Suddenly half of political America is riled over claimed Russian interference in our 2016 elections by hacking and other dirty tricks, the extent to which is yet to be announced.
While disturbing, our indignation shall be undercut by America’s historical interference with the governance of other nations. Examples:
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In 1953 our CIA saw to the replacing of Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected head of Iran, with the detested Shah Reza Pahlevi, who so alienated the populace that it paved the way for the takeover by Ruhollah Khomeini in ’79, to our everlasting dismay. Though covert, this was direct interference, not mere hacking.
In 1973 our CIA was complicit in the overthrow of Chile’s democratically elected president Salvador Allende, replacing him with the tyrannical autocrat Augusto Pinochet, guilty of serial depredations against the Chilean people, including disappearances of innocents yet to be fully explained or confessed to.
Spycraft is inherently an amoral business, but many governments engage in it. How can the court of worldwide opinion share our outrage when our own hands are not clean?
Yet to be revealed is whether Russia had help or encouragement from those promising to “Make America Great Again,” as suggested by the odd bromance between Putin and Donald Trump yet to be fully examined. Stay tuned, folks. Along with fake news, lies replacing truth, and denial of the obvious, long-standing paradigms of political behavior are shelved, and it is hard to see that we shall be the better for it.
Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park
Voters had their chance
Maybe you thought it was the billions of dollars worth of free media that Donald Trump received during the primaries while he routed his opponents or the constant TV coverage, interviews and debates where no one challenged his lies that provided him with an advantage over Hilary.
Or you thought it was unfair that Hilary had to defend NAFTA and her husband’s affairs while no one asked The Donald about his carousing, three wives and Trump University.
I’ll even bet you thought that FBI Director James Comey destroyed Hilary’s bid for the Presidency by re-opening the investigation into to her emails so an estimated 24 million early undecided voters could switch to Trump before she was clear a second time.
No way you would have guessed that Trump’s most admired foreign leader, Vladimir Putin, authorized Russian hacking that, according the CIA, resulted in fake news stories and negative rumors about Hilary that seriously damaged her campaign.
Still, this could have been overcome if more people would have voted based on competence, experience, honesty and facts we would not be witnessing an incompetent president elect assemble a Cabinet made up of billionaires looking to turn the clock back for their own benefit.
So, when EPA regulations are diluted, Obamacare dismantled, Medicare “voucherized,” right-wing justices named to the Supreme Court, $15-an-hour minimum wage and equal pay for women denied, voter suppression in the South becomes the norm, college education is out of reach, big tax cuts for the rich are the changes in the code and Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Pretection Agency are eliminated, you got the American you deserve.
Tom Minnerick, Elgin
It is breathtaking to witness how quickly Republicans change once one of their own is headed to the oval office. Suddenly infrastructure spending is a great way to stimulate the economy! Deficits don’t matter! And government interference in the marketplace? Well, bring on the crony capitalism!
But even I’m astounded to see the GOP’s about face on our nation’s historical adversary, Russia. Vladimir Putin has suddenly gone from being a murderous thug to a pal and business partner of our possibly next secretary of state. And if he had Russia interfere in our country’s presidential election? Well, as long as it helped their guy win they’ll happily put party over patriotism.
Daniel Welch, Glen Ellyn
Only the rich
Rauner? Pritzker? Kennedy? When I see the list of super rich and powerful people interested in controlling our state, it makes me think there is no place for the average person in politics anymore. I wonder if Old Abe would even be considered for office in the Land of Lincoln today?
Don Anderson, Oak Park
John Glenn’s death, at 95, prompted me to fantasize how this heroic pioneer’s actions will likely be among the reasons why my great-grandchildren may well be living on another planet.
Whether that will be an advance or a decline, you and history will decide.
Glenn’s accomplishments also got me to wonder: If you were to be born today, where would you prefer that to be?
Regardless, our world will forever be indebted to the legacy John Glenn bequeathed to our planet.
Leon J. Hoffman, Lake View