Being shared among the Russian diaspora on Facebook the week after the U.S. election was a reaction video by 10 or so octogenarians in Russia. Their spokeswoman delivered the following tongue-lashing:
“We, a community organization in Putin‘s column, categorically do not accept these elections taking place in America. A pure mess of a show put on before all the world … They reach into the political, internal lives of all nations, but can’t conduct order in their own … What we are witnessing … is bacchanalia, and a violation of human rights in their country. This shouldn’t be. This is not an election; this is a hideous spectacle … [We] call on the world community to not recognize these elections.”
Indeed, election fiascoes and farces in other countries are a casus belli for us to implement one of our Color Revolutions — “to uphold democracy,” we’re told, but really to install a preferred regime. We did it in Serbia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, twice in Ukraine, and tried it unsuccessfully this year in Belarus and nine years ago in Russia, whose legislative election that year Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called “neither free, nor fair.” (The same woman three months ago advised that “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances.”)
Today, any one of those countries would be justified in giving us a taste of our own medicine, similarly installing a regime it deems favorable to it. If only Russia, for example, were the interloper that we are.
Instead, Russian officials seem just glad for the “absence of allegations of Russian meddling” this time, Financial Times reported Nov. 9, “optimistically point[ing] to the expectation that Mr Biden will usher in a more pragmatic and calculated US foreign policy … presenting potential openings for cooperation in areas such as arms control, counter-terrorism and climate change.”
Futile Russian optimism aside, now that the Democrats, their media and military brass are happy with the predetermined outcome, there certainly is a deafening silence about all that Russian election-interference we were to brace for, most blaringly warned of by a NATO-affiliated Atlantic magazine headline in June: “Putin is Well on His Way to Stealing the Next Election.”
Mr. Putin must be wearing a Biden suit. Perhaps sensing a preordained Biden win, Mr. Putin hedged his bets a week before the election, saying he saw no wrongdoing in the Bidens peddling their influence in Ukraine.
Mr. Putin, of course, knows how to play the game; what America is becoming, the Russians have already survived. In 2000, when Democrats wanted the Florida votes recounted ad infinitum without deadline (until they added up to a Al Gore win), a commentator on a Russian-language radio show intoned, “We know what this is; we’ve seen it before.”
What a sad irony to have fled to America to escape the Bolsheviks, only to see Nikita Khrushchev’s words proving true here: “Your grandchildren will live under communism … We are convinced that sooner or later all the people on earth will choose … the socialist system.”
Not only is our newest generation of adults bringing us the closest we’ve been to October 1917; not only are they doing it with the most violence; but, in a striking parallel to the Soviet brand of socialism, it’s enveloping us amid a bellicose U.S. foreign policy. Irony on top of irony: we’re moving toward socialism while saber-rattling against communism-deserting Russia, whose contemporary incarnation values Christianity, tradition, sovereignty, and national identity. That is, who reminds us of what we’re supposed to be.
Now, we knew that with mail-in ballots there’d be no way to know who actually won — which, of course, was the whole point, amounting to a Color Revolution by theft. (By the way, your skepticism about mail-in voting was Russian sabotage as well — as Homeland Security warned in September: Russia working to undermine confidence in voting-by-mail. Just like Mr. Biden couldn’t have dementia without it being “Russian disinformation.”) Indeed, “over the summer, two former Army officers … wrote an open letter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs,” Michael Anton reported for The American Mind, “in which they urged him to deploy the 82nd Airborne Division to drag President Trump from the Oval Office at precisely 12:01 PM, January 20, 2021 … The second part of the plan is either to produce enough harvested ballots — lawfully or not — to tip close states, or else dispute the results in close states and insist, no matter what the tally says, that Biden won them.”
Which brings us up to date. Just a snapshot of our current Sovietization: Sean Hannity cited a September warning by Senate Republicans headlined “How Democrats are attempting to sow uncertainty, inaccuracy, and delay in the 2020 election.” (That’s “Democrats,” and not “Russians,” for a change.) Sharing the indignation of the aforementioned Russian elders, a week later Mr. Hannity called the election “a corrupt and embarrassing disgrace,” adding, “Democrats got everything they wanted — millions of mail-in ballots, many with no postmark, many received and counted after Election Day … some states with no voter ID required, no proof of citizenship required … poll observers blocked from viewing the process … other election laws altered or entirely disregarded … Amazing system we set up.”
He aired part of a Project Veritas interview with postal worker-whistleblower Richard Hopkins, who overheard supervisors’ instructions to backdate ballots in Pennsylvania. For speaking out, Mr. Hopkins was interrogated by federal agents trying to change his story. Add to this noxious mix what White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany shared: Tens of thousands of “ballots without signatures, dates and addresses … were counted in some Democrat counties but not in some Republican counties … [And] you get the very clear image of what it was like to be a Republican poll watcher … shouted down, called the c-word, racial slurs used against you, threatened, pushed.”
Black Lives Matter is right that the system is rigged and that there’s voter intimidation, but as usual the insurgents invert victim and villain.
