Trump and the Russians

The media has been obsessed with the hacked emails of the Hillary Clinton campaign, and for good reason. What they revealed has been literally disgusting. It includes lots of private disparagement of wide swaths of Americans (to go along with the public disparagements of Trump supporters as irredeemable deplorables), coordination and collusion between the Clinton campaign and the mainstream media, and most importantly, the "pay to play" intersection of the Clinton foundation with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the possible currying of favor with a future H. Clinton presidency. This deserves a full investigation by the Trump administration, even if we agree upfront not to prosecute the Clintons individually, assuming an Obama pardon.

While it is disturbing to know that foreign governments are trying to influence our elections, it isn't surprising. What happens in the U.S. affects the rest of the world. But like Donald Trump cannot be held responsible for citizens who choose to support him, Trump cannot be responsible for foreign governments that might do the same. What Trump can and should do is support efforts to minimize any covert interference.

I am obviously "pro-U.S." But let's not forget that while we decry foreign interference in our elections with outrage, we were spying on our allies covertly through their cell phones. And Russia is not even our ally. But I guess it is fine if we spy on our friends but our "frenemies" shouldn't be doing anything like that to us.

And didn't I read somewhere that Obama operatives were trying to help anti-Netanyahu candidates in Israel to defeat that minor thorn in Obama's side? Or maybe this was just my active imagination. The U.S. would never dream of interfering in other countries sovereign, democratic elections.

As to the specific issue, let me give an analogy. We don't want people robbing our houses. We install locks and security systems to protect our homes and families.

Let's say a burglar targets your home and while everyone is away, breaks in to steal your stuff. While inside, he notices that the toaster has caught fire and the house is about to burn down. He puts the fire out, then leaves with your TV. Is it worse that the thief took your TV and you lost $500, or better that he saved your house and you didn't lose $500,000?

Hacking the Democrats' emails was deplorable, but what the emails revealed was criminal. So while we can be against the hacking, that doesn't excuse what it uncovered, which prevented an outcome which is a million times worse. And that would have been allowing and rewarding criminal behavior, and putting what amounts to a criminal enterprise (back) into the White House.

Once Trump takes office, I will be happy to criticize all bad decisions he makes and if any disqualify him from reelection, I will support another Republican who runs against him or possibly even a moderate Democrat. Officeholders deserve a special scrutiny and face a higher bar to reelection because they must be judged on their record instead of their rhetoric. But for now, I am very thankful for the Russians' apparent involvement, even if I would have prevented it (on general principle) had I had such magical power.

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