Well that was quick! I, like many of you out there, had for a moment thought that perhaps Hillary Clinton’s pathetic loss to what should have been the weakest presidential opponent in modern American history might be a catalyst for some serious soul-searching within the Democratic party. Perhaps it would lead to a process that would finally rectify the great betrayal of the early 1990’s, when the party abandoned its base and its principles, ironically under the aegis of Hillary’s husband. There was a small glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, Democrats would wake up and start listening to what people like Thomas Frank had been trying to tell them for a couple decades now. Turns out I was wrong.
No, folks, the DNC and Hillary have totally got this figured out. They know what went wrong. It was the Russians. Specifically Russian hackers. See if I were going to blame the Russians, I’d try to find Russian links between the Kremlin and the utter morons running Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Please show me what agent of the SVR or GRU was telling Clinton not to worry about the Midwest states because they were totally in the bag. Bring some serious evidence and I’ll at least give the hypothesis a once-over. But hackers? No. Just no.
The saddest thing about all of this is that establishment liberals, in their full-fledged embrace of this idiotic deus ex putina, are in many ways showing themselves to be just like Trump and his supporters. They are always right, they are always brilliant, and if anything goes wrong it’s always someone else’s fault. If you can’t recognize their brilliance, it’s because you’re uneducated. You’re uninformed. Go watch Samantha Bee, Colbert, The Daily Show, John Oliver. You just don’t get it.
They’re so incredibly intelligent, educated, and informed, and yet they’ll fall for such a weak narrative, often touted by utter charlatans with no real knowledge about Russia or Putin, never learning the real message of Putin’s interest in interfering in American politics and ultimately acting exactly as Putin wants them to.
What they don’t understand is that in terms of propaganda and Western liberal democracy, Putin can be compared to the Joker in the Alan Moore Batman comic The Killing Joke. Basically the story is that the Joker tries to prove that one really bad day, one horrifying event is all it takes to turn an ordinary person into a murderous madman like himself. Anyone can become the Joker under the right circumstances. We see a similar theme behind the same character in The Dark Knight, where the Joker performs “social experiments” by putting people in extreme situations meant to break their social conditioning and make them revert to sheer animal survival instinct. Both stories carry a message about how the heroes are good because they won’t let trauma or fear make them abandon their values and sink to the Joker’s level. Essentially, Russia’s state trolling of Western democracy is like a social experiment on the West- and Hillary’s fan club is failing the test miserably.
The Kremlin’s propaganda never said that Russia is more democratic or freer than the West. Nobody in Russia would buy that. What the propagandists tell their audience is that despite the appearance of function democracy and society in the West, it’s really no different from Russia’s system. The West is just better at hiding it. All it takes is a little economic crisis, a terrorist attack, or a war, and the rotten system will be revealed.
Now the Democratic meltdown and Russia-blaming can be spun to show that these leaders are just as unaccountable and arrogant as those in the Kremlin. “Yes, we blame our problems on America, but look- they’re blaming their failures on Putin! It’s all the same!”
Congratulations to all those super-intelligent over-educated geniuses at the DNC. You didn’t just lose what should have been the easiest election in modern American history, you also got outsmarted by one of the dumbest propaganda machines in the industrialized world. I’d say you deserve a pat on the back but it looks like you’ve got that covered.