Think the Russians are a big problem with our election system? Think again. Since Citizens United, our electoral system has been compromised by an even greater evil actor: money

What's old becomes new. As I witness the rebirth of Cold War hysteria in our media and politics, I am reminded that true American exceptionalism is measured by the effectiveness of the Empire's propaganda machine. The Empire requires enemies to keep the military/industrial complex profitable, so it's not surprising that politicians and the "media" — owned and operated by the plutocrats — will insist that Boris and Natasha are behind every disappointment in the Land of the Free, and gullible reality-show fans will gobble it up. 

Is the luster dimming on the gold-plated tin-pot dictator's presidential performance? If so, it's because the Russians hacked our democracy.

The latest insult, our puppet masters inform us, is that the Russians have bought hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of advertising on giant U.S. social media platforms to divide us and attack our democracy. You have to figure lavishing cash on wealthy and well-connected media moguls is going to make the rich and powerful mad as hell. 

Or maybe not. 

But there's still the democracy bit. Some of our bought-and-paid-for politicians have literally been quoted as comparing these media buys to "an act of war." Am I too cynical to suspect that when we finally see these nefarious Russian ads, they will be indistinguishable from the opposition ads put out by our major political parties during every election? It's a hypocritical joke to suggest the Russians are trying to politically divide us and damage our democracy while pretending that dog-whistle racist political ads like Willie Horton (Bush I) strengthen and unite us. After all, there is no truth-in-advertising laws that pertain to American political advertising. Anything goes. It's a race to the bottom where lies are generally judged to be as effective as the truth. How could the Russians possibly damage such a broken system?

The Citizens United decision by our corporate-owned U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the wealthy could spend unlimited amounts of "free speech" to hack our democracy. If you're intent on selling our democracy to the highest bidder, it makes no sense to limit the marketplace, so the court didn't exclude foreign corporations from the feeding trough. When our leaders greenlight foreign spending in our electoral process and then are outraged by foreign interference, the world can rightly assume they are dotards. 

Russia Inc. is a struggling neophyte in the field of electoral interference, at least compared to the methods employed by Team USA.

The Russians came to steal our democracy, and when they got there, the cupboard was bare.

Jeff Campbell


Contract Publishing

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