Our nation was founded in order to be free of foreign intervention in the affairs of its people and its political processes. In the Revolutionary War, patriots valiantly fought and died for the right to hold democratically determined elections. Our men and women have laid down their lives in wars since in order to preserve and protect our nation and our right to elect the citizens who will lead us. Russia’s intervention in our presidential election by hacking into private computers and then releasing stolen material to serve its own interests is at the very least criminal and quite possibly a new and wholly unacceptable act of modern war. President-elect Trump’s lassies-faire attitude on this matter so far is troubling. As the soon to be leader of this nation and its people, Mr. Trump should be outraged if any foreign power intruded in any American election.
The President of the United States must be the foremost and frontline defender of our Constitutionally guaranteed elections. Whether a foreign power acted against his own, or any other political party in this nation, the President must not tolerate foreign intrusion into the most sacred of our American processes. Declaring that, “The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly is going on,” and, “unless you catch ‘hackers’ in the act, it is very hard to determine who did the hacking,” is not an acceptable position for our president—regardless of what party he is from.
The American people empower the President and the agencies of government specifically to know “exactly” what is going on and to determine who is responsible for any invasion into the elective process our forefathers and foremothers died to establish. Knowing and determining these “difficult” things is primary among the president’s duties. Any president or president-elect who does not understand this as one of their primary and essential roles is simply not doing his or her job.
Mr. Trump’s reluctance to accept the findings of career intelligence experts is deeply disturbing. If manipulation of our core democratic act of electing our nation’s political leadership is not enough to engage the president’s ire, what is? Will it be ok if other nations shut down our power grid? How about if they interfere with banks or with the communications systems of our military?
True patriots in Congress, of both parties, have begun to call for a bipartisan investigation into how Russia interfered with our fall election. This commission should spare no quarter in determining what happened and holding any and all parties responsible and answerable for their actions. Should it turn out that any American citizens were engaged in aiding Russia in their interference, they should be tried for treason. If the president will not, Congress must make it clear that cyber warfare is no less a threat to our nation’s interests than more conventional war. Americans should expect both Congress and the President to do their sworn duties to protect our nation against hostile foreign countries.
If our soon to be president cannot put his personal, and puzzling, admiration for a leader, in Vladimir Putin, aside it will be difficult for Americans to have trust in his ability to put America and Americans first in his thoughts and actions.