request for a recount in Pennsylvania. In Michigan, the recount effort exposed potential voter fraud in the Democratic stronghold of Detroit. “Optical scanners at 248 of the city’s 662 precincts, or 37 percent, tabulated more ballots than the number of voters tallied by workers in the poll books,” reported the Detroit News.

So the Stein campaign promised progressive donors empowerment, and all they got was more pain and embarrassment. Maybe Stein wanted to show us what socialism looks like in practice.

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