Let's Fix Another Election
Russia I Need Your Help
In the 2016 Trump campaign, there were many questions about if Trump's people colluded with the Russians to fix the upcoming election. The biggest issue was with the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and those whom he believed to be Russian officials that claimed to have information that would hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign. It has been proven that he openly sought this information and was truly disappointed when it didn't pan out.
In anticipation of this information being disclosed to his son, Donald Trump boldly proclaimed in public that he would have some damning news about Hillary Clinton. When he didn't receive that information, he next publicly asked the Russians or anybody else to hack Hillary's emails to get that information. This would become the main focus of the Mueller investigation, as it is a criminal offense to seek help from a foreign country to aid an election campaign.
While Mueller could not directly connect Trump to this offense, he did convict several officials working in his campaign of colluding with or lying about their connection with Russian officials. He also stated that he found evidence that Trump interfered with and obstructed his investigation but laws prevented him from indicting a sitting president, even though the crimes were committed before he became president, and eventually allowed him to become president.
Early in his presidency, the Republicans seemed leery of siding with Trump because they knew he was skirting the law. Then Trump called all of them into the White House on several occasions and they all seemed to fall in line with his criminality and disdain for the Constitution. The most vocal of course is Mitch McConnell, but the most surprising was Lindsay Graham, who often criticized Trump. Now he treats Trump like he is the greatest thing on Earth, even though Trump constantly demeans his one time closest political ally John McCain.
The Turning Point
I believe the first time Trump called the Republicans to the White House was when he tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act and he thought he had them all in step with him. John McCain didn't attend that meeting due to health issues, and when it came time to vote, McCain was the deciding vote to keep the A.C.A. in place. This infuriated Trump and he finally gave up on trying to repeal it totally, but began attacking and removing parts of it where he could.
The next time Trump called the Republicans to the White House was when he was about to introduce his tax reform bill. Several Republicans were against the bill, but after the meeting they were all for it. As we have seen, the bill has not worked out for the American people as he described it would. Yes, some people saw an early change in their taxes and paychecks, but much like the tax refund that George Bush, Jr. gave the American people when he first took office in 2000, it has shown no benefits except to the rich corporations in subsequent years.
It was after this meeting that almost every Republican quit going against anything Trump said or did. Then there was another meeting where several Republicans, including Lindsay Graham, confronted Trump about the Russian interference probe that was being investigated. In fact, Graham was all gung ho about finding out about Trump's involvement with the Russians.
But shortly after meeting with Trump personally, the Republicans completely changed their tune and were again in step with Trump saying it was ok to consult with Russian officials to seek information about Hillary Clinton.
Let's Do It Again
Whenever the issue about Trump asking for help from the Russians for information about Hillary comes up, he and the Republicans quickly try to accuse Hillary's campaign of using a foreign agent to get information on Trump. They call it opposition research and apparently feel that if Hillary did it, it is alright for them to do it.
The problem with their claim is this. Hillary did not seek out a foreign adversary to get information on Trump. She used an American based company who without her knowledge subcontracted this assignment to a British agent, who then reported what he found to the FBI. This is not what Trump's people did, in fact the reason most have been indicted is because they tried to hide their involvement with Russian agents and then lied about it.
So just this past week, after Trump believes that the Mueller report exonerated him, he came out with a statement during an interview with George Stephanopoulos that he feels it is ok to accept help from a foreign government and he would do it again. As expected, Lindsay Graham and Mitch McConnell agreed with the president that it would be ok to accept help from any foreign government. In fact, the Republican Senate voted down a bill that would clearly make it illegal to accept information from a foreign entity that would give dirt on a political opponent. It would also have required a candidate to report that attempted election tampering to the FBI.
It is clear to me that the Republican party welcomes this sort of interference. I believe that Trump has convinced them that Russian interference can help them, as well as himself, in the 2020 election. Much like gerrymandering has helped the Republicans maintain a stranglehold on certain seats around the country, the Russians have figured out a way to manipulate certain segments of the Electoral College.
It has become obvious that the Democrats are in the majority in this country, as the last two Republican presidents have lost the popular vote, but won the Electoral College. This is a process that makes no sense in a democratic society where every other election is based on who has the most votes. This is equivalent to having a baseball game where one team scores twenty runs and the other team scores twelve, but wins the second, fifth, and seventh innings and is declared the winner of the game.
This is not the democracy that was taught to me, nor is it the type I want my children and descendants to be subjected to in the future. America has to once again become the leader and example of what a democratic society is and move away from this attempt to lead us into becoming a dictatorship or a clone of Nazi Germany.