FYI: Putin and Russia aren't running the US government, quintessentially American politicians are and always have been, and they are continuing centuries of quintessentially American abuse of the most marginalized people for their own power and profit.
We might call this an... inconvenient truth.
But really, what's the harm in blaming a foreign power for what's going on in the US? you might ask... It covers up all the facts about the US and our history that we need to confront in order to stop people like Trump with a comforting myth that the US is fundamentally OK.
Additionally: we don't need anyone "sowing division" to see violence, inequality, bigotry, greed, imperialism, militarism, capitalism. Misused Russia discourse risks becoming a distraction through an effort to classify all valid critiques of hegemonic power as "Russian trolling."
Of course Russia is a real issue. It's a state that seeks power. But it's also a distraction from the 200+ years of colonial white supremacy in US and racist violence embodied perfectly by Trump's regime, and all of these issues today existed before he was elected.
Allow me to tell you a little story about an Evil Foreign Boss🐻, a White Queen👸, and how the Bad Leader👿 ruined everything for Peaceful Love Nation🇺🇸:
Do you think all 144 million of the people in the world's largest nation which has 11 time zones believe this, or are you talking about specific people?
Before you talk about "Russians" think about fact that nation-states want you to think of people living in other nation states as your enemy. They aren't. Would it be fair to say "Americans believe Trump is best choice to lead the US" just because some people voted for him?
One of the ways Russia discourse is misused:
"Resistance" Russia discourse has lost the plot so badly that has become entirely irrelevant to any material political issues actually impacting people's lives. It's a commercialized game, a contest between Hillary and Trump supporters. And yes, you can even buy t-shirts.
One of the many injustices lost in the focus on Russia discourse.
Yesterday [Feb 15, 2018] 12 Democrats voted with the GOP to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act. This is why "Vote Blue" isn't enough. The policies matter. The votes matter. "Democrat" is no guarantee of good politics, at all. Russia distracts from all of this.
When the resistance becomes a partisan game, where rabid fans just want to fight over whatever the news of the day is human lives suffer as a result. 140,000 followers, a "resistance" account selling "resistance gear" and not one single tweet about HR620 vote, just Russia.
This account isn't alone - Twitter is full of them. "Resistance" accounts that tweet about headlines and Russia all day, performing anti-Trump activism in the form of defending Hillary Clinton, who is a millionaire and who is doing just fine while ignoring real issues of the day.
This is why Russia is a distraction.
The best thing you could do for Trump is spend all day talking about Russia. In the end, he'll blame it on some underling, fire them, speak out against election interference and you will have wasted years. Meanwhile, healthcare, housing, disability rights, are all but ignored.
Instead of talking about Russia, talk about the issues that you want to see politicians working on and shape the future:
Instead of talking about Russia, talk about the #PoorPeoplesCampaign. Follow @UniteThePoor and visit https://poorpeoplescampaign.org/
Instead of talking about Russia, talk about organizing for action on March 8th, #InternationalWomensDay, to support and expand the #MeToo movement to all people everywhere. What's happening in your city?
Instead of talking about Russia, defend the 800,000 #DACA recipients and others faced with threat of deportation and future Muslim bans. Speak out and fight back against ICE. Follow @DefineAmerican, @MPower_Change, @ErikaAndiola and share who you follow and support. #DreamActNow
Instead of talking about Russia, find local candidates running grass-roots independent campaigns and support them.
Instead of talking about Russia, join the fight for housing rights and rent control. Follow @HFA_RenterPower, @IX_Unidxs, @LTBcoalition, @AutonomousUnion, @housingrightsSF, @HousingHumanRt, @TenantsUnionSF, @TenantsTogether, @Urban_Habitat, @cmkshama. #IXRentStrike
Instead of talking about Russia, join the fight for #MedicareForAll, spread the word, talk to your representatives about it, ask them to support it. Find candidates who do.
Instead of talking about Russia, take action to stop discrimination in healthcare.
Instead of talking about Russia, find the people doing work on the ground in your community and support them however you can, even just by spreading the word:
Instead of talking about Russia, tell the @GOP, @senmarcorubio, @FLGovScott and other politicians to stop taking @nra money and stop gun violence instead, in all its forms, from school shootings to police shootings.
Instead of talking about Russia, think about, talk about, and articulate your political demands specifically so that you can make politicians represent you, not just take whatever they offer.
Instead of talking about Russia, follow @NationalADAPT, and learn how you can take action to support people with disabilities. Their civil rights are ALL of our civil rights.
Instead of talking about Russia, consider how money in US politics has been changing the outcome of elections. Look for candidates who focus on the impact of money in political campaigns and want to change it.
This is how Russia discourse is being misused - to actually imply that I have something to do with a Russian conspiracy to elect Trump. Laughably absurd, but that's "the resistance" now.
This is the "resistance" discourse about Russia that labels any rejection of US imperialism as a "Russian conspiracy" to elect Trump. See this thread and the ones quoted in it:
If you're going to talk Russia, at the very least:
- 1. Discuss the idea of treason, under US law, and the consequences.
- 2. Ask why officials who claim he really (actually, truly!) works for Russia aren't taking immediate action to remove him from office.
Instead of spending the day talking about Russia, help the student leaders of @schoolwalkoutUS organize a #NationalSchoolWalkout to protest gun violence. No school, wear orange and protest. Sign to pledge you’ll join:
Consider how we might need to decolonize the imperialist “Russia” discourse.
It's admittedly kind of funny how Democrats were so offended in 2016 when we pointed out how much like Republicans they're becoming and yet now a lot of them are wildly over-invested in a REAL LIFE RED SCARE conflating Russia, the USSR, communism, Putin, Sanders, Socialism, etc.
“All these people are not only getting Russian influence operations wrong. In an important sense, they are also amplifying the effects of the very operations they decry.”
I hope Democrats introduce a bill soon to rename any Borscht they might serve at the Congressional cafeterias to "Freedom Beet Stew" because that would really make this whole thing sing.
@AriMelber - "Note attempted black voter suppression - Mueller indictment says Russians tried to suppress voter turnout of minorities"
Good thing white Americans haven't been doing that for 200 years, otherwise we might have to focus on what's wrong with the US instead of projecting all our problems onto a foreign enemy.
“A medium-sized hustle to mess with the American presidential election on behalf of the Russian oligarchy could lead anywhere. But from the looks of things, it was Americans who put Donald Trump in the White House.” —@alexismadrigal
Consider the origins of the current Russia discourse.
And now the Russia discourse is being used as a "conspiracy theory to somehow make the voice of a black woman into a tool of the right." Again, this is the danger of misusing it.
Cohen: The Democratic Party (and its leading members)“is now less a vehicle of positive domestic- and foreign-policy alternatives than a party promoting conspiracy theories, Cold War, and neo-McCarthyism.”
This is one of the strangest things I’ve ever read, and I don’t agree with it all, but the analysis and argument are good. Also, sci-fi: “The allegation is reminiscent of, for people old enough to remember, the classic Cold War film ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers.’” —Cohen
The real kicker though? It's all true.
Pro Tip for @TheDemocrats: "The Russians are Still Coming" is not a good campaign platform for any election. Try something like "Basic Needs are Human Rights" instead. Education, healthcare, housing, food, water, freedom from violence and incarceration. That's a platform.