What to Do

There were new reports this morning that Russian trollers were active once again in an American election – this time with the Alabama Special Election. The materials being posted on social media were split between favoring both candidates, but the essence of the postings were false and inflammatory stories which seemed intended to further divide Americans against each other. Apparently, the goal of the Russian government is to divide Americans socially and politically, and to undermine our trust in American Institutions such as Law Enforcement. It seems to me there is an easy and powerful solution to the increasing divisiveness in America, a solution so obvious that it suggests that there really is collusion with the Trump Administration.

The easy solution is to unite Americans against the Russian threat to our Democracy. A common threat, a common enemy is a powerful force to unite Americans as we have seen throughout our history. The fact that Russians are using cultural issues to divide Americans is an even more compelling argument to expose and resist this threat. What better to unite Americans than the idea that we may disagree with each other, but we can put aside those disagreements to fight a common foe? It’s an even better political play because the threat happens to be real.

It is such an obvious solution IF the goal were to be to unite Americans. However, that does not appear to be the M.O. of Trump and the GOP. Their concern is for domestic politics and seem to be ignoring the overarching threat. This is why there has not been a single Federal initiative (not even a single executive meeting on the issue) to protect the integrity of the 2018 elections. Maybe the role of the Russians in the Alabama election might compel some Republicans to act, but the only response from Republicans so far is to call for the firing of Special Prosecutor Mueller, and appoint another to investigate the Justice Department (further undermining trust in law the law enforcement institutions). It is as though no one in Washington is taking the Russian threat seriously and considering unifying Americans in an effort to protect against the threat to not only our Democracy, but our society as well. “Country before Party” may be a cliché, but in this case it is also a solution.


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