Spend a decade or two analyzing people’s motives in court cases and on television, and you’ll likely conclude, as I have, that oftentimes the simplest explanation is the correct one. For example, when Stephen Paddock committed mass murder in Las Vegas last year, he may simply have wanted to scare business away from casinos where he had lost a lot of money.
So, now that the much-hyped Russian “meddling” in our 2016 presidential election appears to have consisted of a dozen or so Russians using fake identities to spread fake news on social media, it’s worth considering whether their motive has been similarly over-complicated — in this case, by partisans straining to suggest some nefarious Trump-Russia “collusion.”
I’ve never bought their suggestion that the Russian government wanted to help Donald Trump, a relatively unpredictable foreign-policy hawk, win the 2016 presidential election over a relatively predictable foreign-policy dove, and it now appears that while some of the Russians’ social media alter-egos did praise Trump, others criticized him and/or praised opponents of his.
What’s more, to suggest that the Russians, via social media, attempted to “meddle” in the outcome of our election on any candidate’s behalf is a bit like suggesting that fans attempted to “meddle” in the outcome of the Super Bowl a few weeks ago by tweeting encouragement to certain players and “trash talk” to other players in the leadup to the game.
If the Russians’ motive was to “meddle” in the outcome of our election, then it now appears that their operation was understaffed/underfunded, sloppy (having left rather easy-to-follow digital trails), and profoundly unsuccessful, which suggests to me that either they’re profoundly stupid, or their motive was never really to “meddle” in the outcome of our election at all.
So, if their motive wasn’t to “meddle” in the outcome of our election, then what was it? Consider this: What if the Russians’ motive was to create the appearance of “meddling” in our election? What if they wanted the losing party, whomever that was, not only to discover their “meddling,” but also to be armed with a plausible suggestion that the winning party was in on it?
What if the Russians’ motive was simply to sow seeds of doubt among the American people about the legitimacy of the outcome of the election and thereby to bog down the incoming American administration with investigative and media inquiries (the latter being much more likely in the event of a Trump victory)?
In other words, what if the whole point of “Trump-Russia” was simply and precisely to create the distracting spectacle that we’ve been watching now for over a year as President Trump has been trying to implement his agenda? What if the Russians, as President Trump recently suggested, are in fact now “laughing their a**es off?”
What if they’re now reveling in how much chaos they’ve created here, how cheaply and easily they’ve created it, how many dupes and charlatans in American politics and media have eagerly made themselves “accessories-after-the-fact,” and how they’ve even precipitated the prosecutions of some former Trump allies for incidental and unrelated offenses?
If that’s the case, then I’d say that the Russians’ motive was both simpler and more insidious than “meddling” in the outcome of the election on behalf of Donald Trump via social media and that their operation was actually quite efficient, relatively sophisticated, rather brilliant, and, sadly, profoundly successful.
Brian Russell wanted to learn how people could live together as peacefully and prosperously as possible, so he studied what makes us tick (and got a Ph.D. in clinical psychology), how public policy keeps us in line (and got a law degree), and what motivates us to do our best (and got an M.B.A.). Then, he put theory to the test, practicing both psychology and law, starting his own small businesses, consulting with business leaders and lawmakers, and traveling the world comparing what does and doesn’t work in 40 societies. Now, he shares his expertise in people, public policy, and productivity on national television and radio, in his book, "Stop Moaning, Start Owning: How Entitlement Is Ruining America and How Personal Responsibility Can Fix It," and here on Newsmax. Learn more at DrBrianRussell.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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