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Despite every aspect of the nationwide psyop falling apart over the course of the last four years, the collusion hoax was still largely successful. Four-in-five Americans with an opinion think the Russians have their heavy thumbs positioned to press hard on the electoral scales in November:

A couple of things potentially check that dim view of my fellow compatriots. For one, the question asks if Russia will “influence” the election. Unless a nation really is isolationist in the descriptive rather than derogatory sense of the term, every nation tries to influence what happens in other countries. It’s called foreign policy. The US has a long history of meddling in other elections. If our poll takers are soberly distinguishing between “influence” and more nefarious things like “interference” or “rigging”, the figures should arguably be even higher and this is nothing to be depressed about.

Secondly, the preceding graph omits “not sure” responses though a sizable minority, 24% of respondents, answered this way. Perhaps they’ll view sensational allegations of election interference anytime the neo-liberal establishment doesn’t get what it wants–whether among Republicans or Democrats–more skeptically from now on. Maybe the Ruskies will pull a fast one on us, but we’re going to need to see a smoking gun, not circumstantial evidence based on shadowy, incestuous anonymous sources.

 
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  1. Twinkie says:

    every nation tries to influence what happens in other countries. It’s called foreign policy.

    It’s more than that. Washington, D.C. is basically the imperial capital of the known universe – it’s not just any random country. You piss off the imperial capital, missiles rain down on you from afar. You win friends in the imperial capital, goodies and aids flow to you.

    Of course every country worth its salt is going to try to influence who occupies the throne in the imperial capital, as does every multinational and big corporation worldwide (in other words, not just “American” companies), not to forget large “nonprofits,” lobbies, foreign dissident groups, ad nauseam.

    Despite being citizens of the greatest and the most powerful country on earth, my fellow Americans seem to have an extremely and surprisingly parochial view of America’s place in the world, like it stands apart from the rest of the world when, in reality, our fingerprints (and sometimes boots) are firms planted on the necks of others around the world.

    On the other hand, some of this is the predictable false outrage of the mainstream media with its usual preoccupations. Russia tries to influence Washington and it’s international fascist menace-reborn. You mention Israel actually and powerfully affecting American government policy in a hundred different ways, it’s vile, vile anti-Semitism and racism. It doesn’t exist and you need to lose your livelihood.

    So here is a simple test on which country can actually influence Washington (or elections, policies, etc. elsewhere in America): can you suggest, publicly, that a given country influences Washington and keep loudly going on about the accusation (and in fact be lauded for such a claim in the media)? If yes, that country has little actual influence (if it did, it would move those levers of influence and silence the accusation). If no, you end up losing your career, nobody will hire you, you are demonized as an evil person, well, you know THAT country has influence in Washington.

  2. tanabear says:

    A couple of things potentially check that dim view of my fellow compatriots. For one, the question asks if Russia will “influence” the election.

    I always ask people who believe in Russian interference or Russian disinformation if they can name a single false belief that Americans had due to a Russian disinformation campaign. The response is always the same…crickets chirping…..

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  3. Michael S says:

    I’ll take option C: YouGov’s recent polling data is about as reliable as the 2016 election polls.

    I just don’t trust anything coming out of that organization anymore.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  4. JL says:

    “Vlad” is the short form of the name Vladislav, not Vladimir. For Vladimir it would be Volodya or Vova.

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
  5. Saying that “Russia is trying to influence the election” is simply a proxy for saying “I fear that Christianity, nationalism, and conservative sexual mores are a lot more popular with the electorate than I am comfortable with.” Scapegoating Vlad is a cheap and convenient way of maintaining the fiction that progressivism and globalism are the only games in town. They aren’t.

    Widespread delusional thinking like this is an early symptom of impending war. I wish I could say I’m hopeful we could avoid it, but the auguries aren’t great.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
  6. What we’ve witnessed since Trump came down the escalator five years ago is a substantial majority of everyone who holds themselves out as “serious thinkers” and “sober thought leaders” and pundits and political heavy weights doing the equivalent of a five year-old sticking his fingers in his ears and screaming “la la la la la” repeatedly at the top of his lungs. The MSM, chiefly CNN and MSNBC, have literally done this on occasion. I guess Vlad put something in their water.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  7. nebulafox says:
    @Twinkie

    America has been so powerful for so long that most people outside of it with a trivial level of global conectedess will know some basic stuff about American society, whereas you could have lived your entire life in the US without any awareness of the world outside. Re: Russia, it’s also quite useful to look at where our elite classes have financial dealings and which country’s elites their own kids interact with. Xi sent his kid to Harvard. Putin kept his daughters in Moscow: German speaking schools though, IIRC. Russia’s elites more broadly seem to prefer Europe.

