Russian influence



To the Editor:

When “Saturday Night Live” actress Tina Fey made fun of Sarah Palin saying “I can see Russia from my house,” it was a tongue-in-cheek response to Palin’s obvious ignorance regarding what was happening with regard to Russian aggression and what America should do about it. When Charlie Gibson asked Palin about Russia, she diverted the question by suggesting that because of Alaska’s close proximity to Russia, somehow that gave her a greater understanding of what was going on with Russian and U.S. affairs.

That was silly then and is sillier, but less humorous now.

In spite of what Donald Trump would have you believe, Russia has hacked into America’s computer networks and is interfering with our presidential election. Understanding and responding to what that means exactly and what is going on inside the Kremlin today is complicated and troubling. Trump’s weird pro-Russian attitude is both difficult to comprehend and dangerous to accept.

The rhetoric coming from Putin and the Kremlin is clearly encouraging America to elect Trump in hopes that he might be more easily hoodwinked than Clinton when it comes to Russian aggression in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and Iraq. To me, this is the scariest aspect of a potential Trump victory. Trump’s adolescent and irresponsible view of how negotiations and confrontations with Russia are conducted is horrifying.

America will carry on in spite of Trump’s attempts to present our nation as a dying one that only he can save. America is strong, and as long as our system of government remains intact, it will flourish. No matter how gross Trump talks about women, women also will carry on.

Carly Fiorina may have said it best during the primaries when Trump disparaged her looks. Showing little concern, she said she believed that all women in America know exactly what Trump meant and exactly who is he. He’s made that abundantly clear. Mexican and Muslim Americans are clear on how Trump feels about them and what he will do to them. Same for every one else he has offended and disparaged.

With all the negativity and mud slinging this campaign has brought down upon our system and our people, it’s amazing that we are still willing to stand up and vote. Washington as well as both candidates are less liked and trusted than any two candidates have been for a very long time.

For a while, it looked like Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party might provide an option for some voters. But then Gov. Johnson didn’t know what Aleppo was. While few of us pretend to know what is happening in the quagmire that is the Middle East, it would be comforting to know that least our president knows. So that takes out Johnson, leaving Secretary Clinton, who comes with more baggage than a traveling circus, and Trump, who is beyond unbearable. Uninspiring to say the least.

Even if Trump should denigrate the very system he professes to make stronger by denying the vote and martyring his loss, America will go on. But the thing that is most concerning and most dangerous is what Trump might do with regard to foreign policy and our treaties and alliances and in particular with Russia and nuclear proliferation. We just don’t know.

At least with Clinton, we can be relatively certain that her political understanding and international knowledge would cause her decision making to be informed and cautious when it comes to security, terrorism and an advancing Russia.

Nothing would make Putin happier than to see Trump become president of the United States. And that is what should keep us all up at night.

Mary Holway

Southwest Harbor

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