In an interview with ABC this Sunday, Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, likened Donald Trump’s encouragement of Russia to hack into Hillary’s emails to the infamous Watergate scandal. Kaine’s comment was his way of deflecting negative attention off Hillary by pointing out just how much worse Trump is. And it’s true. I hope you don’t need me to tell you this, but Trump really is so much worse than Hillary. That’s why it’ll surprise you to hear that he was actually kind of right. Just once.
Kaine oversimplifies the issue at hand, and for that he should stand corrected. The way I see it, when Trump encouraged Russia to hack into Hillary’s emails, he was, in his own inelegantly blundering, foolishly exaggerative, stupidly loud-mouthed way, touching on a concept of civic virtue that, at its essence, is bound to melt the hearts of many an American, including you. If you strip away the nauseating, overtly political self-interest undergirding the statement — for I am in no way suggesting that Trump is at his core a pure proponent of the public good (in fact, the opposite is true) — you may come to a terrifying realization: maybe the only way the American public can discover the unpleasant truth about the deteriorating state of our government, achieve true political transparency, and reach the height of civic virtue is through the actions of illegal foreign hackers.
Think about it. Maybe we should thank Russia. After all, in a twisted, admittedly perverse sort of way, Russia was the one who (courtesy of Guccifer 2.0), in late July this summer, hacked the DNC servers, fueling the WikiLeaks release of almost 20,000 DNC emails that proved what many Bernie supporters had suspected all along: the purportedly neutral DNC had intentionally undermined the Sanders campaign. Without Russia’s “interference,” we would have never obtained evidence of the height of the DNC’s corruption, and thus would have never realized that our alleged democracy was being subverted before our very eyes.
The fact that most news outlets focused on who was behind the hack rather than the actual contents of the hack is disappointing, yet expected. And it’s almost entertaining to me that so many news outlets labelled the Russian hack as an “interference” in the US election. Of course, I am fully aware of the fact that Russia did not hack the DNC out of a friendly sense of goodwill, looking out for its fellow US companion. It is clear Putin has ulterior motives as he tries to sway the election in favor of Trump. But, if you think about it, all Russia did was expose what was already going on in the DNC and throw back the curtains on the blatantly unfair political maneuverings that had already occurred. The corruption exists independently of Russia’s interference: Russia simply revealed it for what it was.
Isn’t it — as Donald Trump would say — “sad!” that the only way we found out about corruption occurring on our own soil was through hackers who don’t actually care at all about the American people — hackers who only engage in said hacking to foster their own political advantage? Isn’t it “sad!” that the officials we are told to trust engage in these kinds of sleazy maneuverings and that they then try to obscure their lofty dishonesties from us? Isn’t it “sad!” that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, after resigning from her position as chair of the DNC thanks to the corruption that she was revealed to have knowingly condoned, immediately joined the Hillary campaign, solidifying her ties to Clinton and then later went on to win her Congressional primary, despite all the unethical underhandedness exposed about her and her role in the DNC’s scheming?
It is sad. But let’s not cry about it. Sources tell me that’s a waste of time. Instead, let’s collectively acknowledge what has happened, and try our best to prevent this kind of corruption from happening in the future. How, you may ask? I’m not sure. I’m not a world-renowned public policy specialist. I’m not going to go off on a tangent naively listing off a stream of clichés about democracy and patriotism and doing the right thing, because that’s stupid! We already know all about democracy and patriotism, and hopefully we all know that we should always do the right thing. But maybe next time around, instead of just blindly accepting the political rhetoric our governmental higher-ups try to spoon-feed us, we’ll be a little more apprehensive. Maybe we’ll do a little more digging, explore alternative news sources so that we might get a better, fuller idea of what’s going on so that we can emerge free from our state of accidental ignorance.