Contrary to what the Democratic Party would like the public to believe, it is possible to disapprove of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin without sacrificing diplomatic relations between the United States and Russia.
This self-serving neo-McCarthyist narrative is convenient for Democrats. After all, fears about Russia have a deep-rooted history in American consciousness predating the Cold War. In lieu of evidence of Russian mischief, intelligence agencies provide a smoke screen and leave the rest up to the public’s imagination and the mainstream media. Of course, these are the same media outlets that let the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign off the hook after leaks confirmed that the former rigged the Democratic primaries for the benefit of the latter. The DNC is responsible for propping up Clinton’s candidacy with an enthusiasm that was never equaled among any demographic of voters beyond the one percent.
Amid outrage over fake news, pro-Clinton mainstream media outlets have—without irony—propagated their own disinformation in continued service of the Democratic establishment’s political agenda. The Washington Post published an interview with an anti-propaganda site, PropOrNot, that labeled several independent news websites as propaganda under the veil of anonymity. Misleading headlines alleging a Russian “election hack” have portrayed recent statements released from the Obama Administration as claiming the actual presidential election results were manipulated. An Economist/YouGov poll found that 52 percent of Democrats believe this, despite there being no evidence. Vanity Fair ran an article that argued “it is no accident” that Putin and Lenin share the common first name of “Vladimir.” The New Yorker published an article drawing outlandish speculations that the last name of Russia’s new chief of staff, Vayno, is similar to the Russian word for war, “voyna.”
Obama’s latest anti-Russia ploy was the announcement of sanctions. Michael Kofman, a global fellow at the Wilson Center who specializes in Russian and Eurasian affairs, told Business Insider, “this is frankly the most damaging and embarrassing answer we [the U.S.] could receive.” To anyone besides Clinton partisans, these sanctions are little more than political theater. Fear-mongering serves as useful tool to garner further resentment toward Trump’s presidency, while avoiding any responsibility for the predicament Democrats currently find themselves in. However, given the potential implications on global and national security, damaging relations with Russia is not worth the political partisan points.
“I’m sorry to say our greatest challenge is trying to avoid a war with Russia. We’ve gotten to a point where that is a real possibility,” said former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, who served under Clinton, during a recent panel on U.S.-Russia relations at Stanford University. “I would go one step farther than that and say that if we get in any kind of military conflict, even a relatively small military conflict, the danger of it escalating is great. The Russians know they are outgunned in conventional forces by the United States and NATO have made it quite clear they would move to what they call tactical nuclear weapons. Nobody who has thought about this problem seriously at all believes that once you go to tactical nuclear weapons there is any way of keeping that from escalating to a general nuclear war. So the greatest challenge we have today is avoiding that first step to a military conflict, because once that starts, nobody knows how to control the escalation.”
Perry is one of the leading voices on strengthening nuclear security and provides a sensible response to the ongoing straining of U.S.-Russia relations. However, the mainstream media will ignore Perry and other reasonable voices in favor of the more radical ones calling for tougher actions against Russia. This includes Republican Sen. John McCain, who former President Jimmy Carter called a warmonger in 2014. Balance or objectivity aren’t concerns for the mainstream media. Rather, fear-mongering and serving the neo-McCarthyist narrative for the Democratic Party establishment is what drives their reporting. Those who are skeptical or disagree based on the minuscule evidence provided to the public are labeled Putin allies or, simply, un-American.