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The Russian question.

December 12, 2016

Do Americans really believe Russia stole the election?

Well, those of the liberal persuasion apparently do, as evidenced by all the feverish hype about Hillary being defeated by Russian interference in our internal election machinery.

Remember, Jill Stein is not demanding recounts because she thinks she will win the election, but instead is trying to advance the notion that Trump was only elected because the voting machines were or could have been hacked.

What about the folks that aren’t walking around imitating Linus?

No one is denying the Russians took a strong interest in the election.

It’s completely naïve to think that the three major world powers have no interest in each other’s politics. Even secondary and tertiary nations have a lot to gain or lose depending on who sits in the White House.

The effect of the oddly timed and worded and so far somewhat ethereal claims that the CIA has “proven” the election was rigged for Trump to win by the Russians is being taken with several grains of salt, given that this “proof” only surfaced publicly AFTER Mrs. Clinton lost the election.

If you believe that the Wikileaks releases were obtained through Russian cyber warfare channels, then there is certainly some credence that could be given to the undue influence theory.

There is little doubt that the months-long drip, drip, drip of documents hurt Clinton.

The problem with that theory is that everything in the documents was apparently true.

Americans believe, with good reason, that our government has had no interest and has displayed little ability to block cyber intrusions into any aspect of our lives, whether they originate from Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, or any one of several dozen other unfriendly nations.

For that reason, they don’t completely rule out some international hanky-panky.

However, when the question becomes whether President-elect Trump is some sort of unwitting Russian tool, or was even an actual willing participant in rigging the election, people just don’t buy it.

They point to the indisputable fact that President Obama’s foreign policy has pretty much been steamrolled by the likes of Vladimir Putin for eight years.

The outgoing President’s more vocal detractors take that a step further and speculate that the outgoing President dislikes America so much that he simply doesn’t care what other nations do to us, short of an actual military attack.

The question then becomes how the CIA has managed to conduct a full investigation and come to a definitive conclusion that votes were actually altered in some way in the one month since the election.

If this revelation is, as some allege, the result of months-long ongoing CIA operations, why didn’t the White House stop the interference before the Wikileaks DNC and Podesta documents were even purloined?

From both a national and personal security standpoint, no one wants another world power to control our elections. That doesn’t mean we can stop them from trying by wishing them away.

In today’s cloud-based information world, only a fool would deny the ability of any of the major nations to infiltrate pretty much any of our more accessible systems, from communications to the power grid to the financial environment.

Did that directly result in the election of Donald Trump?  It seems unlikely.

Of all of our systems, the fragmented, non-uniform physical voting process seems one of the ones least likely to be hacked, given that the voting booths are neither internet-enabled nor connected state-to-state.

In fact, if this election did nothing else, it has probably arrested the push toward allowing people to vote remotely via computers or smartphones.

Given that the left has so far blamed everything but the Easter Bunny for Hillary’s defeat, the public at large seems to be unconvinced by claims of a Russian connection having determined the election outcome.

Viewed objectively, the allegations would be more believable if the Russian goal was far more long range than a single election.

We already have a disturbingly low voter participation rate (just over 58% according to most sources), even in this last well-hyped election. 95 million eligible voters just stayed home this year. Off-year elections and local contests can range down into the 20% rate.

The fewer people that vote, the easier it is to affect the outcome.  The best way to achieve low voter turnout is to convince people that their vote doesn’t matter.

We only know as much as the sitting government wants us to know about the Russian question, leaving the public to jump to whatever conclusions it wants to about the breadth and depth of any foreign interference.

It does seem that with some of the Cabinet nominees already being demonized for their business ties with foreign governments, it may not only be the Russians with long-term plans.

From → op-ed

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