Last Friday, February 16, Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced that 13 Russian nationalists and three Russian companies were indicted on conspiracy charges that range from identity theft to bank fraud. An example of their manipulation includes organizing two opposing rallies in New York shortly after President Trump was elected.
These new indictments reveal that Russia did not interfere in the election because they wanted to get Trump elected. Rather, they interfered in the election because they wanted to lead the American people into thinking that our democracy is a joke. If their plan is to show that democracy only leads to a divide, then we need to stop this division in the American people. There are many ways to do this, below are a few.
Don’t preach to the choir
A surge of fake news in recent years, propelled by social media sites such as Facebook, can be considered political propaganda. Outside of the 120 Russian-backed fake news pages, there have been many other examples from Breitbart to Occupy Democrats, but none have gained as much trust as Infowars, which is run by Alex Jones, a known conspiracy theorist.
“Hillary [Clinton] and Obama want to make you poor and pathetic,” claims Jones. “They hate you! They hate prosperity! They hate God! They hate children and goddamn them to hell!”
Providing no proof for his claims, Jones cannot purport to report facts. But many people cite these fake news sites as justification for their own feelings and thoughts, not realizing that people like Jones might be running these pages and sites for their own payday. If you want to find a verified justification to complain, then look at a reputable source like The Guardian, NPR, or even BBC News rather than one that tells you what you want to hear.
Finding the good in people
One thing that I have noticed, especially on Facebook, is that any political post involving people like Trump, Hillary Clinton or Paul Ryan get angry and hateful comments, regardless of what it is. A good example is the hate that Trump got when he announced that he was going to visit Parkland, Florida in light of the recent school shooting. Is the president not allowed to give his condolences to the friends and families of the 17 people killed there?
This doesn’t mean that I support him. But I am willing to admit that I do support some of his stances, like auditing the Federal Reserve and enacting term limits on Congress. If you do some research on any politician, you may find at least one thing that you agree with him/her on.
If someone has done something you do not agree with, then bring it up, but if you are going to hate for the sake of hating, then you are part of the problem.
What to take away from all of this
If you are going to open your mouth and further divide our country, make sure that you have a justifiable reason for doing so other than “I hate this person.” Get your information from a reputable source. If you do not do these things, then you are doing exactly what these 13 Russians want you to do. Even though it is unlikely that these criminals will ever see justice, we need to show them that our democracy is not a joke and that we will not fall for their deceit.