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Red/Blue America: We saw it coming and now we must live with the results

Donald Trump's election as president hit a new snag last week with reports that the CIA had concluded Russia interfered in the campaign on his behalf, hacking Hillary Clinton's campaign and releasing information about her in an effort to secure h...

Donald Trump’s election as president hit a new snag last week with reports that the CIA had concluded Russia interfered in the campaign on his behalf, hacking Hillary Clinton’s campaign and releasing information about her in an effort to secure his election.Trump called the conclusion “ridiculous,” but congressional Republican leaders promised an investigation, and some Democrats said the CIA should present its evidence when the Electoral College meets Monday to finalize the election results.How should Americans react if Russia interfered? First: Let’s admit that Mitt Romney was right.
Back when he was running for president in 2012, he identified Russia as America’s No. 1 geopolitical foe. Democrats laughed at him then, but Vladimir Putin has certainly tossed a monkey wrench into the workings of American democracy: Our confidence in the legitimacy of our elections is close to an all-time low. Certainly, the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency is now in doubt.Second: Understand that Trump brought this on himself, in several ways.Remember when he publicly urged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails and release them to the press? “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said during a July news conference. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”Remember, too, that Trump spent much of the campaign preparing Americans not to accept the results of the election as legitimate - with constant, unsupported allegations that the vote had been “rigged” against him. Now? He’s reaping what he sowed.Third: As painful as it is for me to say, this affair goes down as a major negative mark on President Barack Obama’s legacy.It’s understandable that administration officials hesitated to discuss the Russian hacking before the election - unlike Vladimir Putin, apparently, Obama didn’t want to create the impression he’d meddled in the election.Less understandable, though, is that the Obama administration apparently hesitated to push back against Russian hackers because of a desire to save diplomatic efforts in the Syrian civil war. That was the wrong decision. Russia’s apparent interference in our elections was an act of war, threatening the integrity of our government, and Obama’s first duty should’ve been to act in defense of America, not Aleppo. He failed.Americans went to the polls, though, knowing that Trump had called for Russian interference and that Russians had probably hacked Clinton’s campaign. Nearly half of them voted for Trump anyway. We can’t say we didn’t see this coming. We will, however, have to live with the results. Joel Mathis is an award-winning writer in Kansas. Reach him at joelmmathis@gmail.com.Donald Trump’s election as president hit a new snag last week with reports that the CIA had concluded Russia interfered in the campaign on his behalf, hacking Hillary Clinton’s campaign and releasing information about her in an effort to secure his election.Trump called the conclusion “ridiculous,” but congressional Republican leaders promised an investigation, and some Democrats said the CIA should present its evidence when the Electoral College meets Monday to finalize the election results.How should Americans react if Russia interfered?First: Let’s admit that Mitt Romney was right.
Back when he was running for president in 2012, he identified Russia as America’s No. 1 geopolitical foe. Democrats laughed at him then, but Vladimir Putin has certainly tossed a monkey wrench into the workings of American democracy: Our confidence in the legitimacy of our elections is close to an all-time low. Certainly, the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency is now in doubt.Second: Understand that Trump brought this on himself, in several ways.Remember when he publicly urged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails and release them to the press? “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said during a July news conference. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”Remember, too, that Trump spent much of the campaign preparing Americans not to accept the results of the election as legitimate - with constant, unsupported allegations that the vote had been “rigged” against him. Now? He’s reaping what he sowed.Third: As painful as it is for me to say, this affair goes down as a major negative mark on President Barack Obama’s legacy.It’s understandable that administration officials hesitated to discuss the Russian hacking before the election - unlike Vladimir Putin, apparently, Obama didn’t want to create the impression he’d meddled in the election.Less understandable, though, is that the Obama administration apparently hesitated to push back against Russian hackers because of a desire to save diplomatic efforts in the Syrian civil war. That was the wrong decision. Russia’s apparent interference in our elections was an act of war, threatening the integrity of our government, and Obama’s first duty should’ve been to act in defense of America, not Aleppo. He failed.Americans went to the polls, though, knowing that Trump had called for Russian interference and that Russians had probably hacked Clinton’s campaign. Nearly half of them voted for Trump anyway. We can’t say we didn’t see this coming. We will, however, have to live with the results.Joel Mathis is an award-winning writer in Kansas. Reach him at joelmmathis@gmail.com.

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