One can only shudder at the thought of what Putin thinks of Trump now. Will the President ever live it down? His embarrassing flip-flop on the question of whether Russia meddled in the 2016 election makes George Bush’s ‘Mission Accomplished!’ banner look like a relative public relations coup in comparison. The irony is that even if the Rooskies did try to sway votes Trump’s way by dissing Hillary in the blogosphere, the effort could not have had much of an effect. As most Americans, even those afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome, must surely recognize, it would have been easier for Russia’s special-ops team to convert Mormons to Shiites.
Did They Back the Wrong Horse?
Nor will any U.S. accusations, even backed by hard proof and a slew of indictments, likely dissuade Russia’s nefarious opinion shapers from trying again in 2020. Their kind of shadowy activity is intrinsic to the medium, and rather than fear them, we should count on them to exploit their sinister talents to-the-max every chance they get. In the meantime, no one should act shocked that the government of one of the most corrupt countries on Earth should have tried using Facebook and other online venues to swing the U.S. election its way. Even then, one could argue that the poor saps bet on the wrong horse — that Hillary would have been easier for Putin & Co. to deal with. The only thing that should concern us is whether Campaign Trump actively conspired with Team Putin to stir up anti-Clinton sentiment online. Even the half of America that hates Trump can’t seriously believe this happened. Whatever the Russians did, or at least tried to do, we should find the good humor to appreciate it for its entertainment value. Viewing Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russians as political theater is an inviting place to start. The sooner we recognize this, the more enjoyable the unfolding saga will become.