Why Are So Many Surprised?

Status
Closed
May 2018
646
Michigan
#1
I am actually shocked that the American Public At Large is surprised that Russia was attempting to influence the results of the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election. Given the US's history of trying to influence elections (in many cases, not for the better, particularly during the Cold War), we are hardly in a position to complain. And I wouldn't even complain if we were: I basically expect the "Great Powers" of 2019 to use underhanded or illegal tactics against their rivals. In fact, I'd be actually a little disappointed if the U.S. wasn't using its power to advance U.S. interest, even in underhanded ways. FFS, France intervened in the internal policing of Great Britain when it sided with the terrorists/revolutionaries/whatever after Saratoga. Our nation only exists because of foreign interference in domestic matters.

I suppose I view any foreign nation state attempting to affect the outcome of U.S. elections in a similar way I'd view spying: I would, of course, oppose spying against the United States, the UK or most NATO allies. However, I don't view spying as some sort of extra-special crime when it comes to conflict between nation-states. And nor would I be at all surprised that it is happening.

As for Americans colluding with Russia to affect outcome of elections, as recently as the 1980s, Americans soliciting foreign assistance wasn't even regarded as a serious offense. The big bruhahaha about Ted Kennedy reaching out to the KGB was brushed off by U.S. officials at the time:

He had no idea if an overture might have been made, but even it had, Adelman said it didn’t matter.

"We knew senators were doing this sort of thing all the time, and we ignored it," Adelman said. "We didn’t think it was important, and it wasn’t. The administration didn’t care about it."
This was in the 1980s, when detente was out of style and Reagan was driving toward victory in the Cold War. Apparently, Senators were doing similar things "all the time."

The only aspect that might make Kennedy's alleged offer "bad" is the fact that we had been in an obvious Cold War with the Soviet Union for decades.

The worst aspect of this whole affair is that nation states interfering in each other's elections may become a new, accepted practice in international conflict. As opposed to it being something kept in the dark and shunned, morally if not legally. Remember that carpet (saturation) bombing of civilian targets was considered "dishonorable" or "off limits" by nearly all combatants in WWII in 1939. By 1945, we were bombing the crap out of each other's population centers, to the point of using nuclear weapons. In six short years, the ethics of war changed.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,120
#2
Its called propaganda.... also some have still not swallowed the election of the current POTUS so that they are clutching at straws

Even if the Russians tried to meddle there is no clear understanding what effect this meddling had and if it had any

Let's not forget that one candidate spent almot $800 million while the other spent almost $400 mio ..... so about 2 time less... and yet the "cheaper one" won.... Let's not forget that one candidate had the overwhelming backing of the media, and still lost....

So with vastly more money and vastly more media backing the losing candidate was not able to win.... How would meddling, which apparently consisted mostly of some facebook adds and posts on various social media really have an effect against the seasoned election machine of a major US party combined with the might of the US media ? (oh and there is the little matter of that party using various unsavory manipulations to sideline one of its candidates during the primaries)
 
Nov 2015
1,725
Kyiv
#3
[QUOTE="frogsofwar, post: 3128718, member: 51711" In six short years, the ethics of war changed.[/QUOTE]

I can predict how the ethics of the West will be forced to change radically in the coming decades. Rapid climate change will inevitably lead to the fact that crowds of refugees, which will try to infiltrate into Europe from East and Africa, will already number not thousands, but hundreds of thousands and millions of people. And not a desire for a better life and good earnings will push them to the western borders in the nearer future, but the fear of inevitable starvation.

And it will be possible to stop them only by brute force and even by mass extermination of large crowds of refugees. And if not to stop - Europe will quickly suffocate from this powerful and continuous stream of millions of hungry and homeless. Hungry mass immigration is the challenge for the more fed - or less vulnerable to drought and famine countries amid drought and famine which will cover vast areas with a dense population in the foreseeable future. This is a terrible forecast but I think its implementation is only a matter of time.
 
Mar 2016
916
Australia
#4
Its called propaganda.... also some have still not swallowed the election of the current POTUS so that they are clutching at straws

Even if the Russians tried to meddle there is no clear understanding what effect this meddling had and if it had any

Let's not forget that one candidate spent almot $800 million while the other spent almost $400 mio ..... so about 2 time less... and yet the "cheaper one" won.... Let's not forget that one candidate had the overwhelming backing of the media, and still lost....

