Russia hasn’t occupied this much airtime on American news channels since the Cold War. But everywhere you look it’s Russia this and Russia that. Russia is propping up the Assad regime in Syria! Russia rigged the election! Russia stole my lunch money!
Wait, let’s step back to the second one. A lot of charges are being made that Russia “hacked” the election, which allowed Trump to win. And there’s some evidence that shenanigans were taking place regarding the election:
Georgia’s secretary of state says the state was hit with an attempted hack of its voter registration database from an IP address linked to the federal Department of Homeland Security.
Well that’s embarrassing. Apparently the Department of
Motherland Fatherland Homeland Security (DHS) is a Russian agency. Who would have guessed?
Could Russia have influenced the election? Of course. We live in an age of accessible real-time global communications. Anybody could influence anybody else’s voting decision. A person in South Africa could influence a voter in South Korea to opt for one choice over another. This global communication system also means that malicious hackers in one nation could compromise any connected election equipment in another country.
However, the biggest check against Russian attempts to rig the election is all of the other forces that would be trying to do the exact same thing. People have accused both the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (admittedly, rigging elections is what the CIA does) of trying to rig the election. Likewise, there are some questions about what exactly the DHS was doing in regards to Georgia. Major media companies were working overtime to influence people’s voting decision. Countries in Europe had a vested interest in the election going one way or another as did pretty much every other country on Earth.
I have no evidence one way or another but that’s never stopped me from guessing. My guess as to why these accusations against Russia are being made so vehemently is that a lot of voters are looking for answers as to why Trump won but are unwilling to consider that their preferred candidate was terrible. When you convince yourself that the candidate you oppose is Satan incarnate then you lose the ability to objectively judge your own candidate because in your head it’s now a battle between evil and good, not a battle between two flawed human beings.