Lately I’ve realized that #TheResistance could probably use a little help when it comes to Russia, because quite frankly, a lot of the woke crowd doesn’t know dick about the country yet seems more than happy to give strong opinions about it and its involvement in the US election, to name a few issues.
As such, here’s a handy guide for you “Resistors” out there, so you can sound more intelligent rather than come off as a liberal version of an Alex Jones fan.
Tip #1- Stop using Russian and Cyrillic in your protest
This doesn’t really make sense and it looks stupid:
So does this:
Tip # 2- Stop using the hammer and sickle in reference to Russia
The Soviet Union broke up in 1991. This is the national symbol of the Russian Federation. Russia’s authorities do not want to restore the Soviet Union. What they want is a sphere of influence in their old empire. They do not plan to rule directly, but rather through proxies and economic and military carrots and sticks.
Tip # 3- Stop labeling people paid trolls
Chances are if you’re in #TheResistance, you lack the linguistic background and Russia knowledge to spot a paid troll. In fact, the English-language trolls have always been much fewer in number. They are a small part of the troll factory operation (the one we know of in St. Petersburg), which is largely aimed at the Russian domestic audience.
Just because you see a self-identified Trump supporter writing in poor English doesn’t mean it’s a twenty-something Russian in St. Petersburg. Remember that Trump himself speaks English at a fourth grade level. Many Americans are capable of sounding like complete morons online.
Tip # 4- No, Russia did not “hack the election”
The Dearest Leader and Reverend Mother Hillary Rodham Clinton (Glory to her name!) did indeed win the popular vote by 3 million, yet lost thanks to the electoral college plus some really poor campaigning in key states. If you manage to find evidence that America’ Founding Fathers adopted the electoral college system on the advice of Catherine the Great (there were relations between the colonies and Russia during the war), then you might actually have a point.
If you want to prove that Russian hacking is what actually swayed the election, there are ways to prove this. Simply find concrete proof that Russians actually managed to hack into the computers that receive or tabulate the votes, and show how they changed them. If you say that Russian media or Russian-backed fake news swayed the election, that is verifiable as well. Someone can just conduct a scientific study to poll voters in those key states and see how many people changed their vote or decided to stay home after hearing about the leaked DNC memos or because they saw something on RT, Sputnik, or some other site associated with Russia in one way or another.
It’s important to understand that Russia’s authorities, from the best sources we have, never believed Trump would win. Hacking and interfering was meant to send a message to Hillary. There’s also another possible goal, which was compromising the legitimacy of Hillary’s win.
Think back to the Wikileaks DNC affair. The emails were so boring that a bunch of 4chan pedos had to concoct a tall-tale about Democrats running a child sex-slavery ring out of a pizza place (no doubt plucked from their own fantasies) in order to spice it up. But the main story from the emails that did get traction was the claims that the DNC conspired to sabotage Bernie during the primaries. A lot of people already believed this had happened, largely due to misunderstanding how superdelegates work. Now imagine if the thing everyone including the Russians expected to happen actually took place, i.e. Hillary won. Her victory would be marred by the conspiracy against Bernie in the primaries, then you’ve got Trump on his own claiming the election would be rigged if he lost, and finally you get stories about Russians trying to hack into various polling places. It’s not hard at all to imagine the alt-right defectives pulling a complete 180 and claiming that the Russians actually helped Hillary win. Even those with an affinity for Putin’s Russia would claim that Hillary won via hacking; they just wouldn’t blame Russia.
The Russians were smart enough to see how radical America’s fringe right have been becoming for years now, and they could guess what might happen if Hillary’s win had a big asterisk next to it in the mind of those nutjobs. The domestic scandal wouldn’t be as bad as what Trump has caused, but American society would be extremely polarized and that’s basically Russia’s goal. That Trump actually won turned out to be icing on the cake, but that brings us to the next tip…
Tip # 5- Trump is not an “agent” of Putin
I’ve explained in the past why the “pee tape” theory, excuse me, doesn’t hold water. Putin doesn’t need Trump to act as an agent- all he needs is Trump to do what he’s been doing, i.e. acting like an idiot and causing lots of controversy back home. Making a mockery of American democracy is useful to Putin. Being an idiot who doesn’t understand foreign policy is useful to Putin. Alienating allies is useful to Putin. Even if Trump isn’t working directly in the Kremlin’s favor, he tends to keep everybody distracted from what Russia is doing, which has had lethal consequences for people in Ukraine ever since the inauguration.
But with Trump set to meet Putin at the G20 tomorrow, there has been some speculation that Trump might be tempted to make some kind of “concessions” to Russia. I’d say that is a real danger, but not because of some kind of blackmail material or because Trump is a willing lapdog of Putin. The main problem is Trump is an ignorant moron and Putin, while not nearly the Bond-villain-like mastermind he’s often portrayed as, is fairly good at charming certain people. Trump respects power, and Russia is power. Ukraine and Georgia are not. Trump will almost certainly respect the US’ NATO requirements, but he’s under no obligation to do anything for Ukraine. And as for congress, well, do you really want to trust today’s Republicans to act principled if Putin offers them a sweet deal, particularly in the Middle East?
Tip #6 – Start doing research on your sources
Even though I never went to college a long time ago (incidentally around the time I would’ve been in college) I learned to check sources and credentials. The woke folks ought to do the same too. For one thing that’s how you avoid embarrassing moves like implying The Moscow Times is some kind of Kremlin propaganda outlet.
Here are some useful questions to ask:
Does this person have academic credentials? What kind of credentials, exactly?
Have the spent significant time in Russia and do they know Russian?
Are they a lobbyist of some sort? Do they have any other pet causes that might explain their motives or at least give them some sort of bias?
Are their claims always sensational and outrageous, i.e. “Russia’s on the point of collapse,” “Russia’s about to invade the Baltics,” or a combination of both?
Do they tend to side with and resolutely defend anything seen as “anti-Russian,” without regard for moral principle?
How long have they been writing about Russia-related issues? Did they start some time before 2014, when Russia started getting into the news a lot more? The longer they’ve been writing about Russia, the better.
What are they claiming to be? If they are presented as a Russia expert, do they have the credentials to back it up? When I give commentary, the only titles I use are blogger or journalist- both certifiably true. I don’t claim any academic credentials, I typically just cite sources for serious claims.
And finally we get to the biggest tip of all…
STOP USING CYRILLIC LETTERS ON YOUR PROTEST SIGNS!!!