Prior to the 2016 presidential election, if one were to ask what single act could seal a new Cold War with Russia, align liberals and progressives with the operational core of the American military-industrial-surveillance complex, expose the preponderance of left-activism as an offshoot of Democratic Party operations and consign most of what remained to personal invective against an empirically dangerous leader, consensus would likely have it that doing so wouldn’t be easy.
The decision to blame Russian meddling for Hillary Clinton’s electoral loss was made in the immediate aftermath of the election by her senior campaign staff. Within days the received wisdom amongst Clinton supporters was that the election had been stolen and that Donald Trump was set to enter the White House as a pawn of the Russian political leadership. Left out was the history of U.S. – Russian relations; that the largest voting bloc in the 2016 election was eligible voters who didn’t vote and that domestic business interests substantially control the American electoral process.
More than a year later, no credible evidence has been put forward to establish that any votes were changed due to ‘external’ meddling. As the Intercept has reported, since the election progressive candidates seeking public office have been systematically subverted by establishment Democrats in favor of those with connections to big-money donors. And the Democratic Party leadership in congress just voted to give Mr. Trump expanded spying powers with fewer restraints. Congressional Democrats are certainly behaving as if they believe Mr. Trump was duly elected. And more to the point, they are supporting his program.
The choice of Russia would seem bizarre if not for the history. Residual propaganda from the first Cold War— itself largely a business enterprise that provided ideological cover for American imperial incursions, had it that substantive grievances against the American government, in the form of protests, were universally the product of ‘external’ enemies intent on sowing discord to promote their own interests.