Russian interference in US elections has remained topical in US politics since 2016 when Russia allegedly tweaked the 2016 US presidential poll in favour of Donald Trump as part of its grand plan of “active measures”. As the 2020 poll nears, Steve LeVine argues in an article published in Axios that Americans have however been distracted, focusing more on being at each other’s throats whereas there is a possibility that Russian interference might occur again in the 2020 presidential vote. According to LeVine,
Americans are at each other’s throats. Politically, socially and culturally, we suspect each other’s motives and plain sanity. So certain are we of the other’s intent to do the nation harm, some of us have joined political gangs and assaulted one another, resulting in at least 1 death.
Which is to say: Americans have played into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hands — again. It is assumed he can attack next year’s elections if he so chooses, but since no outsider knows exactly how, what comes next is one of the great underlying mystery-dramas of the 2020 election campaign.
The fear is dangerous needling of already-fraught U.S. social turmoil.
The big picture: Espionage and trickery between the West and Russia is not new — it goes back to Peter the Great, 3 centuries ago. But scholars say they are pressed to identify any episode of direct political mischief-making in this long history comparable to the breadth, scale and intensity of the Russian hacking, leaking and social media campaign in the 2016 U.S. election.
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