Huffington Post – “A federal grand jury empaneled by Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities on Friday, laying out evidence that foreign nationals interfered in the 2016 election and boosted the candidacy of President Donald Trump.
The 37-page indictment represents a massive blow to Trump and his supporters on Capitol Hill, who for months have tried to undermine Mueller’s investigation and have dismissed the existence of pro-Trump Russian activity in the 2016 election.
Trump has maintained that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, and called Mueller’s probe a ‘witch hunt’ and a “hoax.” He has both conceded that Russia meddled in the election and said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin when he denied meddling.”
Let me start off by saying that I am not one of those people holding out hope that the Mueller investigation is going to find any meaningful evidence that could remove DJT from office. I think that perspective is naive and puts an absurd amount of faith in both the legislative and judicial branches of government.
The headline here is that these indictments don’t give us any new information. We know that the Russians were meddling with our elections long before 2014, as Mueller’s findings suggest, just as they have tried to subvert democratic processes around the world since the end of World War II (as has the United States).
The really surprising bit of information is how little money old Vladdy P. had to spend to effect our current political climate. According to Huffington Post, “the monthly budget for election interference operations was more than $1.25 million.” That might sound like a lot of money but when you consider that the American F-35 fighter jet costs about $160 million per unit, the Russians look thrifty.
The sad truth is that Facebook and other social media platforms are what have made these attacks on our democracy (as well as Russia’s attacks on the elections of other countries of which there are dozens) both possible and cheap. Any marketer will tell you that advertising on Facebook is both inexpensive and easy to set up, with micro-targeting built directly into the purchase. You can even specify the political affiliation of your target that Facebook has aggregated based on the posts individuals make and consume.
My solution: Get your parents off of facebook! Most young people aren’t on Facebook anymore, favoring Twitter or Instagram, presumably for the brevity of the dialogue that’s allowed. What was once a hip and new way for young people to interact online, has now become a way for people over 50 to share “news” articles from less than reputable sources that further solidify their pre-existing beliefs. That means that the most consistent voting demographic, those self-righteous baby boomers, are most vulnerable to social media based election tampering.
That’s right! Those hypocritical bastards! Talking about how millennials are always looking at their phones and not reading books or newspapers. Oh how the tables have turned.