    As far as the Israelis go, got nothing particularly against them, but less we have to do with that part of the world, the better. They certainly don’t need billions of US dollars to do their dirty work, nor a veto over US foreign policy. (Billions of dollars Washington does not even really have, of course.) I personally think the “Soros” view on Israel as a novo Afrikaner state or akin to how upwardly mobile bien pensant whites from the South view their families is going to prevail among Jewish circles in the US in the long run, though. The gerontocratic nature of contemporary US politics means there is a time lag with a lot of long term trends, with legacy Jewish pols like Schumer still inhabiting the mental universe of 1968.

  8. nebulafox says:
    @tanabear

    Underlying this is a deeply patronizing belief amongst bicoastal UMC liberals that disgruntled Rust Belt voters, many of whom voted for Obama in 2008, would have smiled and given a vote of confidence to the ultimate paragon of the post Cold War mandarinate in 2016 but for those dastardly Russians. It ain’t hard to figure out: whoever promises to disrupt Blob Business As Usual wins in that part of the country.

    Intelligence services can take advantage of or egg on political conditions, they cannot create them… and solely focusing on Russia (which is Mexico with nukes, economically speaking) while ignoring China, Israel, and Saudi Arabia reeks to high heaven of media selective hearing.

  9. unit472 says:

    Hard to imagine a more egregious example of ‘foreign actors’ trying to influence our election than an ex- British intelligence agent and an Australian diplomat conspiring to pass phony ‘intelligence’ to our FBI and urging them to act upon it as if it were authentic.

    We also need to remember it was not so long ago that the same Democrat Party who now claims to be horrified by Russians was riddled with Soviet agents, fellow travelers and ‘useful idiots’ as well as actual Soviet Front groups. When Soviet puppets like Daniel Ortega were celebrated by Democrat politicians.

    Now that Russia is governed by people who no longer care for leftist extremists like Ilhan Omar and AOC and might want to actually try and cooperate with Donald Trump where our interests align the Democrats pretend Russia is still the USSR except that back then they told us the USSR was not a threat.

  10. usNthem says:

    It just goes to show how freaking stupid a decent percentage of the American electorate is.

  11. Realist says:

    It is impossible to overstate the abject stupidity and gullibility of Americans.

    • Agree: Adam Smith, dfordoom
    • Replies: @anonymous
  12. Democrats still largely buy the collusion conspiracy theory despite their glowie hero Mueller putting it to bed and the overwhelming evidence that the FISA court was abused based on falsified evidence as justification to spy on the Trump campaign. There is probably more evidence to suggest Israeli collusion given the numerous ties Trumps campaign had with Netanyahu and evidence hinted (but not followed up on) in Muellers investigation.

    But of course we don’t talk about that collusion. Apparently to most Americans, Israel is spelled R-U-S-S-I-A

    • Agree: Adam Smith
    • Replies: @Adam Smith
  13. @The Alarmist

    substantial majority of everyone who holds themselves out as “serious thinkers”

    Indeed. Note the highest percentage believing in the interference is those with post grad degrees.

    Almost 30 years ago, a retired labourer, with whom I was acquainted, had 3 sons in university. During a conversation about the economy, he said that it didn’t take a big education to see what was going on in the country (the accelerating concentration of wealth) but it when it came to understanding that, it seems the more his boys learned, the less they understood.

    • Replies: @Adam Smith
  14. Talha says:

    Vlad, after doing nothing, but getting credit for being the kingmaker in the US anyway:

    Walking wide, yet always in frame.

    Peace.

  15. anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:
    @Realist

    Willfully so.

    As a group, especially when considering material prosperity and the relative (although withering) availability of information, we seem the least critical thinkers in the world.

    • Replies: @Realist
  16. Jay Fink says:

    Reminds me of how Americans so easily fell for the switch-a-roo leading up to us invading Iraq. Saddam had nothing to do with 9-11. 15 of the 19 911 terrorists were Saudi and none were Iraqi. Saddam was a secular leader who was against the fundamentalist crazies. The American people had no clue about this. They were told Iraq was the country responsible for terrorism and they fell for it with no resistance. They were not skeptical in the least that Saddam had WMD.

