Everyone in the mainstream media has been obsessively chasing the “Russiagate” story, particularly in the US. While the full Mueller report would be nice – without redactions – it has been decided that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia. Shady stuff, yes – Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election, certainly. But even if Trump did collude with Russia, so what? Didn’t do much.
Yes, I get that the implications of a President being installed by a foreign power are problematic – just ask any country the US has interfered in, it’s not the best scenario to be in. However, in this instance there appears to be little Russian influence being exerted on US policy, and whatever Russia was able to do in 2016 is negligible when compared to every other corporate and anti-democratic institution within the US itself.
There is, however, a quite a double standard when it comes to these other forms of interference – not just in the US. And it is quite beyond the mere political interests of a significantly weaker world superpower.
- The US, for example, is leading the charge against women, both internally and internationally. They strong-armed the UN Security Council into removing all references to sexual and reproductive health in the Resolution on sexual violence in war, and a number of US states plan on placing heavy restrictions on abortion. The vilest I have heard of – which thankfully didn’t pass – was a Texas bill that would have allowed the death penalty for women seeking abortions.
Not only is that a severe imposition on women’s rights, but all the talk of cutting funding to certain national and international programs targets many in mush tough socio-economic positions. You can still get an abortion, just not from the gutted public system.
- Joe Biden announced his campaign for the 2020 election, in a move that mainstream America has praised as the best possible outcome – sounds familiar. Corporate hack with a reputation of being able to ‘bring together’ both parties (yes, neoliberal imperialism is bipartisan) being put before a real progressive that really isn’t that ‘radical’. Watch the flood of Democratic candidate drown each other out as the Republicans steamroll another election – until proven otherwise, my cynicism remains.
- That corporate stranglehold on the US is the real threat to US ‘democracy’, or what passes for it in an un-developing country, not Russia. If Russia really got Trump elected, they probably also have buyer’s remorse – escalation in the form of trashing treaties and Russia’s allies is probably not what they had in mind?
- One country that does have wild influence on US politics is Israel – wait, that was anti-Semitic of me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with AIPAC having enough power to try and stifle free speech in the US, that’s just normal, right?
- Another mainstream view is the Venezuela is collapsing in on itself on its own ‘socialist’ merits. This is blatantly false – although there is no doubt Chavez’s reliance solely on oil revenue was a dumb move. But no, many of the deaths and evacuations from Venezuela are the direct result of sanctions placed on them by the US. Similar events are taking place in Iran, with the IRGC being designated a terror organisation. God forbid anyone called the US a rogue terrorist state and tried to sanction them.
- In Australia, thankfully things don’t look so bleak, figuratively. The environment might disagree, with the Coalition is trying to quietly shove two mines – one for uranium and another for coal – through before they inevitably lose power next month.
- I also took a look at the ABC’s Vote Compass thing, and while it’s a reasonable enough guide for the average person, I feel it’s extremely limiting. As someone who sees themselves ‘more left’ (if such things can be defined) than the Greens, it was fun to see myself placed between them and Labor over a few inconsequential questions. For a more accurate representation, it should probably include views and ideas beyond what the normal parties have to offer, and also take into account how much weight certain issues have for individuals.
Not that I am accusing the ABC of this per se (in this particular case, at least), but it reminded me of a Noam Chomsky quote:
“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”
There is much more at stake in the world than what appears to be a minor, if not failed, deal between Trump and Russia. Mainstream opinion seems not to care too much, however, and it is this apathy that will lead us towards more Trump-like leaderships sparking up across the globe.
One can only hope common sense prevails.