Peter Van Buren on Putin Paranoia

Things about America we’ve learned since November.

Our nation, the republic, democracy, our very system of government is more fragile than at any other time in American history. So fragile that everything has, or is in near-immediate danger of, collapsing, after only a two month jog from near-perfect to the edge of dystopia.

The cause of this is Vladimir Putin, who is an evil genius, spymaster, mastermind, brilliant, super criminal, chessmaster, but also a thug and dictator.

Only a few months ago, stuff like this lurked in the dank corners of the Internet, usually web sites that were designed in the 1990s, or on late night talk radio, or on six hour YouTube video rants. These were the same sources who found the Illuminati, Mossad, childhood vaccines, and chemtrails responsible for the impending end of our nation. We called this stuff conspiracy theories and if rational people mentioned them at all, it was as a punchline, with a shake of the head and a muttered “How can people believe this crap?”

Good times. But they are over.

We now live in a media world where what used to be crazy is now mainstream. Today’s example is from Salon, with a piece subtitled “The Soviet Union never attacked America as blatantly as Putin has – and we’re in danger of losing democracy.”

The article gets right to it, announcing this is

…the first time in modern history in which Russia has directly attacked the United States – on American soil no less, and precision-aimed at what matters most: the very integrity of our democratic process.”

How was this done? By hacking our election, hacking being a word that no longer means anything but something something computers I don’t really understand but it’s bad. Like when your mom calls you up and says her laptop was hacked because it lost the wifi link to the printer (just restart it, mom…)

Anyway, how was this hacking done? Social media. Russia ‘bots. Fake news. RT.com which no one watches. The upshot according to Salon? Millions of Americans

…were manipulated into acting as unwitting foot soldiers for Vladimir Putin’s invasion… Americans were suckered by and acted in accordance with Putin’s plot… [because] Americans are deeply vulnerable to digital manipulation and weaponized social media hoaxes.

More about how stupid our nation is in the face of Putin’s brilliance? Here you go, same article:

The blind acceptance of Russian propaganda, because it happened to include “facts” that some of us were starved to read, is what turned otherwise decent though gullible Americans into Putin’s infantry, virally blitzing the Kremlin’s message through the trenches of the political Internet, attacking and converting more voters with zombie lies. Trench by trench, Facebook group by Facebook group, Americans executed Putin’s attacks for him.

And then oh-my-God things really start to fall into place to somehow explain Hillary Clinton’s inexplicable loss:

The hacking of the DNC…

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