“It should concern every American that Russia is willing to engage in such hostile acts in order to help Donald Trump become President of the United States,” reads a statement from the Clinton campaign regarding the released WikiLeaks emails. Clinton campaign manager Brian Fallon chimed in by accusing WikiLeaks of being “a propaganda arm of the Russian govt [sic], running interference for their pet candidate, Trump.”
These days it seems that blaming Russia has become the sole response to everything. It doesn’t matter that leaked emails show that Donna Brazile provided a debate question one day ahead of a Town Hall to the Clinton campaign; or that leaked emails confirm that the Clinton campaign colluded with the DNC to set up a debate schedule that’s in “the [Clinton campaign’s] best interest.” It doesn’t matter that they conspired together against the campaign of Bernie Sanders. It doesn’t matter that leaked Wall Street speeches show that Clinton is “pro Keystone and pro trade.” These and many others don’t matter because… Russia!
Blaming Russia for creating disharmony amongst liberals and progressives is a disingenuous attempt to get out voters. Moreover, the failure to take accountability is further insulting to voters. Every time Secretary Clinton answers a debate question about the emails, she confirms their validity. The simple fact is that a Russian boogeyman did not write the content of the emails; crying foul doesn’t change that. It doesn’t matter how many times Secretary Clinton and the DNC double down on the unsupported allegation of Russian interference; we aren’t falling for it.
During the final presidential debate, Secretary Clinton escalated the allegations against Russia by claiming that “17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed” Russia as the source of the leaks. Secretary Clinton refers to the joint statement of two intelligence-related agencies which stated that they are “confident” that Russia is behind the leaks “to interfere with the US election process.” Secretary Clinton gives the impression that there is actual evidence of Russian interference when it is nothing more than election year conjecture. The last time we had such assurance with little to no evidence, we ended up in a war over Weapons of Mass Destruction that did not exist.
Potential involvement from Russia does not forgive the behavior of the DNC and the Clinton campaign. We don’t remember the Clinton campaign, the DNC, or the pundits who are defending their actions cry foul (nor should they have) when an anonymous source leaked the Trump tapes revealing extremely lewd conversations captured on audio from Access Hollywood in 2005. The intentions of the anonymous source were irrelevant to the conversation that needed to happen. The public has a right to know more about the candidates that they may want to cast a vote for.
To be clear, we take any interference in our electoral process very seriously. This includes external actors. If it turns out that Russia was in fact behind any of the hacks, they are not to be applauded. When we accept external interference into our election process, this creates a precedent for future intrusions. This undermines the already fraying trust Americans have in our election process.
We must also understand that what we do not want to tolerate in our own elections, we should not engage in ourselves. The US has a long history of interfering in other elections of other countries and overthrowing democratically elected governments.
Mainstream media must also be held accountable for its journalistic malpractice concerning the Podesta Email leaks. CNN, MSNBC, and other major outlets were obsessed over the leaked tape of Trump, but have barely reported on the leaks from the Clinton campaign. This is unacceptable, and omitting such important information is not only a disservice to public discourse but also gives further reason why organizations such as these should be considered merely outlets of propaganda.
The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one. There can be no reconciliation between the Progressive wing of the party, many of whom have left the party after the Democratic National Convention, and the Clinton-controlled Democratic Party without an apology, or at least a showing of humility. Voters need a clear path forward involving a plan for complete transparency.
As Clinton said in August, “I want you to hold me accountable.” We couldn’t agree more.
It’s time that Hillary Clinton, the DNC, Donna Brazile, and all those implicated by the recent leaks take ownership for their actions and accept responsibility for their own words. They owe it to the public whom they claim to want the opportunity to represent. They owe it to everyone who is casting a vote on November 8. Ignoring the egregious actions of the Clinton campaign and its associates only continues to perpetuate a cycle of disengagement and apathy. This attitude also threatens the potential for successful down ballot races. As voters move forward beyond this election cycle, they need to do so with clarity of purpose and action.
Featured Image by Michael Salamone