The left’s answer: blame everything on the Russians
Published by marco on
For those of us alive during the cold war, the current atmosphere in the U.S.—and, indeed, most NATO countries, if not all of Europe—is reminiscent of the cold war.
Everything—but everything—is Russia’s fault.
Did something bad happen? They say that Putin did it.
Do you have proof? They ask you, Are you now or have you ever been a communist?
McCarthyism is back in spades.
While the Soviet Union was at least nominally communist—it was more of a totalitarian commissariat—modern-day Russia isn’t even close to being communist. The accusation persists, though Russia is officially a constitutional republic, with elections and everything. Russia actually functions more as an oligarchy—similar in many ways to the U.S. We’ll agree not to discuss the validity of elections in either of these countries.
Russian hax0rs the U.S.
Why is Russia back in the news? Nominally, at least? Well, the Democrats see that country as a catspaw in their attempt to gain presidential office. Whatever happens, blame the Russians and let the media and people’s simplistic, misplaced fears carry you to victory.
Was Russia behind these recent hacks? The DNC hack that exposed how the DNC steered the primaries into Hillary’s hands? The hack revealed by Wikileaks that exposed campaign manager Podesta’s mails? The hack that exposed Hillary’s Goldman speeches?
Hillary says so. Obama says so. His administration says so. The mainstream media says so. Trump doesn’t believe it, but he’s a conspiracy nut. Plus, he’s best friends with Putin, so of course he would say Russia didn’t do it.
Isn’t it suspicious that the U.S. so readily concedes to having so easily been hacked by the Russians? You would think that the U.S. would be too proud to admit that it’s so vulnerable—but this vulnerability serves a higher purpose: getting Hillary elected.
So the U.S. goes all in, with Hillary announcing at one of the debates that “17 different secret service agencies” say that the Russians were behind all the recent hacks. Would Hillary lie about that? The article No, Hillary, 17 U.S. Intelligence Agencies Did Not Say Russia Hacked Dem E-mails by Fred Fleitz (The National Review) points out the obvious: only two agencies even wrote anything about it and they both only said that the methods “are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts”, which is as good as saying nothing at all. No proof is offered to pin this on the Russians. Hell, the methods and motivations of all hackers is to steal and reveal information.
Have Russians hacked us before? The article The Russians Have Been Hacking Us For Years, Why Is It a Crisis Now? by Keith Binkly (CounterPunch) covers cases in recent years. But my recollection is that the finger of blame for cybercrime tends to point at the enemy du jour—sometimes Iran, sometimes China, sometimes Russia, sometimes North Korea—whoever Emmanuel Goldstein needs to be that day. The finger is never pointed at the companies that can’t seem to safeguard sensitive data.
This red-baiting should be laughable, but it still works extremely well. Instead of focusing on the content of the mail—tacitly admitted by Hillary and her campaign to be real—people are focused on those pesky Russian hackers. The actual content never really made headlines. Russia’s purported and utterly fictitious involvement did. Day after day for as long as the Democrats need it to be in the news.
And keep it in the news they do. The article Clinton blasts Russian cyber-attacks as bid to install Trump as a “puppet” by Joe Mullin (Ars Technica) writes (Emphasis added):
“In one of those speeches, Clinton expressed a desire for a “hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.”
“Clinton responded by making the role of WikiLeaks the issue.
“This has come from the highest levels of the [Russian] government, from Putin himself, in an effort to influence our election,“ Clinton said, referencing Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. “Finally, will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this? And make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in this election?”
““That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders,” Trump responded. He continued:”“I don’t know Putin. He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good. He has no respect for her, no respect for our president. And I’ll tell you what—we’re in serious trouble. We have a country [Russia] with tremendous numbers of nuclear warheads. And she’s playing chicken. Putin, from everything I’ve seen, has no respect for this person.”
