Everybody I don’t agree with is a Russian bot or how it is easier to believe an evil mastermind is responsible things don’t go the way I want
It occurred to me that the political situation in the US is a bit like in Slovenia. Large parts of the Democratic party have taken the conspiracy theory, that Russians somehow affected their presidential elections in 2016 and continue to meddle in their internal affairs, seriously. Putin is everywhere. Not only it is believed that Trump is his man, now even a major in the US national guard and Representative for Hawai, Tulsi Gabbard is proclaimed a Russian asset, the same way Jill Stein was because she had the temerity to run as a Green party candidate in the 2016 presidential elections.
In Slovenia, the role of an evil overlord, playing mischief and preventing the good forces to win at the elections is played by the important politician in the communist era and later, after independence, the first president of Slovenia, Milan Kučan. The leader of SDS, a part conservative, part nationalistic party, Janez Janša blames Kučan for being the figure in the shadows, rotating his political puppets in front of Slovenian electorate and quietly maintaining an evil regime through his numerous connections. Members of the party and some media in league with them, aided by legions of online activists, peddle this conspiracy theory, this way explaining, why their party is unable to win elections, or if they do, gather enough allies to build a coalition and take consequently set up their government. And they are aggressive while doing that. Imprisoned in their bubble, unable and unwilling to look outside, they can’t understand, that there is a problem with their message and that most Slovenians just don’t like Janša. So they continue to believe, Kučan and his minions have brainwashed people not to see the obvious truth, that they are the only solution. Anybody, even with similar political views, who dares to criticize Janša and proposes that maybe a change in leadership could bring success, is attacked and smeared as a sellout, working for the regime.
In United States, it is all Putin’s fault, even if it is not that believable, that he and his hordes of online trolls could really change the behavior of the American electorate. It is also a bit crazy to believe that Kremlin somehow controls Donald Trump. Russia simply doesn’t have that power. And what to say about Russian media reporting on US internal affairs? What is so out of the ordinary about that? The entire world does that. The more important the country, the more foreign media reports on what’s happening there and you can bet, that they shine a positive light on people in the political process, they agree with.
What is happening in the US, is that one part of the political spectrum can’t get over their defeat at 2016 presidential elections. Democrats did everything in their power, to prevent Bernie Sanders from winning and it worked. Hillary Clinton should have won easily against that clown, Republicans offered as their candidate. And yet, the inevitable didn’t happen. Hillary lost, but the consequence was not some deep soul searching, it was finger-pointing. It was the Russians because it was easier that way.
Since then it all just got worse. Now there are people in the media and politics, who use the anti-Russian hysteria to win points with masses of people, who fell for their conspiracy theories. Anybody who disagrees with them is smeared as a Russian asset. Anybody, who disagrees with US foreign policy, is working in the interest of Putin. It is all a convenient marriage of political elites, who want to maintain the empire, the United States built in the past, their media cheerleaders and common people, who just want a simple explanation, why the world is like it is. A good story about an evil mastermind, relentlessly plotting from the shadows is just such simplification. There is no need to step out of the bubble, they created for themselves and understand the world around them. A world, in US context, capable of electing Trump for president and also a world, where a progressive democratic candidate for the nomination can have a more anti-war stance. A world, where they are the minority and the majority isn’t really on the same page as them, when it comes to who they support as candidates and the political solutions they propose.
Democrats will most likely win the 2020 presidential elections, although Trump isn’t without his chances. What will remain, are the witch-hunts and paranoia. Irreparable damage has already been done. Militant hatred and a never-ending search for evidence of foreign interference, whenever people disagree, don’t bode well for the future of the United States.