    My impression is during the Soviet era most Russians could detect propaganda. Americans do not have this skill or are too lazy to acquire it.

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @Wency
  17. @Curmudgeon

    Funny how indoctrination works.

    • Agree: Curmudgeon
  18. Russians have been involved with American elections since 1922, whole departments devoted to it, but their interests waned considerabley after 1988. 2016 was an effort so token it could be taken as parody.

    As I recall, Teddy Kennedy interseeded–begged–with the Russians to meddle in the ’84 election.

  19. @james wilson

    Beat me to the punch. I would add that no one mentions Mexico’s meddling. I mean, they have more consulates than any other country, for what purpose? Oh right, to handle mundane chores like issuing visas and promoting commercial, cultural, and artistic exchange programs.

  20. @james wilson

    “it could be taken as parody”

    Vlad’s wink was the tell.

  21. @Pop Warner

    There is probably more evidence to suggest Israeli collusion given the numerous ties Trumps campaign had with Netanyahu…

    Whoa, Whoa, Whoa…

    Easy there with the anti-semitism, Pop…

    Collusion?

    Israel is our super bestest friend forever and the super bestest ally anyone could have.

    God blesses those who stand with Israel.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the president, the congress and the rest of the “government” being openly and shamelessly beholden to a foreign power.

    – Just kidding.

  22. iffen says:
    @Jay Fink

    Saddam had nothing to do with 9-11

    Yeah, the warmongers wanted to attack a Muslim country and poor Saddam drew the short straw.

  23. iffen says:
    @james wilson

    Let’s not forget about Ronald Reagan’s operatives getting the Iranians to hold on to the hostages until after the election.

  24. You people really believe these pollsters. It’s astonishing, really, that people still put stock in public polling, when it’s clear they exist to push public opinion.

  25. the 2 most gullible mentally malleable groups are democrats and those with post graduate education.

    studies have found that the more educated a person is the more brain-washable they become.

    democrats and post grads….2 dumber groups you won;t easily find…. while all the while insisting upon their own superiority in every respect.

    its laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic.

  26. Either the polls are distorted (quite likely) or the majority of Americans are deluded fools.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  27. nebulafox says:
    @james wilson

    Differing branches of the Soviet government backed different parties in 1968. The Party wanted Humphrey, the KGB preferred Nixon.

  28. @Twinkie

    I don’t think it is the country they are proud of so much as the “values” they think it represents, they see America as the natural home of multiculturalism, secularism, feminism, transsexualism etc of course that is their version of America, as we know here there are two Americas and the vast majority on here have no wish to be part of their America.

  29. Twinkie says:
    @Fidelios Automata

    the majority of Americans are deluded fools.

    No. Misled by the elites and deceived by the mainstream media.

    • Replies: @JL
  30. JL says:
    @Twinkie

    Americans are easily deceived due to a lack of knowledge about history and the world around them. It’s not like the information isn’t available, it’s more accessible than ever before. And how many times has the deception been uncovered, only for the general public to go right back to believing the party line? Americans on a micro level are good people, and their ignorance would be quaint, if not for the outsized geopolitical power of the country in which they live. As it is, the public has a responsibility to the rest of the world, one which they dangerously shirk.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  31. dfordoom says: • Website
    @JL

    Americans are easily deceived due to a lack of knowledge about history and the world around them.

    Do you think it’s just ignorance? Do you think there might be a touch of arrogance in it?

    Also Americans have an extraordinary fondness for moral crusades and an extraordinary propensity for moral panics (a legacy of Puritanism presumably). They want to see everything as good vs evil. That’s extremely naïve and childish and it leads to naïve and childish views about things like foreign policy.

    Every American war from the Civil War onwards has been a moral crusade.

    • Replies: @JL
  32. Realist says:
    @anonymous

    As a group, especially when considering material prosperity and the relative (although withering) availability of information, we seem the least critical thinkers in the world.

    If this continues, there is no way out…perhaps it is already too late.

  33. Wency says:
    @Jay Fink

    I chalk a lot of this up to the “Jacksonian Impulse” in America. Roughly 50% of Americans were in favor of invading Iraq (if asked) BEFORE 9/11. Saddam seemed like a perfect combination of a bad guy who was provably easy to beat up (following Desert Storm).