Of course, Ars Technica—100% behind Hillary with no reservations—chalks this all up as a win for her. But it doesn’t sound like she won that exchange at all. What Trump said is eminently sane. Read it again. It’s sane. It’s 100% correct. If you didn’t know it came from Trump, you’d be agreeing with it. What Hillary said is deliberately poking a hornet’s nest, reviving McCarthyism just to terrify the American public into electing her. The Russians are coming! Ooohh, so scary, Hillary.
Although I personally don’t find the citation of “open borders” so scary either, Hillary’s response—not a denial, but lashing out against the accuser—is a classic sign of someone trying to distract you from the fact that the accusation is true. It seems like Wikileaks really did get the original transcripts.
Brainwashing vs. Persuasion
“And I’m here to tell you that if you are afraid that Donald Trump is a racist/sexist clown with a dangerous temperament, you have been brainwashed by the best group of brainwashers in the business right now: Team Clinton.
“I remind you that intelligence is not a defense against persuasion. No matter how smart you are, good persuaders can still make you see a pink elephant in a room where there is none (figuratively speaking). […]
“If you are wondering why a socially liberal and well-educated cartoonist such as myself is not afraid of Trump, it’s because I don’t see the pink elephant. […]
“If you are an anti-Trumper, you might reject my point of view as manipulative or naive. I can’t change your mind with a blog post. But you can change your own mind. Just ask others if they see the addition to reality that you see. If others don’t see the pink elephant in the room, and you do, the elephant isn’t there.
“Look for that pattern. Once you see it, you’re awake.
“Then vote for whoever has the policies you like.”
Vote for whoever has the policies you like. Or the policies you can live with. Don’t vote for the one who’s screaming the Russians are coming out of fear.
“Trump has successfully framed Hillary Clinton as a crooked politician. Meanwhile, Clinton has successfully framed Trump as a dangerous monster. […] As of today, Clinton has the superior persuasion strategy. Crook beats monster.
“Reality isn’t a factor in this election, as per usual.”
That’s quite a good summary. This next part I don’t quite agree with:
“The biggest illusion this election is that we think the people on the other side can’t see the warts on their own candidate. But I think they do. Clinton supporters know she is crooked, but I think they assume it is a normal degree of crookedness for an American politician. Americans assume that even the “good” politicians are trading favors and breaking every rule that is inconvenient to them. I’ve never heard a Clinton supporter defend Clinton as being pure and honest. Her supporters like her despite her crookedness.”
I think that’s giving a lot of the supporters I’ve been reading too much credit. In Vote Hillary or we’re all gonna die! (earthli News), I presented quite a bit of evidence that Hillary supporters are 100% on board, not that they’re balancing a pragmatic and cynical worldview.
Those supporters I’ve cited in other places seem like they’ve really drunk the Kool-Aid. I don’t think they’re holding their noses anymore, even though they may have started out that way. Instead, they’re doing what people always do: confabulating to re-build their perception of the past to match the realities of their present in a way that makes them look like heroes in their own personal narrative.
If you’re making a calculated vote, that’s kind of a shitty thing to do. If you’d have preferred to vote for Bernie or Jill, but are voting for Hillary in order to prevent Trump’s election, then you can’t feel too grand about your role in the democratic process. If, however, you magically and suddenly can convince yourself that Hillary is, in fact, a sterling candidate whose every view aligns with all of your own? Well, then, you’ve won your own personal race and can sleep soundly.
Does it matter that this is all fake? Not to you. You don’t remember that it’s fake, that you ever thought differently. This new reality is just as real as the previous one was. All of the mud being slung at Hillary? Just mud flung by misogynistic and jealous fools. So I don’t give Hillary voters as much credit as Adams does, although I’m surprised to find that my faith in humanity is even shakier than his…so perhaps I’m missing something.
More flak: Trump as traitor
Hillary also wastes no time in accusing her opponent of colluding with this dastardly enemy—an accusation nearly unprecedented in American politics. She’s accusing Trump of being a traitor and getting away with it. And everyone thought that the media was in bed with Trump.
Hillary is planting seeds in the American mind-space to make it much easier to swallow the bitter pill of going to war with Russia after we start shooting down their planes over Syria. But I’m getting ahead of myself.