As much as it seems to pain mainstream Democrats, Donald Trump didn’t win the presidency because of a vast Russian conspiracy.
He won because, for one, his message of protectionism and economic nationalism happened to appeal to many people in critical states, especially in the Rust Belt. And two, Hillary Clinton was a horrible candidate who turned off progressives.
Clinton embodied everything wrong with mainstream politics. Among other things, Hillary Clinton was just another corporate Democrat who supported the Wall Street bailouts while millions of ordinary Americans suffered, and she was a warmonger who voted for the war in Iraq and supported continued military interventionism across the planet.
Weakened by this history and revelations that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee rigged the Democratic primary against Bernie Sanders, it’s not hard to figure out why Clinton lost and how Donald Trump pulled off the win.
But rather than work to correct this, establishment Democrats and the pundits who support them have instead latched onto the idea that Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election made a meaningful difference in the election so as to undermine the legitimacy of the Trump presidency.
They have used hysterical language in support of this claim. As journalist Glenn Greenwald has recently pointed out, there is no shortage of wild assertions by Democrats (and hawkish Republicans like John McCain) comparing Russian meddling, to whatever extent it existed, to an act of war, the Pearl Harbor attacks and the September 11 attacks. Clinton herself has referred to Russian meddling as “cyber 9/11.”
This is the language of neoconservatives and war hawks. While the presidency of Barack Obama all but silenced the anti-war movement on the left in this country, any principled liberal or progressive still committed to peace ought to reject such warmongering rhetoric.