Who Makes Policy Campaign 2016 Edition

Is that a Bear or a Fox?

Is Putin crazy like one? When we finally finish fumbling around in the dark looking for our glasses, what will we see?  With the hacking of  Clinton campaign and DNC emails, and with the attacks on various state election systems, could Russia really be trying to alter the results of the U.S. presidential elections? If indeed it turns out to be Russia, are they really that crude and unsophisticated in their tactics? With individual states and counties having their own independent voting systems, is it realistic for Russia to undermine the election results? Or perhaps they’ve already succeeded in finishing what the Republican party began almost a decade ago, which is undermining the confidence in our political institutions. Recently released hacked emails purported to belong to Vladislav Surkov, a top aide to Putin, point to a concerted effort between him the Kremlin to undermine Ukrainian elections. The U.S. is a much bigger and sophisticated nation than the Ukraine so altering the direct results would be very complicated. However, by undermining confidence in the institutions and their leaders, they can achieve a similar result. It may sound narcissistic, but nonetheless, the world, just like U.S. citizens, hold American institutions in high regard. America derives much of its global authority from the fact that we are a Democracy and that we have institutions of power that are transparent and trustworthy. It would benefit Russia to see a decline in that power and in seeing the U.S. retreat from the world stage and global commerce. Over the last few presidencies, Russia has witnessed America expand its power and influence closer to its own borders. A Trump presidency would mean a retreat from that stage and perhaps from America’s commitment to NATO. Failure of the TPP would be comforting to a country that has witnessed itself commercially being frozen out of regions by American free trade agreements. A weaker America is good news for a Russian government that grows increasingly distrustful of American intentions in their sphere of influence.

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