For the sake of our planet and species, if you believe Russia is an enemy that must be stopped read this please.
First off, there is no evidence yet that anything at all occurred. Nothing. Everything remains 100% speculative. Hard evidence would be videos, emails, paper trail, recorded conversations…..Something, ANYTHING, that is more than just speculation from an expert or celebrity, or second hand statements. An intelligence officer or politician stating that they think something is true is not evidence. Proof that someone was somewhere at a certain time is not evidence. Russians and Americans are both allowed to travel and communicate freely. I’m an Epistemology major, what is being touted as evidence is nothing at all, its an affront to the concept of knowledge. Second hand statements are not evidence. Potentially relevant information that isn’t necessarily relevant is likewise not evidence. Its lipstick on a pig.
In a situation lacking evidence, we can assess motivations instead- to make a best guess. The story goes that Russia did all of this either to lift sanctions or to descend the US into chaos.
Lifting sanctions: China/Russia trade is booming. China is building the world’s largest train/road construction project in the world straight through Russia into Europe. Russia's economy is fine. Sanctions have probably caused more harm to the EU than Russia as it forces them to buy things overseas that they could have gotten from resource rich Russia next door. If Russia hates the USA, why would it want sanctions lifted so it can do more trade with them?
But OK OK, Russia has said they want the sanctions lifted- that is real. But...Trump has expanded the sanctions, attacked their ally, ejected diplomats, ignored what Putin says about Syria, Iran, North Korea. So they're not getting what they supposedly wanted. Also, on the most basic level it's perfectly understandable that Russia would want sanctions lifted- whether or not sanctions have had a big impact on their economy. Someone is aggressive and refuses to trade with you, forces other countries not to trade with you, obviously you'd want that lifted. But at the end of the day Russia is doing fine and has a terrific economic outlook considering China and BRICS. Yea Russia wants them lifted, but it's not at all desperate for them- they don't need the USA. Certainly not worth risking war by undermining the US election to try and get them removed.
As for the motivation to simply harm America. Putin is extremely popular in Russia, a recent poll puts him at 81% approval. They have a democracy and Russians support Putin. So if you believe the harm theory, you’ve got to believe Russians are either: A)Stupid and can’t see that their president is evil. Or B)Russian voters are evil themselves….So yes the harm motivation can hold, but only if you’re racist and believe Russians are inherently either stupid or evil.
But lets go even further past the obvious problems with a lack of motivation or evidence.
The accusation is that the Russia gov swayed the US election by use of social media trolls spreading fake information. Primarily negative things about Hilary Clinton. First of all, if someone, anyone, shares true information that shows the negative side of a politician- that is not meddling! Informing voters strengthens democracy. Which politician it serves is irrelevant, the more we know about the people we vote for the better. Wikileaks, who published the information, is simply a news site that posts info it receives. It’s not political and has posted negative information about Russia as well.
But suppose all the speculation is true, lets go there. The Russia gov hired people to create social media damning HRC with fake info, Wikileaks is in Putin’s back pocket. Why on earth would Donald Trump, who has 4 billion dollars, require a foreign government to put that together? He could easily hire trolls himself, or send fake info to Wikileaks himself. Trump has the resources and motivation. The Republican and Democratic parties both hire trolls and do exactly what Russia is being accused of. Republican trolls surely shared absolutely anything we expect Russian trolls would have shared....The only situation wherein a foreign government’s spy resources may have been required would be in the situation in which the HRC leaks were real and hacked out of their servers. Again, if they did that, they did us all a favour. If there was no leak/hack and its fake info, why would the KGB be needed at all? Whatever Russia did on social media, if anything, would be an irrelevant drop in a bucket already filled by Republicans.
Further, if Russia did hire social media trolls- who friggin cares? How is that meddling? Its the US election, there were probably a thousand different entities around the world employing trolls to contribute to public opinion in one way or another. Should the states then pursue war with every country in the world? Arrest every individual or company that hired social media teams to create political posts? It isn’t meddling, its the game, that’s what an election is. The US gov does it, foreign govs do it, companies do it, individuals do it. Its anonymous, trolls and fake info won’t go away. To speculate whether the Russia gov did or didn’t do it is pointless- it won't be stopped and everyone does it.
If any judgement in the world should be approached as “innocent before guilty”, wouldn’t it be the Russian meddling accusation?