Uncomfortable Truth: No, Russia Didn't Elect Trump
I've been a libertarian — note small "L" — since I got over childhood socialism in my teens, and I've never been a really devoted member of any party because I understood even in my 20s that big organizations always act like idiots. After a short flirtation with big-"L" Libertarian Party libertarianism, I've been a registered Republican for two reasons.
- I got to vote against the really obnoxious Republican once without having to vote for a more-obnoxious Democrat. (A principle a lot of the #NeverTrump caucus have forgotten, but that's another article.)
- As a registered Republican, I could keep an eye on them better.
In 2016, I resisted voting for Trump because he struck me as basically an FDR Democrat. Better than Hillary, but still a Democrat. Since the election, I've ended up writing mostly about the silly things people were saying about Trump, and God knows there've been plenty. And then there are the outright lies.
The election, amazingly, is impending and the outright lies are coming thick and fast, along with a positively blinding amount of gaslighting. So I think it's time we talked about some of the uncomfortable truths that contradict the comfortable common lies.
Here's number one.
No, Russia didn't elect Trump. Whether Jimmy Carter likes it or not. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Russians affected the election results. To believe they did is to believe that
- The roughly $100,000 Russia spent on Facebook ads overwhelmed the roughly $80 million that the Clinton campaign spent
- The $18 million per year "Internet Research Agency" budget overwhelmed the Clinton campaign's $1.2 billion total campaign expenditures,
When you compare the numbers, it's clear that was obvious nonsense.
On the other hand, we need to believe that Hillary — with a history of crooked dealings, a succession of apparent felonies, a campaign that struggled to get her in front of the public without glaringly obvious ill health, and who couldn't be troubled to actually campaign in several swing states, including one that Trump won by only about 10,000 votes, would have won the election if not for the tiny contribution in Facebook ads and Twitter trolling — which was in any case spent against both candidates, and doesn't take into account the real fake news that was being pushed from within the U.S.
There are a lot of reasons that Trump was elected. The fact that Hillary was, amazingly, even more incompetent as a campaigner than she was unlikeable as a person, was one of them. I suspect increasingly that the biggest reason was that enough of the population in flyover country caught on that the Anointed were actually just greasy grifters anyway, so they might as well pick one that seemed to have their interests in mind. The answer to the question "why did Evangelicals vote for this vulgar womanizer?" was that they saw the other choice as a crooked pol who was married to a vulgar womanizer. So they rolled the dice. RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA has been, and still is, an attempt to feel better about losing by people who can't accept that they actually suck.
Which is the real uncomfortable truth.