Monday, August 28, 2023

Well, Duh! Of Course It's Russia!

To suggest that Russia doesn't meddle in our internal affairs is idiotic.  Every country tries to influence politics in every other country!

A recent article online states what everyone already knows - that Russia is meddling in our internal affairs by using unwitting Americans to parrot their party lines, conspiracy theories, and just generally disruptive nonsense, such as the class and gender warfare you see online these days.

As I noted, every country tries to do this - we've had a long history of meddling in the politics of Latin American countries, sometimes swaying elections, other times simply invading or fomenting a coup when the locals don't vote the way we think they should have.  What is different about Russia is that they've done a particularly good job on us, not by swaying elections directly, but by creating division among us.  The hyper-partisanship and outright anger we see today comes directly from Russian trolls.  Well, not directly, but through third parties - Americans co-opted into parroting their lines.  And sadly, perhaps even I have been snagged in this net, as "readers" encourage me to post on one topic or another.

Again, the main thing they have been good at is divisiveness.  They don't come out with poorly-written and translated comments on social media saying, "Russia good!  West bad!" as that is too obvious.  No, rather, they are behind things like this "incel" movement, which attracts mentally ill young men who spend all day online in their parents' basement.  They tell them they are entitled to a lot of things (that minorities have "taken away" from them, of course!) including "females" but only "high value" ones without a "body count."  These sorts of young men make excellent wind-up soldiers and they eventually "go off" - and since they have been encouraged to become gun nutz, they are well armed for a school shooting or mock civil war.

So, how does that help Russia? It doesn't, directly. But it creates this tension in America, where everyone is on edge. Women are now scared of men, and men feel they can treat women as chattel - and our outraged when that doesn't work.  The net result is a "loneliness epidemic" as everyone retreats behind their smart phones and texting.  It tears down society at its very roots.

The class warfare and student loan thing is similar.  You see postings online all the time telling of dire financial scenarios that make no sense at all.  "My parents took out student loans in my name and now I have to pay them back!" cries one - claiming this is a common occurrence.  Financial abuse like that is indeed more common than we think, but you don't have to pay back a loan you never took out.  This may require you take your parents to court, however.

Others claim they owe hundreds of thousands of dollars after getting a Master's degree in English Literature, Art, Philosophy, Anthropology, or some other major for which there is little, if any, job market.  Again, these are outliers - the average student loan debt in America is less than the cost of a decent new car.  "How will I ever pay off $25,000!" one laments.  But likely they will spend more than that on more than one car in their lifetime.

Of course, the rooskies are playing both sides of the field here.  They then use "student loan forgiveness" as a cudgel to whack the blue-collar workers, claiming that "their tax dollars" are going to pay the debts of some layabout college boy with blue hair who can't hold down a job at a coffee shop.  Divide and conquer - the oldest game in the book.

The gun thing is also amplified by Russia - and they are bringing it to Canada as well.  I am not sure if you've been paying attention to our neighbors to the North, but they've lost their minds as of late - clogging main streets with "convoys" protesting CoVid mandates that expired months earlier.  They are systematically destroying their vaunted national health care system and then claiming it is "broken" and should be replaced with a "privatized" system like we have in America, which has worked out so well for us (the same tactics are being used in the UK as well).

It is a time-honored technique used here in America - gut a social benefit program so that it will intentionally fail, then claim it was flawed from the get-go.  Coming soon to a Social Security Office near you!   And yes, when I was young, I never saw the point of Social Security, but that is the line they feed young people; "You'll never live to collect it, so let's abolish it now!"  To the guy paying the payroll tax, it sounds inviting - until they get old or disabled.

Now granted, there are people in the USA who organically believe in such issues - that we need to gut social welfare programs and legalize automatic weapons (which technically, are legal, just hard to come by). But what the Russians are so good at is amplifying extremist views and bringing them into the mainstream discourse.

This entire "trans" thing is a case in point.  It is a trivial issue, really, affecting a small number of people.  And a few "activists" are taking the extreme position that gender-changing medical care should be provided to anyone, free of charge, even to minors. It is "life-saving" care as otherwise people would kill themselves.  Nice try, but that is just hostage-taking.  The troll farms have taken this and run with it, making it sound like every "trans" person wants to compete in woman's sports and break records and deny scholarships to women.   The reality is, not many "trans" people are that extreme, most just want to be left alone.  And in the greater world, even people on the far-left are not as extreme as these trolls make them out to be.

But that's the point - paint the opposition as a bunch of maniacs, and you can get people to vote for you - and not examine, too closely, who you really are or what your agenda really is.  We had this guy Santos, for example, get elected when no one knew who he really was, other than he had an (R) next to his name - which for some is all they care about.  In another election in North Carolina, a Republican plant runs for office in a Democratic district, and the only thing voters care about is the (D) after her name.  Once in office, voters find out they voted for a fraud, in both cases.  They were distracted by bullshit.

Sadly, most of us have no time to investigate the background of candidates.  Political parties act as a shorthand for political positions - so you vote the party and hope their policies lean in your direction.  People act shocked, however, when it turns out the party turns on them, as is happening in Florida and Texas/  "I didn't vote for this!" they wail, .but they still vow never to vote Democratic.  Better off to starve to death than let them win!

You see how the Russkies have flummoxed us so well.  They have turned political parties into tribes - tribes that worship political leaders (one far more than the other) and no longer are concerned with a coherent political philosophy, other than what favors the leader.

Job well done, Russians!  Do we fall for this trick forever?