“Let’s Move on to the ‘Why’ of Russia’s Election Interference”
The 37 page Indictment prepared by the Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and handed down by the federal Grand Jury in the District of Columbia is, if nothing else, an impressive narrative of people, organizations, reporting responsibilities and activities conducted by the Kremlin in connection with the 2016 election. The excoriating level of detail, which reads like a company’s Annual Report, sends a clear message to the Russians- we know what they did, we know who did it; and, we know when and how they did it. The remaining question that has yet to be asked and answered is “why did they do it?”
Had this occurred in the 1960’s through the 1980’s, a totally improbable event in those days, the answer to “why” would have been knee jerk- because they’re Communists and Communists hate America. But, today as we approach the end of the second decade of the 21st Century, the answer is somewhat similar but different. The evident answer is- because Vladimir Putin and the autocratic Russian State he oversees despises democracy- not capitalism but democracy. Of course, as the world’s leading democracy, the United States may be a close second but make no mistake, it is democracy that Putin hates and not just the United States. This explains in part why Russia’s interference in elections and referenda extends to other nations, like France and Britain. This extreme focus on destroying democracy arguably makes Putin and Russia today far more dangerous than the earlier expounders of Communist economic theory of the bygone Soviet era.
Notwithstanding numerous published quotes that make him sound like Thomas Jefferson, Putin views democracy as a stupid political system. His reasoning is that democracy is, by its very nature chaotic and encourages disorder in society by enabling those who are not qualified, or to be trusted, to make decisions that affect all of a society. While he requires strict adherence to rules and laws, his rules and laws are those made to protect the state and not the individual. Although Putin is careful not to say too much, chess champion and astute geo-political observer, Garry Kasparov, has written (See, “Winter is Coming”) that he believes Putin solidified his views on democracy while in his 30’s as a KGB officer in East Germany; where he witnessed the chaos of crowds tearing down the Berlin Wall and mobs threatening the Soviet Consulate where he worked.
The greatest mistake we can make as Americans is to view Russia’s actions as the equivalent of a prankster’s graffiti on a wall. A mischievous lark perpetrated by an unruly bully. This is hardly the case. Rather, as many on Capitol Hill have correctly identified, from both sides of the aisle, Robert Mueller’s Indictment of Russia is a call to action for all Americans, be they Democrats, Republicans, Socialists or whomever to join together in defense of our system of democracy.
Perfect or imperfect, our democracy has survived for 242 years or, stated differently, since the time when Tsarina Catherine the Second ruled Russia with her iron hand.
As Vladimir Putin himself has said more recently, “Russia never lost the Cold War... because it never ended.” (See, http://www.azquotes.com/author/11940-Vladimir_Putin).
Bohdan D. ShandorBonita Springs, FL