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Viewpoint: Too Important To Ignore

Dennis EdwardsBy Dennis Edwards
Editorial Page Columnist
New Journal and Guide

It happened right in front of the entire nation. As clear and unapologetic as sunrise over open seas under a cloudless sky. Russia, the United State’s arch nemesis, icon of Communism in active opposition to democracy, has successfully tampered with a U.S. Presidential Election. At the heart of the strangest of silly seasons is the realization that Republican Conservatives don’t seem to care.

When we consider the Cold War, its threat of nuclear war and terrorism, the world has to be wondering about us. Wondering how Americans might deliberately be “looking the other way” from what Eric Chenoweth, Co-Director of the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe calls “this elections most alarming story.” In a Washington Post Editorial he pulls no punches when describing a “Successful effort by a hostile foreign power to manipulate public opinion before the vote.”

These conclusions aren’t random “media” speculation. Chenoweth’s fears are shaded by multiple U.S. Intelligence Agencies warning, screaming, that “the Russian Government used its hackers to actively support President Elect Donald Trump in opposition to Hillary Clinton.

The Washington Post further reports: “Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment.”

I wonder, do American voters realize in their quest to “take back our country” how close we are moving toward teaming up with an adversary intent on us to advance its communist cause? Could we be co-signing a move to disassemble American Democracy, the American Dream no less, by buying into the idea that democracy and consequently the dream itself are corrupt?

You have to wonder whether we’ve lost our collective sense of self. Are we as a nation so intent on racial hatred, so caught up in wanting to deport and re-enslave that we’ll partner with our worst enemy in order to reclaim some antiquated sense of lost privilege? Are we so unaware of our history that we can’t see Putin’s re-invented Cold War approach is intent on bringing down and or controlling one of the worlds few remaining democratic superpowers? Is it possible that racial undercurrents are beneath this strange and unnatural alliance?
Chenoweth does an enormous service when he refuses to let us ignore the clearly obvious.

He reminds a shell-shocked nation of reported coordination between the President Elect’s inner circle and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei A. Ryabkov. A foreign minister who reportedly “boasted that government representatives maintained multiple “contacts” during the campaign with Trump’s “immediate entourage.” A charge Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks denies. This in addition to reported U.S. government suspicions that a Trump adviser met with the intelligence operative directing the hacking.

Chenoweth is right to ask why aren’t congressional committee chairmen demanding an investigation? It’s well within the boundaries of reason to wonder why Republican leaders are ready “to accept the intervention of a foreign power in the election of their party’s presidential candidate?”

Is there so little awareness of history that we honestly believe Putin won’t turn that same propaganda machine against a sitting U.S. President? That he’s beyond attempts to throw the United States into total disarray by revealing incriminating emails or contacts with Russia during the election? Ultimately, are we as a country ready to discard Democracy in a misguided attempt to embrace a racially divisive slogan?

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I honestly don’t know. But I do know that history teaches us not to deceive ourselves. Pre-World War 2, some of our leaders believed Adolph Hitler wouldn’t do the things he said he’d do. We know how that miscalculation played out.

The bottom line, in this strange moment in American History, is how these questions are and should continue to be too serious to ignore.

Dennis Edwards is an Emmy Award Winning Investigative Television Journalist who’s worked in Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, Richmond and as a Freelance Correspondent for CNN. He’s a graduate of Virginia Union University and its Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology.

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