News & Politics

Russia Not Smart or Powerful Enough to Throw Trump the Election

(Sergey Guneev/Sputnik via AP)

In the midst of another piece attributing Donald Trump’s electoral victory to widespread racism, Vanity Fair smuggles in a legitimate point about Russia’s influence.

There are two reasons The Manchurian Candidate doesn’t quite meet the believability threshold. The first is that it’s about a conspiracy, and, like all conspiracies, the conspiracy in The Manchurian Candidate requires someone to pull it off. That’s why most conspiracies never happen in the first place—they’re too complex, there’s too much room for error…

We should be thankful that, in the real world of 2016, conspiracies are still nearly impossible to pull off. Vladimir Putin did not surreptitiously plot the rise of Donald Trump because he couldn’t have. (Who could have ensured Marco Rubio would stumble so badly in that debate before the New Hampshire primary? Who could have known that Access Hollywood tape wouldn’t cost Trump the election?)…

Indeed, to attribute Trump’s victory to Russia endows them with a godlike omniscience and omnipotence so insurmountable that we might as well accept it. Virtually no one gave Trump a good chance to win. Of those who did, few were employing objective criteria. To say Russia knew what was going to happen, and how to manipulate it, one must believe that the Kremlin has greater insight into the American electorate than most Americans do.

That won’t stop an apoplectic left from continuing their sudden Russia-phobia. For them, any story proves more plausible than the simple truth: Hillary Clinton was a horrible candidate.