Faux News Editorial: Why Trump and The Republicans Will Not Take Action to Oppose Russian Meddling In Our 2018 Elections

Much has been made of the Mueller investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether eventually Trump and/or his lieutenants will be charged with collusion or obstruction of justice. However, that is not the most important thing. The most important thing is that we now know that the Russians were heavily involved in the 2016 election and most likely influenced the outcome. We also know that are already working on the 2018 elections.

Wait, you say, no one can say for sure that they actually determined the outcome. I would argue that common sense suggests otherwise. The election was very close. Hillary actually won the popular vote and in the key electoral districts in the Midwest that pushed Trump over the top, the results were extemely close. A few votes the other way could have made all the difference. We also know that the Russians were behind a massive social media campaign posting fake news to curtail turnout from minority groups, who typically vote Democratic, and to anger the white working class, who this time around voted heavily Republican. We know that turnout was below expectations in the former group and higher than expectations in the latter.

Bottom line: In my book, the election was rigged. It was stolen. Without the Russian involvement Trump would not have won. Yes, there were a number of other factors. Hillary was not a very effective candidate, and the whole Comey email controversy contributed, along with the protest vote (largely from the white working class) for a change from the status quo. You could say that this was a perfect storm. But it turns out from what we know from Mueller’s Russian indictments, the Russians were a major factor, without whom in my view Hillary would now be President. Their involvement was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

That an adversarial foreign power could have this kind of influence on perhaps our most sacred Democratic tradition is more than alarming. Some would say that it is an act of war. So you would think that keeping anything like this from happening again would be the number one item on our national agenda.

Not exactly.

Trump still has not conceded that Russia had any influence on the election results and has not said one bad word about Putin or about the threat Russia poses in the 2018 mid term elections where it is already clear that they are using the same tactics. There is the even more alarming threat that they will be able to hack into election results and alter the outcomes. While Democrats have protested vehemently, Republicans have taken a ho-hum attitude. No legislation or national initiatives have been taken to try to keep this from happening again. There probably will be none.

How could this be? How could we as a nation sit back and watch the same thing happen again?

The answer is quite simple. Trump and the Republicans need the Russian meddling. Trump knows what went on in 2016 (and I think will eventually be nailed by Mueller), and many Republicans know what went on. Without the Russian meddling they would be toast. Their only hope in avoiding disaster in 2018 is a little more help from their Russian friends. They would be fools to turn this down.

Think about where the country is now and where the Republicans stand on the major issues. Trump’s popularity is at its lowest point (35%) and his disapproval at its highest (60%). On almost all the major issues—the Dreamers, the #Me too Movement, curtailing gun violence, immigration, preserving the social safety net, leveling the economic playing field—Trump and the Republicans are on one side of the issue, and the majority of the American population is on the other. They are out of step with the American people and with American values. All the energy favors the Democrats. In an open and fair election the Republicans would not keep control of the House or the Senate. But our elections are anything but. Big money plays too powerful a role as do the gerrymandered electoral districts, which create safe seats for extremists. And now we have the Russians. Of course, Trump and most of the Republican elected officials are going to sit quietly by and let them do the dirty work. This is the only chance they really have.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Faux News Editorial: Why Trump and The Republicans Will Not Take Action to Oppose Russian Meddling In Our 2018 Elections

  1. Yes, I was one of those voters who “threw their vote away” and who, some would argue, am partly responsible for Trump being in office. That may be true, but I voted my conscience. I cannot vote for a candidate that has innumerable moral failings and a party (unless there is absolutely no other choice) that I believe is moving our country in the wrong direction. So I believe we need a third party that has not been highjacked politically by progressive elitists at one end and dogmatic conservatives at the other end. In addition, both parties are influenced economically by special interest groups and corporations, the latter as evidenced by the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, the ultimate victory for corporations in giving them free reign to influence every election, and thereby, act as our proxy for determining public policy. And research consistently shows that the majority of Americans are moderates and centrists. However, those moderates no longer have a party they can truly identify with or even relate to.

    Because the political parties themselves know they have been hijacked, they point to the most extremest views of the enemy party as evidence that the opposing party does not represent the “average American.” So each party uses fear to divide us as a people. Both parties do this by dehumanizing the other party and their supporters and voters. Here is an example. I heard from someone recently who told me the following story about a trust fund adult. He is 50 years old and has never had to worry about money. The following statements were made by this person. “The wealthy do all of the work and the poor do nothing. We pay all of the taxes so that the poor can just sit around and collect government checks. That’s one reason we have so many immigrants wanting to come into this country, so they can take advantage of the hardworking taxpayers.” And this comes from a supposedly well educated person.

    Our youngest son and his mom were discussing some of the problems his generation are inheriting from our generation. He thinks it may take a new generation that thinks about the world very differently to have the political willpower to vote differently. He is of the opinion that the baby boomers are ruining this country and that until we as a demographic cohort expire, we will continue to divide our country with our narcissistic behavior as individuals and divide our world with our continued belief in manifest destiny for the United States. I am deeply saddened that he thinks that way, but what makes me even sadder is that I am beginning to believe that he might be right.

    We have Thomas Jefferson and John Adams to thank for our two party system. Although both were flawed humans like the rest of us, they were brilliant thinkers and leaders. Although very collaborative early in their political careers, they became bitter rivals while Washington was president. One distrusted a strong central government and one distrusted a decentralized government, but they loved their fellow countryman as much as their country and we muddled through. I am not so sure we can muddle through anymore. As Benjamin Franklin wrote, “ The American experiment in self government can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.”

    The two party system has worked for over 200 years, but it may be time for a change. I do believe that some day future generations will look at our two party system of government and will wonder how we made it work for so long. We are too diverse for two parties to represent our interests and I will argue that we are becoming even more diverse, although the current optics might lead one to believe otherwise.

    Since graduating from college I have voted equal measure Republican and Democrat. But we are now broken and unless someone has a better idea, we need a third party to bring some sanity, accountability and reasonableness back into our political discourse. For anyone who has children, let’s do it for them and for future generations. And to those who do not have children, please do it for the rest of the world and for the sake of humanity.

    1. John,
      Thank you for your thoughtful and heartfelt response. While I have not lost faith in the Democratic Party and could probably be described as a hopeless, bleeding heart liberal, I acknowledge that you do have a valid point–especially as it relates to perceived elitism. While I do not believe liberal elitism is pervasive, it is real and is one of the reasons for Trump’s popularity among many in the white working class. I feel as you do about this and condemn it. I also believe that many voted for Trump as a protest. The global economy has produced winners and losers. Working people who have seen good paying jobs exported to Asia or Mexico have found themselves stuck with lower paying jobs and fewer benefits. It is no wonder that they are angry and hold the Establishment responsible. For the past eight years Democrats have been in charge and represent the Establishment. Trump was seen as the alternative.
      In my view Trump is a fraud and a sham and his main “achievement,” the tax act, only increases the divide between the rich and the poor. He sold them a bill of goods. At the same time, I understand the frustration that people who have been shut out of the benefits of the New Economy must feel.
      Your other main point has to do with polarization and the loss of a middle ground. I agree that there is a desperate need for civil discourse and room for honest differences of opinion as to policy choices. Though I disagree with many of their polices, I applaud people like McCain, Flake, Corker and even Graham.We need compromise and to find common ground. The populism unleashed by Trump, however, is very scary and leaves precious little room for give and take on policy choices. It is only about him. Lurking beneath the surface is a trend toward authoritarianism. This is what scares me most as we try to make sense out of the Trump presidency and wonder where this is taking our nation. I fear the worst is yet to come.

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