Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Why did Russia mess with our presidential election?

Quora Questions are part of a partnership between Newsweek and Quora, through which we'll be posting relevant and interesting answers from Quora contributors throughout the week. Read more about the partnership here.

Answer from Jim Moore, Journalist:
We need to be clear on one point right from the start: Russia’s leaders and operatives don’t do anything for “the heck of it.”

One of the favored tactics of any authoritarian regime or dictatorship is to offset an opponent’s center of gravity, disorienting them, sowing confusion and causing them to constantly adapt their offensive and defensive strategies on the fly. Such off-center disorientation exposes an opponent’s structural weaknesses (vulnerable voting systems, for example, or gaps in cyber technology and infrastructure systems, or division among policy makers, or insecurity among the citizenry).

But, rarely is the obvious or overt move the one the opponent should focus on, and nowhere is this more true than in the 2016 election meddling. What Russia achieved by probing and playing with the U.S. election process was not in and of itself Russia’s long-term goal, and I’m relatively sure the U.S. intelligence services are well aware of that.

The Russians are masterful manipulators of other nations’ centers of gravity. Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning looking forward to a new day of fomenting disorientation and discord throughout Western governments. You have to remember that Putin, like so many Russian/Soviet leaders before him, plays the long-game; he has all the time in the world (relative to the West’s election cycles and ever-changing executive and legislative officials) to push, probe, violate, incite, worry, gnaw at and undercut the opposition’s confidence at all levels of democratic society.

What Putin is seeing now is a West that is dividing, cracks opening up between the U.S. and our allies, increasing levels of anxiety and frustration beginning to undercut the confidence that once bound all Western nations into one unbreakable stronghold. Trump’s election, allegedly doused with some form of Russian stink, has tainted the public’s trust, wound up the media to a fever pitch, driven a wedge deep into our representative government, and resulted in a shift in our national center of gravity with long-term effects felt far beyond our shores.

If we don’t get past this, and focus on the real threat posed by Putin to subvert Western democracy, he will achieve the deeper Russian goal of destabilizing Europe, and creating a yawning chasm of security and economic dysfunction between us and our friends.

Original Article
Author: Quora Contributor 

No comments:

Post a Comment