So with vastly more money and vastly more media backing the losing candidate was not able to win.... How would meddling, which apparently consisted mostly of some facebook adds and posts on various social media really have an effect against the seasoned election machine of a major US party combined with the might of the US media ? (oh and there is the little matter of that party using various unsavory manipulations to sideline one of its candidates during the primaries)
If the Democratic candidate was literally anyone other than Hillary Clinton I'd be more willing to believe the Russians had a direct and major influence on the election, but honestly Clinton was such a terrible candidate that I do not find it hard to believe she lost by her own incompetence.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,102
Sydney
#5
The Democratic party machine faced with the choice of listening to its base or having a rant about nothing much
recoil in horror and choose the rant
the guy is somewhat partisan but has a point

 
Nov 2015
1,725
Kyiv
#6
We are not talking about the fact that Russia imposed Trump to the Americans. And that without her active intervention in American media, etc. he would have received an insignificant part of the vote. The point is that Russia's intervention was the straw that broke the camel's back. And with a similar number of votes for both candidates, Russian influence added some of the votes to Trump and reduced that part for Clinton.

Let's not forget that the huge amounts of uncontrolled petrodollars that the Kremlin has received from the West over the past 20 years have allowed it to create a new version of the Comintern. Comintern with a budget of billions of dollars. And to organize a worldwide Russian dis information network with round-the-clock broadcasting in many languages with all of its russia todays. This is in addition to the fact that the Kremlin is very actively buying Western journalists, political scientists, politicians and officials. And the scale of this ambitious project can only be determined by some separate details that we see
 

arkteia

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
4,722
Seattle
#7
Its called propaganda.... also some have still not swallowed the election of the current POTUS so that they are clutching at straws

Even if the Russians tried to meddle there is no clear understanding what effect this meddling had and if it had any

Let's not forget that one candidate spent almot $800 million while the other spent almost $400 mio ..... so about 2 time less... and yet the "cheaper one" won.... Let's not forget that one candidate had the overwhelming backing of the media, and still lost....

So with vastly more money and vastly more media backing the losing candidate was not able to win.... How would meddling, which apparently consisted mostly of some facebook adds and posts on various social media really have an effect against the seasoned election machine of a major US party combined with the might of the US media ? (oh and there is the little matter of that party using various unsavory manipulations to sideline one of its candidates during the primaries)
You could also add that Bernie, very likely, split the Dems vote in 2016.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,570
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#8
You could also add that Bernie, very likely, split the Dems vote in 2016.
This is a point related with the visible weakness of the Democrat candidate [at least in the eyes of a good part of the electorate]: the internal division of the Democrat party. Among the ones who wanted Sanders to run for the Presidency there have been electors who have renounced to vote [not to see Clinton President]. This has been a big problem.

Then, about Russian influence, we should wonder why ... why did Russians try and influence US Presidential Elections?

It's still very early to write a page of history, but a little chronicle is possible to be written down.

Russia is coming back on the scene of the great powers and Moscow wants to regain a part of its Soviet sphere of influence. The Last US Presidents [competition is competition] have damaged Russian interests [taking advantage from the weakness of the former Soviet Superpower].

* Clinton enlarged NATO in Eastern Europe, after even running a war against the Serbians not far from here [NATO enlargement happened in 1999].
* Bush [exporting democracy or not] fought wars just in areas of "competence" of the former Soviet Union [Americans invaded even Afghanistan ...].
* Obama, despite a Peace Noble Prize [!], has supported [and taken part] to local wars around the Arab world, in some cases [Syria has been the main example] endangering Russian interests.

Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State under Obama and she shared his views.

So Russians were a bit concerned thinking to see her becoming POTUS.

Trump was known as a person not appreciating interventionism. An American isolationist, in other words. That was what Russia needed. So, like it happens that US Presidents and politicians endorse this or that EU candidate [hoping to have a friendly or a less hostile government in an European country], Russians thought to "endorse" Trump.

The problem is that Russians have got an odd conception of "endorsement" ... a bit illegal, I would say!
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,139
Portugal
#9
I am actually shocked that the American Public At Large is surprised that Russia was attempting to influence the results of the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election.
I think that that is not exactly the surprise. The surprises (in plural) among many was that the supporters of the candidate that Russia backed find that natural and weren’t bother with that; the surprises were the level of fake news in a era that many supposed that the true information and fact checking would quickly demised it; the surprises were that a man that was considered a non-politician could dispute the elections in the USA political system; the surprises were that a man that is seen by “half of the world” as an idiot could reach the presidency (even if this was not the first time); the surprises were that the fact being a women in the USA is still an issue in the presidential elections; the surprises were also that Hillary was so incompetent; the surprises were that so many in the USA were disgrunted with a black president. Many paradigms changed with the last USA presidential elections. But the germs were there, as were in Poland, Hungary, Philippines, Brazil, the surprise was that such diverse countries could generate so similar phenomenon. But that is the global village where we live. So basically it was a cocktail of surprises.
 
Likes: Tulun

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
32,511
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#10
If the Democratic candidate was literally anyone other than Hillary Clinton I'd be more willing to believe the Russians had a direct and major influence on the election, but honestly Clinton was such a terrible candidate that I do not find it hard to believe she lost by her own incompetence.
Discussing partisan politics is not permitted on Historum.
 
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