With the revelation that the Russians managed to post fake anti-Clinton ads and comments on social media during the 2016 Presidential election, the question now is whether targeted individuals in three key states were the deciding factor that gave Donald Trump his Electoral College victory.
The 37-page indictment of 13 Russians for interfering in the U.S. presidential election announced last Friday described a sophisticated network that sought to bolster Trump and undermine Hillary Clinton by staging rallies and purchasing incendiary ads on social media intended to fan the flames of already simmering opposition to Clinton.
In an unfortunate choice of words late in the campaign, Clinton called Trump's vocal blue collar supporters "the deplorables." With her losses in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin -- by a total of 80,000 votes -- the Electoral College was Trump's and he is now President of the United States. The "deplorables" can be credited with much of that margin of victory.
Some of those "deplorables" may now be questioning their decision to support Trump, given the current effort by the president and the Republicans to slash some of the very government programs on which they depend -- Obamacare, Medicaid, housing assistance, food stamps, for example.
But for many, none of that seems to matter, no more than does Trump's continual lies, his efforts to decimate the environment, his tax law aimed at lining the pockets of the wealthy at the expense of the poor, his refusal to acknowledge that Russia had anything to do with the election.
Of course not, because they were promised a wall that Mexico would pay for to keep the drug dealing immigrants out of our country and from taking our jobs, better trade deals that would protect America workers, an infrastructure program that would put people to work and improve our highways and bridges. a return to coal mining that would bring those jobs back.
Never mind that those supporters will end up paying for all of that through higher road taxes and tolls, through costlier goods because of tariffs, through cuts in the very social programs that they need to survive. A return to "clean coal? Really?
They don't care either, about Trump's sexual escapades, even after his latest marriage, all the while claiming to be a man of deep religious beliefs.
All of that is amazing to me, as is this comment from former Trump campaign chief and White House advisor Steven K. Bannon:
“To credit the victory to anyone else including those 13 Russians is to demean everyday Americans’ power to control their own destiny. The ‘deplorables’ deserve better.”
In my opinion, all of that meddling by Russia was an act of war intended to put their own puppet into the White House, and they succeeded.
In a tweet over the weekend, Trump said that in Moscow "they're laughing their asses off."
Yes, they probably are. And, yes, the "deplorables" do deserve better.
We all do.