    9/11 animated this impulse further and caused it to look for a way to lash out. Enough Americans were just looking for an ass to kick that not too many questions were asked when a target was presented by those in charge.

    I think this impulse is declining though. I also think if there was another 9/11, Americans wouldn’t unite this time. Both sides would immediately blame the other for causing it, without even a moment of unity.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  34. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Wency

    9/11 animated this impulse further and caused it to look for a way to lash out. Enough Americans were just looking for an ass to kick that not too many questions were asked when a target was presented by those in charge.

    Agreed.

    I think this impulse is declining though.

    I’m not convinced.

    I think war between the U.S. and China is very very likely and it will of course be a nuclear war (no nuclear power is going to submit to total defeat without resorting to the nuclear option). And it will be started by the United States. I suspect it will be very popular in the U.S., although it may become less popular when the U.S. civilian casualty count starts to mount into the millions (or more likely the tens of millions).

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Wency
  35. anon[134] • Disclaimer says:
    @dfordoom

    I think war between the U.S. and China is very very likely and it will of course be a nuclear war (no nuclear power is going to submit to total defeat without resorting to the nuclear option).

    I think you should get out of your basement more often. Really. Seriously.

  36. Wency says:
    @dfordoom

    Well, a big part of this impulse I’m describing has always been the search for easy targets to kick around in exchange for low numbers of casualties. The US was notably reluctant to fight Germany in the World Wars until it had been bled white, but it was fully gung-ho for attacking an ailing Spain. I don’t see starting a war with China as lining up with anything from American history. Proclaiming neutrality in an all-out Sino-Indian War while quietly backing India, and then getting involved directly in the final stages in order to dictate the peace — that would be more keeping with tradition.

    That being said, when it comes to the last days of American hard power, it’s hard to guess what the President Camacho of that particular moment will do.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  37. @Michael S

    The last three YouGov presidential election polls in 2016 had Clinton winning by 4 points, 4 points, and 3 points, respectively. She won by 2 points.

  38. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Wency

    That being said, when it comes to the last days of American hard power, it’s hard to guess what the President Camacho of that particular moment will do.

    Yes, that’s what worries me. Declining powers can get very aggressive and see war as the last chance to arrest the decline. There seems to be a lot of that sort of thinking around these days. Plus if you go back to WW1 and WW2 the grown-ups were still in charge. However much you might despise men like Wilson and FDR they weren’t small children playing with deadly toys. And it’s my impression that the level of hysteria among the general population is a lot higher today than it was in the early to mid-20th century (partly due to all-pervasive mass media and social media).

    Proclaiming neutrality in an all-out Sino-Indian War while quietly backing India, and then getting involved directly in the final stages in order to dictate the peace — that would be more keeping with tradition.

    That’s quite plausible. And there are so many places today where the US could start meddling in dangerous ways that could potentially escalate (such as the recent Armenia-Azerbaijan confrontation).

  39. JL says:
    @dfordoom

    Yes, there’s more than a touch of arrogance. However, the arrogance is something I’m actually willing to concede, up to a point (i.e. if it wasn’t for us, you’d all be speaking German right now). There’s much to admire in America, the country is on top, and it’s simply an undeniable achievement in its own right, despite the criticisms we all heap upon it.

    Of course, your point about moralism is well taken. For many Americans, everything is a Hollywood movie, with good vs. evil and a happy, conclusive ending. Never mind that life never works like that. Indeed, nuanced conversations with smart, but poorly informed, Americans is an extremely frustrating exercise in futility.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
  40. @JL

    Indeed, nuanced conversations with smart, but poorly informed, Americans is an extremely frustrating exercise in futility.

    What do you mean, please? Also, are you American?

    For information, I am literally as you say, a poorly informed American. (This is not false humility. It is not humility at all, for one can hardly be well informed on a diet of fake-news propaganda.)

    • Replies: @JL
  41. JL says:
    @V. K. Ovelund

    You are here, on an alternative news site, so you’re not the type of person I have in mind. Indeed, Americans on Unz give some cause for hope. I’m talking about people who rely solely on the fake news msm.

    To answer your question, I was born and raised in the US, but have lived almost my entire adult life outside of the country. Immigrants tend to be prone to an overly optimistic view of their adopted country, with the corollary of excessive negativity towards the one they left. It’s the psychology of affirming one’s own life decisions. I’m not immune to this, so I do what I can to compensate for bias.

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