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A Second Look

“No evidence of collusion” were the words William Barr used to describe the widely speculated findings of the Mueller Investigation. Barr, our current Attorney General, released his summary on the report — which dealt with supposed ties of the 2016 Trump campaign to the Russian government — in late March, during a time when many political pundits did not expect to receive news of the conclusion of Mueller’s report. Since then, both the left and the right have had a lot to say about the implications of what Special Counsel Robert Mueller did (or didn’t) find out in relation to Putin, Russia, and Trump’s administration. These implications reveal a lot about where the Democratic party has focused its attention since the election of President Trump, and where they have failed.

Ever since the public first learned about accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, people paying close attention to the political climate noticed an unusual phenomenon, which was best described by Glenn Greenwald, one of the journalists who first exposed NSA-spying on American citizens along with Edward Snowden. Greenwald said that “the role Putin serves above all else in our media is to cast America’s problems not as its own doing but rather the fault of an evil foreign power, and more importantly, to relieve the Democratic Party of the need to examine its own fundamental flaws and errors.” Essentially, the argument being made is that Russia is used as a scapegoat for many of our problems here in the United States. In the age of so-called “fake news,” it is fittingly ironic that the Democratic establishment put into practice one of the most elaborate and strange conspiracy theories of all.

This isn’t to say that Russia didn’t try to influence the 2016 Presidential election in any way — there’s certainly reason to believe that they did. The main problem, though, is that news organizations got so caught up in making increasingly unfounded claims about Russia’s relations to the United States that they lost some of their journalistic integrity in the process. One instance of this media frenzy comes from The Washington Post, who reported that “Russian agents” had attacked and tried to assassinate United States diplomats soon after the end of the 2016 election. The story was later removed after it was found to be substantively untrue. However, just because Donald Trump did not actively work with Russian intelligence to increase his chances of becoming President also doesn’t exonerate him. Despite the media’s recent mistakes, it still seems clear that there are legitimate accusations of corruption against Trump in many other areas of his presidency, with certain individuals beholden to Saudi Arabia in his administration.

If liberals want to win out over conservatives and Donald Trump in 2020, they have to make one decision above all else. They can become more introspective, asking themselves why Americans elected Donald Trump, and why the Democratic party was so unappealing. Or they can continue to justify a failure of theirs to win the White House in 2016 by blaming outside interference. At a certain point, the 2016 election will have to be an occasion for self-reflection, and taken as a lesson, if things are to change.

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