With Russiagate seemingly hitting a brick-wall, the damage to the confidence people have in America’s electoral system and to its reputation abroad, may far outlast this conspiracy theory driven pseudo-scandal.
Here are 4 groups of people who have been badly insulted by the lies about Russia.
1. The American Voters
By claiming that the results of the election were fraudulent because of Russian hacking’ or ‘sinister Russian influence’, the American voters are essentially being told that their vote didn’t count and that their opinions are worthless.
The fact of the matter is that because of the clear divides in terms of policy, style, rhetoric and personal appeal between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, many Americans who otherwise cared little for politics, felt compelled to express their opinions both by speaking out and by voting.
To reduce the fraught election from a battle of American public opinion to a decision made in some dark room in Russia, is an insult to the American people and the democracy they value.
American voters, not Russian hackers put Trump in office. Failing to acknowledge that is to undermine the collective voice of the American public.
Just as under the Senatorial reign of Joseph McCarthy many on the left were falsely derided as ‘card carrying Communists’, now members of the invigorated American conservative movement are being accused of being ‘tools of Russia’ or ‘Russian agents’.
How arrogant must one be to not even acknowledge the fact that there is a growing conservative movement in America and that because conservatives have for so long been shut out of US broadcast and cable television, they are increasingly turning to the internet in order to express their views.
One doesn’t need to be even remotely conservative to understand this. If one wants to win hearts and minds, if one wants to ‘convert’ conservatives, it is better to hear them out and offer one’s alternative proposals.
Instead, the Democrats and neo-cons pretend that America doesn’t have a ‘conservative problem’. They would rather pretend that it is a foreign problem. It isn’t, it is a home grown matter, not even a problem, unless free speech is a problem, that it.
Many US citizens of Mexican heritage were upset with Donald Trump’s remarks about Mexico. Less is said about American citizens of Russian heritage.
With comedians like John Oliver ridiculing Russia’s victory in the Great Patriotic War and anti-Russian conspiracy nut Louise Mensch saying that ‘Russia has no culture’, people are going to be upset, they are going to be offended and they are going to vote in accordance with those feelings.
Beyond Russians living in America, Russia is a superpower, like it or not. Is it really good for America’s standing, when high level Congressmen and women spread such hatred against the people of a fellow superpower? It is not only wrong but it is insulting. Russia has shown remarkably good humour throughout the ordeal.
Even though many of the Democrats latching on to Russiagate, pretend to be progressives, they are actually distracting people from the actual progressive agenda.
The people who voted for Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein care about universal healthcare, free education and higher wages. Instead of talking about these issues, the Democrats are obsessing over an issue which solves nothing.
If the Democrats reflected on their loss and realise that they would have had a better chance of victory under Bernie Sanders than Hillary Clinton, they could have adjusted the trajectory of their party accordingly. Instead, they continue to fight Hillary’s campaign over four months after she lost.