Be careful: trump and Putin can still undermine the foundations of democracy

In November 2018, the U.S. will be Congressional elections. These elections will be elected by all members of the house of representatives and a third of senators. For the Democratic party this election will be the long-awaited opportunity to deny Republicans full control over the activities of the Federal government. If the current trend and mood of the electorate continues, the Democrats will have a good chance to regain the majority of seats in the House of representatives, and the opportunity to compete for the Senate.

Meanwhile the Republicans will fight for full control in Congress fiercer than usual. If the Democrats win a majority of seats in at least one chamber, the political landscape will change. Apart from the fact that the Democrats will block the bills proposed by Republicans, they will also pay close attention to Russia’s intervention in the elections of 2016 and will investigate the commercialization of the presidential office Donald trump. The impeachment of a Republican President would be real. Everything will depend on the desires of American voters in 2018.

But will it? There is a third scenario: another cyber-attack, Russia will affect the outcome of the American elections, changing it in accordance with the desires of the Russian, not the American voters. What measures are being taken in order to prevent this?

After the publication of emails indicating that in June 2016 the Russians colluded with Donald trump Jr. in the framework of the “campaign of Russia and its government for the support of Mr. trump,” it became clear that “active measures” Russia — a cyber-campaign and the campaign to spread propaganda and disinformation — have seriously influenced the outcome of elections in 2016. Fake news and comments spread on news platforms and social networks, and hacking attacks used to publish internal correspondence between members of the Democratic party. Then the hackers broke into the electoral system at least 39 States.

Evidence that the hackers had changed the results of the vote, no. But in 2018, U.S. could get lucky less. As Alex said, Halderman (Alex Halderman), an expert on cyber security, testified in Congress that enemies of America is quite able to intervene in the work of the electoral apparatus, “in order to help a particular candidate win.” The U.S. intelligence community argues that Russia, given its success in the elections of 2016, most likely, will again try to do it in a much more aggressive form.

Thursday, July 13, the Committee of the Democratic party in Congressional elections sent a letter to the Committee of the Republican party at the Congressional elections with the offer to unite efforts in the fight against harmful interference in elections 2018. The Committee members also asked to promise that the Committee of the Republican party “will refrain from any use of the stolen information, altered documents and strategic information in case of possible hacker attacks on our Committee, or campaign headquarters.” While the Committee of the Republican party has not responded to this letter.

In normal times, a threat to national security on the part of Russia would have caused instant reactions from both parties. Have you entered the proportional sanctions, which would remain as a tool of punishment and deterrence. Would have been taken to check voting machines and voter databases, and, if necessary, would be introduced paper ballots. The Federal government and state governments, United by a desire to protect American voters, would collect all necessary data.

But we live in unusual times. The Republicans just voted to deny funding to the Commission ensure the elections — the Federal Agency responsible for security of the electoral process. In addition, neither Washington, nor in state governments, they have done nothing that would indicate what they consider to be interference in the elections is a serious problem requiring immediate solutions.

There is also Donald trump is a Republican. He recently wrote on Twitter that Russia’s intervention was just “a big hoax” of the Democrats, and at the summit Big twenty, which took place last week, he received assurances from Vladimir Putin that Russia does not interfere in the course of the presidential elections in the United States. At the same meeting, the parties agreed to create a Russian-American working group for cybersecurity — this sentence is so unnatural that even Republican senators ridiculed him.

But the reality is that it is “Russia’s intervention in the American elections” is a pretty tricky phrase. “Russian interference” means the illegal participation of Russia in the American elections on the Republican side. Do not forget that during the Russian campaign were attacked and injured a dozen candidates in the House of representatives from the Republican party. Ask the Republicans to end it — so to ask them to abandon a potentially key ally in the elections.

Someone can say that it is too complicated. While many Republicans can more or less reasonably claim that they did not know anything about the seriousness of hacking in 2016, in 2018, these statements will not help them. Then many will be clear, the Republicans deliberately allowed the Russians to help them. In political terms, it would be extremely unreasonable.

However, political rationality is usually determined by the winners of the elections, and the Republicans, if they manage to become winners in Congressional elections, will have the right to decide whether their power is justified or not. Is the party willing to do anything for victory, which regularly fall to the machinations at the district level, which shamelessly stole the seat on the Supreme court, which created a special Commission to combat the nonexistent problem of falsification of results of voting and has rejected the basic norms of truthfulness and faithfulness to the principle of cooperation in Congress, which is the American political system. If Russia is ready to change the election results in favor of the Republican party, does anyone believe that Mitch McConnell (Mitch McConnell), Paul Ryan (Paul Ryan), Mike Pence (Mike Pence) or Donald trump want to stop her?

The truth is that if Republicans do not take effective protective measures (e.g., paper ballots), in 2018 we will need to expect a repetition of 2016. It will be a fight the Democrats and the Republicans, who will stand for the battalion generously funded by foreign hackers and propagandists.

The advantage of this scenario, from the point of view of Republicans is that they don’t even have to collude. Last year’s attack of Russia was a trial run for future attacks. Next time help Russia, too, would be manna from heaven, only it will be much more effective.

If the actual Alliance of the Republican party and Moscow will once again allow the Republicans to win the election, their motives for repetition and if necessary, to improve this scenario in 2020 will be even stronger. It should be added also that by the time the American experiment with democracy will come to an end.