Jan. 7th, 2017

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

...reminds me why we need to stop focusing on Russian election interference. Prosecute it, respond to it officially and diplomatically and by whatever other means necessary? Yes. Worry about it as a people? No.

First of all, welcome to the world. Countries interfere in each other's elections and yes, we've interfered in theirs, and they've interfered in ours. Provably. Before.

Secondly, Hillary Clinton didn't "lose" the election. She won by ~3 million votes. And since the following will overlap with another erroneous belief people cling to, I'll add that in a democracy, Hillary would have won not just the popular vote but also the office of the presidency. She'd be about to become our President...in any normal democracy.

While I won't comment on the "normal" part, we're certainly no democracy.

We're more like a republic. The proof is in how we put the Electoral College in front of our own people, in theory to shield us from the consequences of "mob rule". This is the only reason Hillary actually lost. By sheer numbers, she had one of the biggest wins of all time. It is truly - and, as she's a woman - rather uniquely impressive.

Third, with all this talk of Putin stealing the election, we're playing into his hands. So...stop, knock it off (and no, that's not a Trumpism. While I don't care to digress over linguistics, it's more of a Queens/German immigrant way of speaking ("Stop - knock it off" - you'll hear so much of that phrase by the time you're like, 3, it just bakes in). I'm sorry to say I can and do talk like him, and so did my mom and so did...whomever. These linguistics are also closely related to what people call "bluntness", but it's just a very direct way of speaking).

The most important takeaway: Putin's playing psychological war games and everyone whining about his country's interference is handing him the prize he probably thought he'd have to work a lot harder for: your distraction. Made of fear and the continuation of sadness over yet another thing to blame Hillary's loss on.

He wants this. He wants us to think Trump is/will be his puppet, and by playing up how he supposedly handed Trump this election, we're reinforcing that. By reinforcing it, we're creating fear that under Trump we won't get to run our own country, and that fear is what Putin hopes will consume us. It's what he's bargaining for.

It's part of what I call Putin's game of "distraction", played on at least three fronts:

1) His country spreads as many lies and twisted facts and as much false news as possible. All countries see a good portion of their populations - usually those feeling downtrodden, disgruntled and ignored, who are impatient with the speed of change and not willing to fight for any particular set of values - willing to fall for this. That's why it works; it's very much time-tested.

2) Make obvious interference in the electoral process; spread fear that the interfered with country is being played by a strongman - who happens to also be aces at psych-ops. What, you think he was trying not to get caught? Getting caught wasn't a "whoopsies". That's a win he's probably celebrating right now with Guccifer 2.0, itself. All press is good press, especially if it spooks your opponent.

3) Let the interfered with country conduct its own downfall for him.

4) Not gonna talk about it. Feel free to fill in the blanks.

Let's move to basketball for analogies (it's the only sport I enjoy watching and there's excellent psych-ops baked right in). Say the election is the basketball, and we were passing it to Clinton when Guccifer 2.0 and Wikileaks stepped in front of her to block the pass. If her and her coach (say, Obama) saw this coming, she would step in front of these blockers, catch the ball, and without stopping to comment, sail on down the court and dunk that thing, or at least try to, right?

But no. Instead she caught the ball, dropped it, walked off the court and added a few lines in her next debate about how the Russians were seen trying to hand Trump the ball, so that's why she might be looked upon as losing, even if her team actually wins once the referees get done watching all the tapes.

Well, where's the ball now?

It was a needless distraction. Score 1 for Putin.

It's continued to distract us ever since, keeping Democrats from focusing on far more important things, such as James Comey's nefariousness or the massive, multi-state voter suppression that occurred last year. Score 2 for Putin.

It's ripping our resolve and morale apart...three months later, even as the president we think it helped is about to be sworn in. Score 3 for Putin.

Putin 3, the rest of us? Huh. Zero. Well, Trump +1, maybe?

It's just a basketball. Even with how badly Hillary fumbled it a few times (and outright dropped it at least once, just to have an excuse to make Trump and Putin look bad), by popular consensus, she still won the whole damn thing. Letting Putin destroy our resolve to carry on over his fear-inducing, morale-weakening games, and letting him confuse and distract us by adding him and his country to our Blame Game list of Reasons Why Hillary Lost, is exactly the game-ender he wants to see.

Because it will keep us from getting anything done. It will keep us focused on the past, which we can't change. It will keep us from having the faith our country needs to get through the next few years with as much grit and determination as possible.

Let's don't give him this game-ender.