A data breach reveal comes this week that indicates that things could all be over, with regards to fair and democratic elections in the US. And this is far bigger than the Right’s willingness to compromise democratic values in favor of the emotional gratification of simply winning something.
From Business Insider:
“A data analytics firm hired by the Republican National Committee last year to gather political information about US voters accidentally leaked the sensitive personal details of roughly 198 million US citizens earlier this month, as its database was left exposed on the open web for nearly two weeks.”
“This is the mother lode of all leaks…governments are made or broken on this. I don’t even have the words to describe it.”, said Archie Agarwal, founder of the cybersecurity firm ThreatModeler.
“This is what you can use to steal an election at the state and local level. It tells you who you need to advertise to to swing votes.”, said UpGuard cyber risk analyst Chris Vickery.
This now on top of the fact that Russia hacked voter rolls in 39 states last year.
What does this all mean?
It’s bigger than Trumpgate. It’s bigger than the prospect of a Mueller investigation coming to fruition in 12-18 months that could lead to the impeachment of Trump and prosecution of his inner circle and even Ryan and McConnell.
It’s lasting. It’s enduring. And it will forever change America’s place in the world.
As long as America has it’s short attention span glued to social media and unable to see clearly ahead for more than a week at a time (seriously ask yourself how often that is being done aside from planning a vacation or doing some budget forecasts), the entire country is at the mercy of whoever can manipulate how information is skewed and presented on their phones. Because hostile actors already manipulated voter perspective and belief in 2016 through Facebook targeting with razor-sharp precision.
It won’t even matter if gerrymandering is recalibrated in the courts at state levels.
The fix is perpetually in. Midterm elections, presidential primaries, general elections and even small races on the state level.
This leads one to conclude that Putin’s long game was never about the Rosneft deal. Or destabilizing NATO. It was about permanently knocking the US off of its pedestal. And now all signs indicate that a tailspin is imminent or even underway.
The manipulation of the democratic electoral process is successful in large part due to the Religious Right and Alt-Right having a larger voice than what is truly the case. Contrary to their claims, that voice has not necessarily grown. It’s just that it’s become heavily augmented, such as through a disproportionately-sized megaphone. 25% can now seem like 45%. And it’s not just the oft-mentioned ‘non-college white’ demographic whose beliefs are being bought. It’s anyone with a smartphone and scrolling thumb. It’s the entire electorate body.
Even if the unthinkable happens and people untether their emotions and momentary endorphin releases from social media, the US would still have to deal with the deep-rooted political obstructionism in Washington that is preventing the country to make bold endeavors to maintain its lofty place in the world.
For example, the US has all but ceded leadership of the global green economy to China. Remember all the bitching and complaining about OPEC controlling oil and influence over the past 50 years? Here was the chance to put that era behind them and put global energy influence squarely into the hands of the US. And instead, it chose to leave all that money and power on the table.
Also, thanks to China’s lack of obstructionist governing, the country is on track to not only outspend the US but soon lead the world in scientific and medical research.
Countries have often mused over the idea of what would the world look like if America wasn’t at the forefront and keeping the interests of the global community in mind (despite being viewed through the self-interest lens of the elite and ruling class of the US).
We’re all now at the early stages of the post-America era and the pride and overattachment to the past will only quicken the pace of its onset.