Joseph Stalin once said, “Death is the solution to all problems. No man – no problem”. According to this logic, if the US decided to use its nuclear arsenal to destroy Russia, the US wouldn’t have the problems with its “democracy” that it has at present, as all of the current problems are being blamed on Russia. In this hypothetical situation, Russia would be destroyed, no one of any relevance in the US political elite would express any compassion for the hundreds of millions killed and Russia would not be able to retaliate. In this sense, the hypothetical is intentionally impossible, as its only goal is to isolate the US in a would-be environment where no one in Russia would be there to ‘meddle in US democracy’, because there would be no Russia. How would such a situation pan out?
Was the US ever democratic?
The US has never been a full democracy, but instead is a nation founded on a combination of noble principles and exploitative ones, where in its early days, a small population did had some say in the workings of their government. This was largely due to the fact that in 1800 the entire white population of the United States was just over 5 million. By contrast, the population of New York City in 2018 is over 8.5 million. The number gets even smaller when you subtract the female and minor population and of course at such a period, the colonised indigenous peoples of the US had no rights at all, nor did African slaves. So by the standards of a slaveholding colonial society, a group of white adult men with similar ideas in the broader international context of the late 18th and early 19th century, did have a measure of say in the way they were governed.
Corporatism sets in
By the turn of the 20th century, slavery had been abolished and women were eventually given the right to vote in 1920, but by then it was largely too late. The corporate structure of the United States had turned politics into a Plutocracy where it took a great deal of money to run a successful campaign and even more money to eventually win. Soon it did not matter what the ordinary man or woman wanted from government, but what business owners and powerful newspaper barons wanted. Orson Welles famously illustrated the power of the press over politicians in his film Citizen Kane. While in Welles’ film from 1941, the newspaper tycoon-turned-politician Kane eventually gets his comeuppance, in 21st century America, this is becoming incredibly rare.
When powerful corporations control the political narrative and can cut off one’s career in the corporate sector because of an ill thought out remark or even a popular remark that is loathed by the corporate elites, one can scarcely get a shot at power. Things have become so rigged against independent thought, that even peacefully boycotting “Israel” can get one isolated from even being able to work for a governing body.
The Trump factor
Donald Trump is a paradox because he is at once an archetypal corporate elite while also being an ‘everyman’s outsider’. Donald Trump used money to win the election, this is beyond dispute. He did nothing illegal with his money, he simply used it to perpetuate his message and more importantly his image, based on the fact that he could garner publicity. He was so clever, he even managed to receive free air time based on the celebrity he created based on his previous investments. For those who think Trump ran an inexpensive campaign, one ought to realise that the fact that Trump turning his name into a brand decades before running for office was an investment in itself which paid off during the campaign. Trump therefore was ‘campaigning’ for office for years. It was only during the 2016 election cycle that he pushed the proverbial red button which set the campaign in motion.
Hillary Clinton also used a great deal of money – far more than Trump in her attempt to win. Like Trump who invested his money in branding himself over the decades, so too did Hillary Clinton. In Clinton’s case, she did not invest in television shows, hotels or retail products, but in a marriage of branding necessity with a Presidential husband who was clearly interested in other women and most likely still is.
The reason Trump was an “outsider” was because the money he spent on his campaign was from his own savings rather than that of other corporations and individuals. At the end of the day though, this still makes the campaign one that could only be won by those with money. Someone with exceptional ideas but with a modest income or savings simply could not complete with the likes of a property branding icon and a strategically married icon.
A lack of choice
It is difficult to remember a time when the difference between the two major parties made any significant difference to policy making in the US. This has certainly been the case since the 1940s. President Lyndon Johnson was a Democrat and covered up for “Israel’s” murderous attack on the USS Liberty which killed innocent Americans. Likewise Johnson escalated the war on Vietnam to new heights, in one of the biggest US war crimes of the 20th century. His Republican successor Nixon bombed Cambodia and Laos while continuing to bomb Vietnam, all while siding with “Israel” in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, which did nothing but increase oil prices for American consumers.
