I’ve been leery of making a big deal about claims that Russian agents plotted with Trump operatives to engage in computer hacking to influence our election. Such investigations might weaken Trump, but I thought they were a bad idea for a number of reasons.
First, even if true, this is part of the corporate wing of the Democratic Party’s effort to blame Clinton’s loss on Russia. If Russia is to blame, corporate democrats will argue, there is no reason for Democrats to chart a more progressive course. This enables them to avoid confronting Wall Street’s dominance of the party, and keep its grassroots populist wing out of power.
Second, it appears to be part of the “deep state’s” strategy to re-start a new cold war. Confronting Russia, the world’s second biggest nuclear power, is a very dangerous gambit.
Third, by focusing on hacking such investigations will also be an attack on people like Snowden who have been revealing vital truths to the public.
Fourth, it is hypocritical to get apoplectic about Russia acting to influence our election, when we do this routinely to other countries. Left-wingers should reject such American exceptionalism even when it might serve our purposes. In other words, jumping on the blame Russia bandwagon is opportunistic.
But I’ve also heard Trump’s praise of Putin. I’ve watched Trump fill his cabinet with billionaires. And it is impossible to miss that Trump is using his office to increase the wealth of his family.
This has left me wondering. Does Trump see Putin’s Russia as a model for the United States? Does Trump dream of being the strongman of a crony capitalist oligarchy like Putin is? Is that what he seeks to accomplish while in office?
Trump is hardly a deep ideological thinker. As far as I can tell his objectives are making money, getting attention, and receiving adulation. His motivation seems more personal than class oriented. Perhaps this is why he makes many elements of the current American ruling elite so nervous.
If that is the case then exposing team-Trump’s Russian ties takes on a new dimension. A neoliberal, corporate-dominated state under Clinton would have been an environmental disaster the world could not afford. However, mimicking Putin’s corrupt extractionist-oriented, authoritarianism in the United States, would place all those organizing domestic resistance in immediate danger while locking in the same environmental devastation.
So, despite my misgivings, perhaps I should support efforts to expose Trump’s Russian ties. I am far from certain about this, however. Am I missing something with a shallow analysis?
I urge those who read this to weigh in with their comments. I read them all and respond to many. I suspect some who comment never check to see if they have been answered. I urge those who do recheck to rejoin the discussion if they wish. This is not an easy issue. It requires further analysis and it will be front and center for the foreseeable future. Read More