At this point, many have formed a theory that Russia was successful in its efforts to alter our 2016 presidential election.
John Mattes, a major Bernie Sanders’ organizer, speculates that “we were played” by Russia’s advanced strategic tactics, which were deployed on Facebook and other social media platforms to subvert the election process.
With all of this being said, we also have to admit that there are no perfect actors in our election process. In the most recent mud-slinging campaign season, there were no cleans hands. Our political process has become far from pure. And our democratic institutions are in clear and present danger.
Perhaps the current legal case in South Florida against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) reveals how entrenched the problems are in our politics—problems of our own accord. Last month, the DNC made the argument that it can legally choose candidates over cigars in a back room. What kind of smoke and mirrors argument is this?
This argument runs counter to the DNC’s charter principles of neutrality. It negates its very pledge that it will be even-handed and impartial. What are bylaws for, if they are to be blatantly ignored?
It is a fraud on the public, candidates, voters, and donors for a supposed neutral institution to tilt the playing field to advantage a favored candidate. It is not democratic to load the dice. No matter the actor, one who attempts to subvert our election process should be held accountable.
Dissent is often expressed through voice, voting, and elections. When these mechanisms are successfully corrupted by cronyism, back-room deals, gerrymandering, and other restrictions on the right to vote and elect a candidate, the fate of democracy will ultimately be subverted.
With the proposed excuse for a budget, and the most recent CBO score, the GOP is in dire straits. But the Democratic Party is facing legitimate problems of its own right now. It is time for Democrats to uncover and shine a spotlight on their 2016 autopsy report.
As former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis famously pointed out, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
We can’t blame the Russians completely for the decline of our democratic institutions. It seems like they aren’t the only players attempting to stack the deck.
Who is actually putting country before party anymore?
It’s time we look in the mirror. But we might be afraid of what we discover.
346Bernie at Anti-Segregation Protest