2018

11 January 2017: Russian cyber attack shakes U.S. democracy

The capitalists will sell us the rope with which to hang them. – attributed to Vladimir Lenin

War has been declared. A cyber war. Welcome to the 21st-century version of World War III. The Russians launched the first strike, President Barack Obama responded with measured steps, and Donald Trump is pooh-poohing the whole affair.

The evidence is clear and undeniable: Russian hacking in collusion with WikiLeaks has cast doubt on the legitimacy of Trump’s victory. The illegitimate president. That explains Trump’s dismissal of it.

Ironically, it was Trump who led the birther movement in a perverse attempt to delegitimize Barack Obama’s presidency. Birther-in-chief now commander-in-chief. But before he takes office, his legitimacy is being questioned, his successful campaign aided and abetted by two of the world’s most notorious manipulators of truth and reality: Vladimir Putin and Julian Assange.

In a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) asked Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. if he thought the Russian cyber-attack was an act of war.

Clapper stopped short of declaring it such given his position, but implied credibility by saying, “It certainly would carry, in my view, great gravity.”.

McCain, who seems to be back aboard his Straight Talk Express, said Americans “should be alarmed by Russia’s attacks on our nation. There is no national security interest more vital to the United States of America than the ability to hold free and fair elections without foreign interference.”

That should be worrisome for every American regardless of politics, but apparently, it’s not. Crazily enough, deniers that are worried about their personal identity being stolen are not unsettled about America’s sovereignty being impinged on and the election being, if not stolen, certainly compromised.

The first reason for their denial is the same as Trump’s: They would be validating the concern his election wasn’t legitimate. But there’s an additional factor: Because of their votes, they would be accused of playing into the hands of Putin.

Back in the day, anti-communists harshly hurled the epithet “useful idiots,” a term attributed to Lenin, at liberals and other leftists for their perceived softness towards communism. In spite, some might be willing to throw it back at Trump supporters but that would be unfair and unhelpful.

During most of the 20th century, Russia was a communist state. Today, the Russian shoe is no longer worn on the left foot, but on the right. Russia has become a corporate fascist state. Nevertheless, the Russian mind is still the Russian mind. Putin, who might have been named Vladimir for the sainted Lenin, is a former head of the notorious KGB, and the skills and ploys he developed and utilized then serve him well today.

Trump supporters who remain open to evidence will not only come to regret their choice but will also renounce it through their words and with future votes. Others, though they might remain staunch in their positions, might know in their heart of hearts Putin and Assange masterfully played their hands and got what they wanted.

We cannot change history or the fact Trump will be sworn in as the next American president. Still, we cannot legitimize or normalize him. Regressive forces are already flexing their macho manly muscles in Congress, and in some areas, they will get their way due to Trump’s support or indifference. That will cause considerable pain for many. But we’ll weather that storm.

The assault on our democratic process, though, must not be overlooked. It’s more destructive than Pearl Harbor or the September 11th attack. Those cost lives, but we rallied as a united people in response to the aggressors.

The cyber-attack not only compromised our ability to make a fair choice in the past election, it also is insidiously further dividing us and adding fuel to the fires of passion.

This cyber-attack causes the debate on Obamacare to pale in comparison. Regardless of one’s presidential vote, it’s imperative we respond in a united fashion to it as forcefully as we did with previous attacks on our sovereignty.

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