If you watch corporate news today, you may be led to believe that what the U.S. has accused Russia of doing is the singular worst thing to have ever happened – and something that America itself would never do. but the truth is that the U.S. has been meddling in elections for as long as we can remember.
The truth is that when it comes to meddling in elections, the U.S. takes the top spot. In fact, between 1946 and 2000, the U.S. has influenced a nation’s election in one way or another as many as 81 times.
Of course, if the Russian state did deliberately interfere in the American presidential election, that is a serious allegation that will need hard proof. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to get such proof since Mitch McConnell and others have backed off of that call. Conveniently, the call to investigate Russia appears to have been a last-ditch campaign action, hoping that electors would defect from the scandal. Government elites have decided we should all just accept Trump’s win with this vital unknown factor floating above our heads.
But as is so often the case, the United States and the people therein often act with outrage at an action that the nation has engaged in again and again, often to a greater scale and degree.
The aforementioned 81 election interferences led by the U.S. does not include military coups and regime change efforts that were often funded and pushed by the U.S. in response to the democratic election of a candidate that the U.S. didn’t approve of, like in Iran, Guatemala, and Chile.
That’s like if the U.S. had actually elected Clinton and Russia came in and funded Trump-supporting rebels to overthrow the government and install their own leader through violent means. It sounds utterly impossible – something only the most evil empire would engage in.
But that’s just something the U.S. gets away with, right?
So we are now outraged at the possibility of a nation acting even in part of the way we have been for decades. Of course, we want to protect our Democracy and keep it free from influence, but how can we expect such freedom and protection when we do not give it to anyone else?
So yes, the allegations against Russia are serious and without merit, but with a lack of evidence or proof, the U.S. should really take a long, hard look at herself and think “what sins have I committed that make this one seem minor?”
Truly, the list is too long.
Read more about the U.S. long interventionist history at LA Times.