Bruce is an adjunct instructor of philosophy at Palomar College. His Ph.D. is from the University of Colorado. His major emphasis in philosophy is critical thinking, formal logic, and American pragmatism. He is also a poet, violinist, and raiser of back yard chickens.
Here is an answerable question: why aren’t Republicans doing more to stop further Russian meddling in American elections? The answer is so obvious that I feel embarrassed to have to spell it out: the Republicans aren’t trying to stop Russian meddling because THEY DON’T WANT IT TO STOP! Indeed, they are counting on it.
Under normal circumstances the 2018 election should be a disaster for the Republican Party. History predicts what some are calling a “blue wave.” But Trump is now saying that there will be a “red wave” instead. I have learned not to dismiss such absurdities as unfounded wishful thinking. Do you remember when Trump predicted (in 2016) that, unless there was election fraud, he would win the vote in Pennsylvania? Absurd, I thought. But then he won the vote in Pennsylvania! He knew something that I didn’t know. He knew, of course, that Russian bots on Facebook would so successfully infuse Russian propaganda into the American election (especially in selected districts) that a victory for him in Pennsylvania was actually likely. Now he is predicting a “red wave.” What does he know that I don’t know?
Well, of course, what he knows is that nothing has been done to discourage Russian meddling. We can expect massive propaganda attacks in this upcoming election. Count on it.
What can we do about it? Well, as citizens, the only thing we can do is watch out for propaganda. Stay alert for efforts to divide us. For example, there has been some discussion of the divide in the Democratic Party between the “progressive” wing and the “institutional” wing. This is not a fiction. There really is such a divide. But—using myself as an example—I’m not sure which wing I belong to. Do you? More to the point, do you really even care? Nevertheless, expect this division to be overblown in the coming months into an epic civil war! PAY NO ATTENTION! This will just be Russian bots trying to divide us. Likewise, we may see the phrase “blue wave” used to discourage unaffiliated voters from going to the polls. Again, PAY NO ATTENTION! If we are successful this will not be a “blue wave” so much as an American wave.
We must remember that we may disagree on many issues. But we are still a community that agrees more often that we disagree. We are a diverse community; but, we agree that our collective will—not the will of a foreign propaganda machine—is the ultimate authority in our country. May it be so—or, rather, as Captain Picard would say—MAKE it so.