More recently, Republican George W. Bush covered up “Israel’s” involvement in 9/11 while then going to war in Afghanistan (just like Democrat Jimmy Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan had done through the use of jihadist proxies) and Iraq, while his Democratic successor Barack Obama continued Bush’s wars and expanded them to Libya and Syria. Then another Republican called Trump came along who promised to have fewer wars in the Middle East. With no plans to leave Iraq or leave Libya alone, the US is now planning to occupy Syria for the foreseeable future. So far – so similar.
Back to Russia
In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan called the USSR an “evil empire” and today’s Russia is referred to in even more insulting terms by members of both major American parties. Yet, how was it that Russia turned the United States into a country where the rich rule and in spite of elections, end up ruling in the same way as their opponents from other political parties?
The answer is that Russia has had no impact on this. It is for this reason that a federal indictment against 13 Russian citizens (none of whom are related to the Russian government) on charges that they sought to influence American democracy through fraud, is a farce. How can one use fraud to influence something which itself is fraudulent? If American elections are shams where two wealthy individuals battle over personal differences only to then enact the same policies as their predecessors, how can this be called a legitimately representative system in any way?
Imagine a real US democracy
If the US was a real democracy there would be between 10-20 major Presidential candidates who would not be allowed to use any private money on their campaigns. Each would have similarly styled websites and printed literature defining their policies and biography and each would be given the same amount of air time both individual and during debates.
The entire process would take three months which in an age of 24 hour media is more than enough time to become familiar with the personalities and positions involved.
If no candidate received over 50% of all votes during the first round of voting, subsequent rounds would be held, just as they are in countries like France….and Russia. If at any point in the career of a President, the people wanted to remove him, they could do so via popular referendum. Furthermore, all major issues, including and especially the deployment of troops to a war, would have to be decided via popular referendum, thus limiting the role of any would-be President. If anyone thinks this would cost too much, just consider the cost of war.
This ideal yet highly doable situation mentioned above, one that would actually save money, is almost certainly never going to happen in the United States. Likewise, it is impossible for any foreign power to change a corrupt system either for the worse or for the better. The truth is that the US is angry that Russia has become diplomatically influential, militarily influential and economically influential, not least through its position in China’s One Belt–One Road.
Already, US politicians are saying that Chinese students in the US are a threat to national security, just proving the point that anyone who threatens the US economically, militarily and diplomatically is a threat to “US democracy”. The US dislikes the Syrian government, but since Syria is not an economic threat to the US, it wasn’t Syria that ‘meddled in US democracy, it was Russia. This is why in the next election cycle, it won’t be Palestine that is ‘meddling in US democracy’ but China.
Don’t blame Russia – blame stupid individuals
The only reason that the Russiagate narrative has been allowed to go on for so long, is not because it’s novel or particularly exciting, but because most people have become incredibly stupid – there is no other polite word for it and I’m frankly glad there isn’t. The United States of today is best defined as a hybrid between an Oligarchy and Plutocracy where people are given expensive entertainment in the form of meaningless elections that only distract from how truly disenfranchised the average citizen actually is.
If one was eating rotten meat with a fresh loaf of bread, fell ill and then tried to convince those around him that it was the bread that made him ill, most people would deduce that such an individual was either a liar or stupid. Anyone who believed the hypothesis of the rotten meat eating man, could be accurately described as completely stupid.
And this is all the Russiagate scandal is. It is a low-brow lie peddled by some people who have deluded themselves, some people who know they are lying and some people who are gullible enough to believe the lie. As for the many million others who simply hear the Russiagate lie and believe what they are told: they are incredibly stupid. They are stupid enough to believe that a system where people’s lives are rigged from birth based mainly on economic factors, but also because of a poor education system, the colour of their skin, their manner of speech, how they smell, what hobbies they have, how married or divorced they are or how ugly their face might be, could somehow be tampered with by internet trolls in Russia or anywhere else.
The US system is not in danger of being meddled with from any foreign source. The US system is air tight. It is a fraud that has been dressed up as the greatest modern myth ever told and if Russia was wiped off the face of the earth, there would still be some people too stupid to understand this.
So yes, the 2016 election was rigged, but not by Russia. It was rigged by a system which rigs the lives of ordinary people from cradle to grave and none of this would have changed, no matter which of the two plutocratic oligarchs won in November of 2016.