The following was a commentary piece in the Outer Banks Voice.
Recently, the Voice published a guest commentary chastising Democrats for not understanding that the popular vote is irrelevant and only the electoral vote matters. Essentially, it said progressives should “buck up and get with the program.”
It’s been about two months since I’ve heard anyone lament Hillary Clinton’s loss. Even the push to get the electors to change their votes had less to do with putting Clinton in office and more to do with stopping Donald Trump.
Republicans’ contention that Russian hacking didn’t cause Clinton to lose is accurate on the one hand and balderdash on the other. It’s true the hacking never reached into voting booths. It didn’t literally switch votes from Clinton to Trump.
But to think the hacking had no impact at all is to reveal a dire lack of well-functioning gray matter.
It’s a simple equation, really. An active enemy of our country hacked into DNC, Clinton and Podesta e-mails for the specific purpose of helping Trump win and fueling Americans’ distrust of Clinton.
“Somehow” Wikileaks received copies of those emails and staged their release at the most opportune times. For example, a nearly daily leak of emails started on Oct. 8 — one day after the release of the Trump grabbing video, one day after intelligence groups declared Russia was definitely hacking emails.
Still, we all waited with bated breath, wondering if another October Surprise would come. Rudy Giuliani promised it would be big. Then, lo and behold, just 10 days before the election, James Comey announced the FBI was launching a second Clinton investigation.
That was the final straw — the one that sent Republicans over the top, that drove independents to the Right, that even convinced wavering Democrats to vote for Trump. It mattered not that investigators found nothing. The deed was done. The election was influenced. Donald Trump won.
Since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, military encounters between Russia and the West have reached a level not seen since the first Cold War. Vladimir Putin wants to be a geopolitical power, and propaganda is one way he plans to do that.
Regardless of where we swing on the political spectrum, we need to unite to stop further escalation. We need to pay attention to the things that truly matter and not keep rehashing the past.