This commentary is being written days before the usual Wednesday NTD News issue. So it may be completely out of sync with what is actually occurring in America on April 25, 2018. However, I’m going to gamble that in the days leading up to the 25th, Donald Trumpwill not be called before a Grand Jury by Robert Mueller, or make headlines attempting to fire Mr. Mueller, or resign from office “to spend more time with his family.” I’m betting America will have simply continued to stagger forward for one more week under the bizarre Trump Presidency.
Today I’m just going to comment very briefly on a public phenomenon that has me baffled. For a number of months, starting soon after candidate Trump’s victory, we’ve seen a string of revelations pointing to Russian involvement in our 2016 elections. At first it was just a few scattered narratives that spoke of Internet hackers in Eastern Europe. They were suspected of messing with social media in the U.S.
Then there were reports that the computers of certain political campaigns and their operatives had been compromised. The stories kept expanding. A “hacking factory” in St. Petersburg was revealed. Apparently some of our states had their election systems probed. Dozens of Internet “news and opinion” websites turned out to be totally phony. Finally, first hand reports, leaked documents, and actual confessions verified that in 2016, the Russian government attempted to influence our 2016 Presidential Election. The evidence was undeniable (unless you happen to believe Vladimir Putin and his appointed deniers).
Now, I’m not going to get into any discussion of President Trump’s “no collusion” assertions. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. For this commentary, that is beside the point. What baffles me is how so many Americans, from average citizens to members of Congress to high ranking Trump Administration officials, have been so casual about disturbing revelations that they all now accept as fact.
It’s no longer a matter of the right and left having opposite views. Political commentators, whatever their wing, make references to the Russian meddling. The same now goes for the majority of American voters. Even President Trump and his spokespeople now comfortably refer to the Russian attempts to interfere in our elections as they repeat their “no collusion” mantra.
It seems to me that even if it is true that President Trump and his campaign team had absolutely no connection with what the Russians did, what occurred should now have every American infuriated. – But they aren’t.
Back in 1917, when World War I was raging in Europe, German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann sent a secret telegram to his ambassador in Mexico. He proposed that his ambassador try to get Mexico to become a German ally and enter the war against the U.S. The revelation of this foreign intrigue just across our nation’s southern boundary was one of the final straws that drew our country into the war.
In the years since then, there have been much larger events that have shown how Americans can unite when threatened. Pearl Harbor, the Cuban Missile Crisis and 9/11 were hostile acts so huge it was impossible to not recognize them for what they were.
But in 2016, without firing a weapon or sneaking saboteurs onto our shores, Vladimir Putin’s Russia successfully invaded the United States of America. — And the damage he inflicted on our democracy is far from being over.
Where is the outrage of members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans? They all know what happened in 2016 was not just a violation of international behavior. It was an attack by a foreign power. But only a few of those legislators have been willing to speak frankly about what occurred.
And where is the outrage of all the flag waving Tea Party patriots and MAGA shouting Trump supporters and “America First” radio and TV bloviators? For that matter, why aren’t more voices from Americans in general being raised in condemnation and defiance against this cyber espionage being conducted by Putin’s Russia.
Yes, what Russia did is being referenced regularly by reporters and news commentators of every stripe. But it’s all being discussed with such civility, such acceptance. – Putin and his gang went after the heart of our democracy, our free and open elections. I believe at some point we should start referring to what happened in 2016 for what is was – an act of foreign aggression.
Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic that we will see a more realistic view of the 2016 Russian meddling take hold any time soon. It’s certainly not likely to happen until both houses of Congress are taken away from Trump’s political party. After November, maybe — if enough of us have done the work to throw the Republicans out.
NTDO member since 1973