You Don’t Need Putin to Undermine American Democracy

With the 2020 election heating up, there is a stiff wind methodically weaving through this fierce desert of geriatric combat, something evil and relentless, sending haunted tumbleweeds rocking back and forth over fractured highways. No, I’m not talking about the winds of March, dearest motherfuckers. I’m talking about something far more sinister blowing our way. I’m talking about the return of the invisible Russian meddling menace. If you peer through the blinds, things may appear woefully normal at this glorified nursing home we call a primary, but we have it on the good authority of anonymous intelligence sources and retired sleazeballs like John Brennan and James Comey that it’s anything but, and our corporate media takes them at their word.

And why shouldn’t we all? After all, wasn’t it this same collaboration of scumfuck geniuses who led us to victory over the equally transparent nuclear warheads of Saddam’s Iraq. Proof is so overrated. Fevered speculation is the new proof. Anything else is just fake news. Speculation that Darth Putin stalks our every move with a rapist’s eye for detail. Speculation that the Kremlin lurks behind every social media account that doesn’t jibe with the New York Times interpretation of reality. And finally, bat-blind and batshit speculation that the Russian menace has taken hold of not one but two presidential campaigns, corrupting both ostensible frontrunners, Donald and Bernie, for some kind of weird populist Manchurian candidate showdown that will split this country in twain like a Babylonian atom.

The savage irony in this latest round of unverified Russophobic nonsense is that it now targets a candidate who gleefully indulged in the last round. Bernie Sanders was pivotal in legitimizing the Russia hoax among the once skeptical minds of the far left. But this seems to be a common theme in Bernie’s century long political career. He offers blind unmitigated servitude to his masters in the DNC and they flog him stupid like a disobedient bottom bitch for his trouble. Bernie just smiles that goofy grin and offers the other butt cheek for punishment. After being informed by the Washington Post that “people familiar with the matter” had it on sound authority that he was Putin’s pick for the primary, Bernie willingly offered up those internet mean girls, the Bernie Bros., as sacrificial lambs, rather than pointing out the dangerous absurdity of our intelligence community interjecting themselves into another active election with more baseless rumors. This appears to be the new normal. Americans get pumped about making some minor change through our derelict electoral system and the agents of the status quo swat it down like a gnat and declare our reengagement with democracy to be a piece of some gigantic conspiracy that our plebian proletariat minds simply don’t have the grey matter to comprehend. Maybe we should all just shut the fuck up and stick to farming. That’s all us working folk are good for, after all.

This is precisely what these silly Russian conspiracy theories seek to achieve. It’s so obscenely ironic, it’s downright Freudian. The deep state seeks to undermine our participation in democracy by convincing us that this very participation is undermining our democracy. They seek to silence truth telling journalists exposing their fake news by having our work arbitrarily declared fake news. I don’t believe they do this because they fear pseudo-revolutionary blowfish like Bernie. They do this because they fear the populist movement he represents.

Trump’s first term in office has more than proven the war machine’s ability to manipulate even the most unruly man-child into doing their bidding. In 2016, Trump was singing Kumbaya in broken Russian. By 2020, he’s ripping up nuclear treaties and sending rocket launchers to the Azov Brigade. The deep state doesn’t fear Trump or Bernie because they know from first hand experience that democracy in this country is nothing but theatre. But if that theatre gets the audience riled up enough, you run the risk of empowering them to take to the stage themselves. These people don’t fear the delegitimization of American democracy. Quite the contrary, they are deathly afraid of the charade being exposed by legitimately dangerous people empowered by these populist campaigns like Rand Paul and Ilhan Omar, who are trying to limit the powers of the Executive Office to make unilateral war crimes without anyone’s consent. And they fear little monsters like you and me perhaps most of all.

Whenever you press these military industrial flakes on what the actual endgame for Putin is with this increasingly elaborate plot against our precious bodily fluids, they usually sputter a bit like a busted rumba before tossing out some played out soundbite about delegitimizing American democracy, as if we need Putin’s help with that. At the end of the day, what fucking difference does it make even if the Russians do throw a couple Rubles into our election circus when the entire thing is blatantly manipulated everyday with more money than Russia’s worth from oligarchs right here on Park 5th Avenue? What makes Putin and his wild wild east gangsters any less legitimate than say Jeff Bezos who has more money than god and owns papers, like the Washington Post, who make up news with as many verifiable sources as a tween gossip girl that benefit his preferred old white guy? We suspect Russia interfered in 2016. We know that Sheldon Adelson did. Trump gave him Jerusalem. What the fuck has he given Putin? But all of those points are irrelevant, because I’m undermining our corrupt democratic process by pointing out the simple fact that we don’t need Putin to lower the bar when we’re already damn near as low as it goes.

This fact, believe it or not, is the silver lining of this story. If the American Empire was truly a healthy plutocracy, they would welcome voices of dissent like mine rather than removing them from social media. The illusion is cracking. Americans are finally waking from their long slumber to realize that their delusional dreams of America the beautiful have been the power source for the greatest matrix of global violence in the history of existence. If we’re seeing technocrats from the intelligence class coming out from behind Oz’s curtain to scold us plebian dirt farmers for forgetting our place, you better believe that they’re fucking scared. Fascism is the last stage of the capitalist lifespan. It usually starts with buying off big papers and glorifying chickenhawks in gaudy uniforms. But it usually ends with those merchants of death strung up like wild game from a light post. It’s gonna get worse before it gets better. But it is gonna get better. Americans just need to realize that their true power exists in the streets, not the ballot box.

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.