Before a 20th century Bolshevik could blush, “Sandy Cortez called for activists to archive the names of Trump supporters,” Tucker Carlson reported on his show last Wednesday, referring to a tweet by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. What’s more, a “Democratic operation … called The Lincoln Project tweeted out personally identifying information for the attorneys representing the Trump Campaign in voter fraud litigation.”
Then there were those Dominion Voting machines, used in 28 states, which changed 6,000 Republican votes to Democrat ones in a single Michigan county. Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican, quipped, “Here’s one thing I know, Sean: Those Dominion software systems changed more votes than Vladimir Putin ever did. And we spent three or four years and tens of millions of dollars on this fiction of Russian collusion with the Trump Campaign. I’d say a few more weeks ensuring that we had a fair election in 2020 is worth this great nation’s time.”
It’s perhaps fitting that, just as the Trump presidency started with a hoax (collusion), so it ends with one (the “election”).
Enter the power-aligned press. CBS Evening News’s Scott Pelley asked Barack Obama this Pravda-worthy question: “What are these false claims of widespread election fraud doing to our country right now?” The former community organizer replied that he’s “more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humoring [Trump] in this fashion.” He meant the pseudo-Republicans who otherwise reliably play ball and foil any would-be reformer.
If the Russian public is revolted by the hypocrisy of this spectacle, officials and think tankers there seem more detached, with Andrey Kortunov of the Russian International Affairs Council saying that Russia “is in the ‘privileged position’ that the outcome of the election is likely to have little effect on bilateral relations,” The Guardian reported on Oct. 28th. “‘But … this is because it will be bad either way.’”
While a Biden presidency is the green light NATO is waiting for to attack Russia from its border, where we already sit, a second Trump term (still possible) doesn’t exactly bode well for relations either. In addition to painful sanctions, diplomat-expulsions, cyber “counterattacks,” unabated NATO enlargement, and “maneuvers in the Black Sea near Russia‘s naval base at Sevastopol,” as CATO Institute’s Ted Galen Carpenter enumerated in 2018, a Washington Post op-ed last year by Republican Rep. Dan Sullivan of Arkansas pointed out that “Russian tank drivers have a lot more to worry about today” thanks to Mr. Trump immediately granting Ukraine the anti-tank systems it requested of Obama. And when “Russian military forces got too close to our Special Operations forces in Syria … they were systematically destroyed by the U.S. military.”
In the rallies following the Republican convention, Mr. Trump promised “No new wars.” But all this spoke to the opposite, recalling George H.W. Bush’s famous promise, “No new taxes.” Given the long-invested players and entrenched policies, even if the president does manage to prove he didn’t lose this election — and still doesn’t want new wars — chances of war remain high. Especially since a second-term President Trump would feel pressure to prove he’s no “Putin puppet.” We’ve been provoking Russia into reacting for more than two decades, so when it finally does, the Swamp will turn to the president and goad, “Look how Russia mocks you — what are you going to do about it?”
Any scuffle, such as the one last month in Syria when U.S. military vehicles blocked Russia‘s path and a Russian chopper flew overhead to disperse them could provide the spark. (The following day a Russian plane flew too close to an American one when we crossed into disputed airspace.)
While such games of chicken rile up our troops against Russia, Russophobic conspiracy theories lubricate the American mind to welcome this deadliest of wars, especially with much of the country amenable to settling for a pound of Russian, if not Republican, flesh for their 2016 defeat. And hey, what better way to patch up a country broken internally than another anti-Christian war on Slavic Whitey to bring us together. Donald Trump could thus be recruited into avenging his own victory.
Mr. Biden is, of course, the easier “Commander in Chief” pawn, and it’s no accident the military brass has been in his corner, as it was in Hillary‘s. “There is a hatred for Russia amongst [Biden‘s team] that is really amazing,” the Financial Times quoted a “high-ranking western diplomat in Washington.” On the other hand, suggested the same article, “the president-elect is likely to seek to reverse his predecessor’s decision to abandon global arms control treaties.” From a Western ambassador in Moscow, Financial Times even got this: “On balance I think a Biden presidency is more favourable for Russia.”
Somehow, Mr. Biden being “more favorable for Russia” doesn’t make him a Putin puppet, while recent admissions by mainstream media that Mr. Trump actually has been bad for Russia don’t unmake him one.
Leave it to the perpetually olive-branch-extending Russians to find a silver lining in a Biden presidency: “The departure of virtual ‘crimes’ from the agenda could partly switch attention to other topics … at least the key irritant might go,” said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Russia‘s upper house of parliament.
It would be wishful to think that, just as Mr. Trump spoke softly on Russia but acted harshly, Mr. Biden might talk tough but act soft. This is the hack, after all, who claims to have told Mr. Putin in 2011, “I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul.” Maybe Mr. Biden should stop squinting. Or maybe it takes one to know one.
So the Russians continue to prefer Mr. Trump. He may continue to punish them for invented transgressions, but at least he sees them as human.
Julia Gorin was a Soviet Refusenik who came to the U.S. in 1976. She is editor of “Hillarisms: The Unmaking of the First Female President.”