Within twenty-four hours of Hillary Clinton’s humiliating loss to the bloviating bigot, Donald Trump, her team began circulating the theory that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia to hijack the election. For two and a half years, this conspiracy theory was promoted incessantly by media outlooks CNN, MSNBC (or “MSDNC”), the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and by the Democratic Party and its front group, Indivisible. In one six-week period in 2017, Rachel Maddow devoted more time to Russiagate than to all other topics combined.
A few people on the left expressed skepticism about Russiagate. We suggested Russian hackers had little to do with the outcome of the 2016 election. The fact that Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate, who was widely and understandably loathed for her warmongering and steadfast devotion to corporate interests, and the fact that Trump’s racism and xenophobia appealed to millions of Americans had much more to do with putting a klansman in the White House than Russian hackers did. We also suggested that it was a strategic mistake for those who opposed Trumpolini’s policies to invest their hopes in Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Leftists who expressed skepticism about Russiagate were subjected to scorn and derision by our liberal colleagues. Democrats accused us of being secret Trump supporters and “Putin lovers.” I was told I had “no heart, no brain, and no balls.” Royal Calkins made the bizarre and insulting suggestion that my skepticism about the Russiagate narrative spared me the trouble of thinking.
Mueller has concluded his investigation. After issuing 2800 subpoenas, executing nearly 500 search warrants, and interviewing approximately 500 witnesses, Mueller found no evidence of this massive and nefarious conspiracy. The skeptics were right. The people who peddled this malarkey were wrong.
The Russiagate conspiracy theory not only served to mislead people about the real reasons the Odious Orange One was elected. It also contributed to the demonization of Russia and Putin, raising the likelihood of a violent conflict between two of the world’s nuclear armed nations, a conflict which would mean the end of the human species.
Those journalists, pundits, politicians, and activists who suspended their critical thinking and mindlessly regurgitated this nonsense have now handed the fascistic con artist in the White House a tremendous victory and a weapon which he will use in his re-election campaign. They have been thoroughly discredited They should immediately do three things: (1) admit they were wrong; (2) apologize; and (3) shut up. The next time they feel the urge to express their opinions, they should resist it. And the time after that. The rest of us should resolve never to listen to any of them again.
There are lessons to be learned here, although I fear that few will learn them. Thanks to the peddlers of the Russiagate narrative, the chances of Trump being re-elected have gone up, a prospect which should fill all sane people with horror. Our only hope is to build a movement of massive resistance to Trump’s policies. We can look to the Yellow Vest movement in France and to the Palestinian Great March of Return and to courageous people like Chelsea Manning for inspiration and guidance.
Where we cannot seek inspiration and guidance is in the Democratic Party or any group affiliated with it. That is a recipe for further disaster.
Phillip J. Crawford