If only there was something we could do about this:

Russia’s efforts to interfere with last year’s U.S. presidential election were “wildly successful,” former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said Tuesday, and are still bearing fruit today in the form of continued infighting at the highest levels in Washington.

“Their purpose was to sow discontent and mistrust in our elections. They wanted us to be at each others’ throat when it was over,” Rogers said, according to Reuters, at a panel discussion hosted by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “It’s influencing, I would say, legislative process today. That’s wildly successful.”

It’s long been true that Russian hacking efforts against other nations have been an effort to “sow discontent and mistrust” in those elections. It’s a cheap way of discrediting democracies for a crony-filled government trying their level best to avoid democracy happening to them. But whether or not we on this side of the globe ended up “at each others’ throat” due to their meddling depends entirely on us. One would presume the natural American response to learning that a foreign power was attempting to bend one of our elections would be anger, a demand to know the whole truth of the situation, and an attempt to block such things from happening again. It ought to go without saying, yes?

So if the two parties are “at each other’s throats” because one of the parties—the side that, in this particular instance, gained from the foreign efforts, is conspicuously blocking, delegitimizing, and slow-walking attempts to investigate and publicize the extent of what happened, then that’s no longer Russian meddlers doing that. That’s us.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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