Freedom Rider: Trump and Russia, the perfect lie

If there is evidence that the Russian Federation took some action that propelled Donald Trump to victory it has yet to be revealed. One wouldn’t know that from the daily Russophobic hysteria presented in the corporate media and the Democratic Party. Hillary Clinton tried to make Vladimir Putin an issue in the election but it didn’t help her at all. She often compared Putin to Adolph Hitler and labeled Trump his puppet but the charges didn’t prevent the political upset from taking place.

Having lost, the Democratic Party and their media cohorts continue the effort to make trouble for another nation whose only crime is the pursuit of its own interests. The anti-Russia strategy also distracts the Democratic rank and file. They ought to be angry that their standard bearer and their party leadership lost an election because of corruption, hubris and incompetence but instead they are taken in by propaganda.

Donald Trump is partly being hoisted on his own petard, as his nonsensical claim of having “done deals” in Russia has come back to haunt him. In 2013, Trump hosted his Miss Universe pageant in Moscow but he returned home empty handed after trying to consummate real estate deals there. This aspect of Trump’s personality makes him the perfect target when his enemies want to tell lies about him.

We know that someone gave WikiLeaks emails from the Democratic National Committee but it isn’t clear if the information was hacked by a hostile actor or was leaked by an insider. What passes for proof are nonsensical terms like “Russian digital finger prints” and claims that any and every Russian is always acting on Putin’s orders.

Trump is the perfect fall guy because he is so hated and so incompetent. At least half of all Americans despise the new president and for very good reasons. Unlike other presidents who use euphemism and code words, he openly activated the racist elements who are never far from the surface in this country. His victory was also unexpected and defied so-called expert opinion. The combination of dislike and shock makes it easy for the worst charges made about him to be believed.

But the Democratic Party has been relentless in using any and all information to make it appear that he and his team are all under the sway of Moscow. Trump assembled a group as amateurish and unprepared as he is and they are no match for the concerted effort inveighed against them.

The Obama friendly New York Times said as much. Their article “Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking” is proof that the outgoing president was looking not for intelligence he knew didn’t exist, but anything that could be used against Trump and his team. It isn’t surprising that Attorney General Sessions was asked about campaign contacts with Moscow. The Senate already knew that he met with the Russian ambassador to the United States. They knew that the now ousted national security adviser spoke to the same ambassador. There is nothing illegal about these contacts and Trump is not the first president elect to have had contacts with foreign governments.

In 1968 Richard Nixon convinced the Vietnamese not to engage Hubert Humphrey in offers of peace talks. In 1980 Ronald Reagan delayed the release of hostages held by Iran in order to secure his victory against Jimmy Carter. If the corporate media were to point out this history they would jeopardize their role as partners of the Democratic Party sector of the ruling classes.

These facts don’t matter of course. What does matter is that Trump said things that made the rest of the rulers nervous. If he made good on his promise to have some sort of détente with Russia he would undo the imperialist agenda. If he stopped the trade deals that they used to help the capitalists move their capital he was upending very serious plans. Calling NATO “obsolete” was another danger when NATO is an active partner in interventions around the world.

But Trump isn’t smart enough to counter the attacks. In between tweets about his old reality show and jibes at celebrities he unleashed ICE against undocumented immigrants and pursues his scheme to keep Muslims from seven countries out of the United States. Instead of acting like other presidents and getting undercover white supremacists on his staff, Trump puts avowed racists front and center and makes himself a target of progressives who probably wouldn’t care what he did if he had an Obamaesque, smooth presentation of evil doing.

Presentation is everything and Trump presents such an ugly face that he makes life easy for his opponents. It is obvious that Flynn and Sessions were under surveillance but Trump has twitter outbursts and accuses Obama of tapping his phone. Team Obama has the most adept spies in the world while Trump has his son-in-law and untested staff who are completely out of their league.

Now Russia is hated by progressives. This antipathy is no small matter because it makes war more acceptable and therefore more likely. Once again progressives stand down and allow serious harm to be done to this country and the rest of the world.

The animosity directed at Trump the man should be directed at the system. We are watching the perfect crime take place. The neo-liberal corporatist Democrats are winning the fight against Trump but not because they want to do good. Their schemes were upended by his election and they will stop at nothing to get back into power. The end game isn’t clear. For now they are succeeding in handcuffing Trump. Their intentions are never good for people in this country or in the rest of the world. Our lives are still very much at risk because of Democratic Party corruption and Trump’s failings and incompetence.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)

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