An earlier version of this story appeared on Tremr.com.
For what seems like the thousandth time, mainstream corporate media is blaming American social and political dysfunction on Russian interference, this time on Facebook. Oh, and apparently the Russians are also to blame for ginning up racial disruption and perpetuating the NFL anthem protests.
From what I can see out in the social media space, you folks are eating it up, too.
Stop eating. It’s time to take responsibility for our own mistakes and sins.
As for the Facebook story, well, Robert Parry of Consortiumnews.com, clarifies what really happened:
Facebook was sent back again and again to find what Obama and Warner wanted the social media company to find. Eventually, Facebook turned up $100,000 in ads from 2015 into 2017 that supposedly were traced somehow to Russia. These ads apparently addressed political issues in America although Facebook has said most did not pertain directly to the presidential election and some ads were purchased after the election.
Left out of the Post’s latest opus is what a very small pebble these ads were — even assuming that Russians did toss the $100,000 or so in ad buys into the very large lake of billions of dollars in U.S. political spending for the 2016 election cycle. It also amounts to a miniscule fraction of Facebook’s $27 billion in annual revenue.
As for Russia’s responsibility for the ongoing #takeaknee protests in the NFL and beyond, well, if you believe we need Russians to generate copious doses of racism in our daily lives and in our news, you’re underestimating the United States of America. This theory requires no further debunking.
The truth is, our own political parties, both the RNC and the DNC, have done more to undermine democracy in this country than any Russian interference, whatever that may be. Seriously, if we can’t see that, we’re blind.
Take a moment and ask yourself:
Did the Russians devastate the social safety net by drastically cutting welfare in the ‘90s?
Did the Russians deregulate media so that just six corporations could own almost all of the news outlets in America, and fill it with “content” meant to drive profits and not the public good?
Did the Russians sign the harsh crime bill of 1994 that instituted “mandatory minimum sentencing” and resulted in over two million Americans being in our prisons today and another four million on probation or parole?
Did the Russians cut taxes for the wealthy to the point that income inequality has now risen to 1920’s levels?
Did the Russians deregulate the financial industry that led to the 2008 crash, and did the Russians influence our politicians to do virtually nothing about it, and to imprison no one?
Did the Russians create private for-profit prisons that sell their prisoners out as slave-labor for major corporations like Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, AT&T, McDonald’s?
Did the Russians exonerate every cop who ever shot a black citizen for no reason?
Did the Russians defund public schools and give tax breaks and incentives to private and other for-profit schools?
Did the Russians gerrymander the entire country to the point that politicians choose their voters and voters have no say in who their politicians are?
Did the Russians destroy family farming in favor of industrial “monocrop” farming that has led to the overuse of fossil fuels, glyphosates and genetically modified crops that can survive the glut of chemicals being sprayed on them?
Did the Russians make a college education so expensive that to get a four-year degree you must go into ridiculous amounts of debt for the first half of your life?
Did the Russians start our absurd wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and everywhere else we drop bombs from drones on a regular basis?
Did the Russians let Wal-Mart and other big box stores devastate local economies and small towns all over America?
Did the Russians start the globalization of our economy, sending millions of manufacturing jobs to poor countries with barely any workers’ rights laws and laying off whole swaths of working class Americans who once had good-paying union-protected jobs?
Did the Russians convince us that only by obtaining a college degree and becoming an entrepreneur would we ever be successful in America?
Did the Russians make our politicians so stunningly callous to the collapse of the middle class and the misery of the working class and poor in America?
Did the Russians make going to a doctor too expensive for more than half of the country?
Did the Russians lead us to value billionaires over hard-working poor and working class people?
That assessment completed, there’s really only one thing you can conclude: When it comes to destroying American democracy, the Russians don’t hold a candle to Americans themselves.
This is our doing. And no amount of deflecting responsibility for it is going to make it better.
We have to clean up our own enormous mess of a country…if we can.