Red-baiting is the new fashionable trend in America. Ever since last year, the Russian government has been accused of meddling in United States politics. While investigations continue into the validity of Russian interference in last year’s election, it’s important to explore how it happened and why they got away with it.
If there was a significant interference by a foreign government, why did Americans subscribe to the propaganda?
It’s easy to call those who believed questionable sources unpatriotic. Of course, this is wrong and immoral, but such is the nature of partisan politics. Instead of accusing fellow Americans of being Russian sympathizers because of where they receive their information, we should understand the nature of the problem.
Why trust third-party news sources?
The mainstream media is widely seen as untrustworthy and biased. The idea of unbiased journalism is pretty much dead. This is a problem on both sides of the fence. Liberals have MSNBC and conservatives have Fox News. CNN itself has become so awful that right wing activists nicknamed the news service Clinton News Network or Communist News Network.
For even liberals and conservatives, their respective outlets are problematic. MSNBC often shills for the Democratic Party, and the same can be said of Fox News with Republicans. The Democratic establishment has a well-publicized problem with progressive activists and the Republican establishment has battled for many years with more hardcore conservatives.
So people go to independent news outlets and turn to social media. This has led to the rise of fake news online and the spread of exaggerated stories, which only feeds the hyper-partisanship. Democrats are more likely to believe sources that are predominantly liberal, and the same can be said of Republicans with conservative websites.
Given the opposition to a Hillary Clinton candidacy by both staunch progressives and devout conservatives, it was a golden opportunity for any foreign entity to jump in and feed the burning opposition.
Does this make Clinton a victim of the process?
The reasons to ippose a Clinton candidacy were made very clear by all sides. Progressive Democrats felt that she was not liberal enough, instead catering to the power elite that protects her. The Democratic National Committee literally rigged the primary in her favor, alienating many potential supporters. When it comes to Republicans, she is a staunch Democrat and vocal in her opposition to conservative causes.
In other words, a Clinton candidacy was doomed to fail with or without alleged Russian interference.
But the existence of Russian fears only makes American partisanship worse. Moderate and elite Democrats are crying as they play the victim due to this alleged interference. They’re using the allegations of foreign interference to attack everyone from Bernie Sanders-aligned Democrats to Republicans aligned with the President. It’s taking a political divide and running it deeper.
This divide across our nation keeps the country from uniting towards a cause that advances America. Instead of working to improve our communities despite our differences, we are pointing fingers, screaming at our opponents and otherwise maintaining an unworkable divide. The Russians wouldn’t even need to interfere at this point to accomplish what they want the most – which is a divided and ineffective United States of America.