Even as many are relieved that the battle to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or “Obamacare,” as it is popularly known, has been shut down, at least for a while, there is still a dark cloud hanging over America, and that is the question of what Russia is doing and has done in our country.
It is more than meddling with our elections that is troubling. The problem is two-fold: 1) Russia has been known to want to topple democratic republics in this world for its own purposes and acquisition of power, and 2) too many Americans seem not to realize that our own democracy is in jeopardy.
When I was a child, it was common knowledge that Russia was a country that meant no good to America. To be called a “Communist” was worse than being called a “racist.” In fact, the perpetuation and presence of racism was blamed on Communism; any and every problem of American society could be traced to the hated ideology.
The U.S.S.R. (which I called Russia), was a force with which to contend. This conglomerate of nations included Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Russia and nine other countries, and was the largest state in the world, with a population of over 300 million. The U.S.S.R. and the United States were bitter enemies. They were in a virtual pissing contest to determine whose stream would go the farthest. They compete against each other, sparring for the right to claim which one would be named “the greatest.” From 1947 until 1991, the United States and the U.S.S.R. were engaged in the Cold War.
Communist Soviet Union began its quest for power in 1922 and moved slowly, yet deliberately, extending its presence into Europe in the 1940s. The success of the Soviet Union in the countries into which it intruded was due largely to globalization. Leaders of the U.S.S.R. were shrewd enough to pick up on the despair of people because their world as they knew it was being threatened by the presence of people who were different from them. They began to believe that globalization was nothing less than a conspiracy to destroy their own nations. The U.S.S.R. struck, like a viper making a hit. In school, we were taught that Russia was bad and dangerous.
But Russian leadership didn’t care how the world characterized it. Their goal was to spread Communism and make it the ideological counterpart to democracy, and America hated them for it. We resisted anything that even smelled like Communism. We were Americans and we were proud and we were not going to let any foreign government take our liberty and freedom away. Russia was on a mission, so was no surprise that in 1983, Russia and the United States faced each other with utmost suspicion and distrust in what can only be called a standoff. The Russians believed that the United States was preparing for an all-out nuclear war against them and America had to answer the challenge.
The two nations are still superpowers and they are still sparring. In spite of efforts to improve the relations between the two superpowers, some say the Cold War never ended. It feels that way now.
What happened with the Russian interference in the 2016 election was nothing short of an attack, a cyber attack. Our security was attacked and we have been chided for being concerned. The reports of what Russia has done and may well still be doing is being classified as “fake news,” but there is nothing fake about what is going on. The quest for Vladimir Putin is power, raw power, as he believed the U.S.S.R. had in its heyday, and it seems that he will stop at nothing to get that power.
That is not unusual. World leaders usually vie for power.
But the difference in this Russia-America connection is that so many people in power seem to have forgotten. That or they do not care about the Russia’s history in trying to undermine America and her democracy. People in power, including many in the inner circle of the president, are figuratively in bed with the Russians. That’s like Samson being in bed with Delilah. Russia doesn’t like us any more than Delilah cared for Samson. Russia wants power, as did Delilah. She begged the oversexed Samson to tell her “his whole heart,” and he did, thereby giving her the key to get others to destroy him. Putin is in America’s bed, begging Americans of power to “tell him their whole heart,” and just like that move caused Samson’s demise, it will cause America’s demise as well.
We seem to have lost the fire that made us hate communism and Russia. So many people, by their silence and belief in the new administration, are unaware of what they are doing. We are giving the key to our front door to our arch enemy, and there is little to no outrage or protest. We are watching, not only while Russians attack our basic rights, but also while other Americans are exploiting our freedoms and our democracy. Russia is watching, too, looking for the weak portions of our democratic republic wall, and when they see the right moment, they will enter our space, our beloved, democratic space, in an invasion which will be no less of a surprise than was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Thomas Jefferson is supposed to have said that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” We are not being vigilant, and our liberty may very well be damaged or at least seriously compromised because of it.