When Trump won the election on November 8th, one clear consequence of his victory was the further division between liberal Democrats and Conservative Republicans. Eight years ago, who would have thought that Americans today would call their political opposition Dumbfuckastan (literally Dumbfuckistan) and that people would have a day of mourning for the election result, comparing 11/9 to 9/11. With tensions rising in the preceding weeks toward the inauguration, it is safe to conclude that civil discourse in America has reached a polarizing apex. This situation leaves Americans more vulnerable to foreign manipulation now more than ever. If there is one winner other than Trump in the election, it is Russia, not because of the reset of relations that will likely happen under Trump administration, but because of the increasing discontent of Trump among a significant portion of Americans. To understand how and why Russia desires to influence American politics, one must recognize what the bedrock of their strategy is.
In 1997, Russian Political Scientist Aleksandr Dugin published a geopolitical book called Foundations for Geopolitics, which lays out the blueprint for Russia to build a Eurasian Empire in the 21st century. The book is built “…on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, strategic control of the USA, and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us.” A key tenant in Russia’strategy is to use subversion, destabilization, and disinformation instead of military operations to reach their goal of full re-emergence on the world stage. Dugin’s book was published in 1997 and has become a stalworth in Russian institutions. In 2016, we see several stated objectives found in the Foundations for Geopolitics play out.
One of its stated goals has already been accomplished, which was for the United Kingdom to leave the Europeans Union. By taking advantage of the British mindset of being distinct from the rest of Europe, agents with interests aligned with Russian goals successfully convinced the people fo Britain to leave the European Union. This was the first domino to fall and France and Germany look like they are next in line in 2017 which will surely spell the end of the EU. And with Trump threatening to withdraw from NATO, it leaves a significant portion of Europe vulnerable for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union to become engulfed by the Russian sphere of influence.
The mainstream media assumed that Putin favored Trump to win because he would be friendlier to the Russians. In the past, Trump questioned the United States’ commitment to NATO, praised Putin as a strong leader, and stated in his campaign rallies that it “would be nice if we got along with Russia.” In return, Putin offered an olive branch to Trump, declaring in Russia’s State of the Nation address that he was ready to cooperate with the Trump’s Administration. Yet what is often ignored is that there is no guarantee that a Trump Presidency would mean that Russia and America would become closer in relations. Many figures in Trump’s cabinet such as Mike Pence and General Mattis diverge in opinion on Trump about Russia. Furthermore, Putin may be wary of Trump’s unpredictable nature; Trump himself has been flip-flopping his entire career. It would be too risky for Putin just to support Trump for the sole reason to have America as an ally.
The reason why Putin showed favorability toward Trump because of how much of a divisive force he is; so much so that he vitalizes new successionist movements in liberal Pacific states. It is no secret that Russia has been abetting successionist movements in the United States in the past. They have shown sympathy towards the Texas Nationalist Movement, a group made up of mostly conservatives who want to see Texas become its own nation. In 2015, the Pro-Kremlin Anti-Globalization Movement invited the Texas Nationalist Movement, along with representatives from other American movements involving Hawaii and Puerto Rico, to the “Dialogue of Nations” in Moscow. The confab featured successionist movements from all over the world that are in line with Russia’s interests. If Russia can overthrow the hegomony of the United States, then they can reshape the international order in their favor.
Throughout his campaign, Trump’s rhetoric on immigration, Islam, and refugees riled up a number of Democrats, liberals, and minorities. They viewed Trump not only as a candidate of the other political party but as a threat to their safety and freedom. The following days after the election of Trump, protests erupted in cities across the country with “Dump Trump” on participants’ signs and #notmypresident in their tweets. The cracks of separatism are already seeing the light and will likely become a legitimate ballot question in multiple states in 2016.
On November 10th, a group of Oregonians submitted a petition to offer a referendum on the next ballot for Oregon to secede. But after receiving death threats and negative feedback, they decided to withdraw their petition and wait for a better time to have a civic conversation about Oregon’s future and the possible creation of Cascadia. Yet another effort is being launched by an organization called Yes, California. They are leading the Calexit movement to put on the 2019 ballot a referendum to alter California’s relationship with the United States. Their vision is to have California maintain a relationship with the United States similar to what Scotland has with the United Kingdom. The premise that underlines their movement is that California is a solidly blue state that differs ideologically with the rest of the country and that alone, California would list in the Top 10 countries in the world in Gross Domestic Product.
From a legal standpoint, succession is considered unconstitutional under the Texas v. White decision. It is hard to imagine succession ever happening unless all the states unilaterally agreed to do it at once. Invoking succession is merely the overt result of years of discontent. A more realistic subversive the Russians are implementing would be for them to cause Americans to lose faith in their institutions, which is something they have currently done successfully.
The CIA stated that the Russians clearly intervened in the election to help Trump win the White House while the FBI disagrees with the CIA’s conclusions. Whether or not Russia actually played a role does not matter because they already appear to have. This appearance accomplishes their goal of undermining one of America’s most trusted institutions, its electoral system. The CIA’s verdict is exactly what the Russians wanted because it erodes faith in the government and gives Democrats more of an excuse to dismay Trump as President.
There is a sense of irony to all of this. The Democrats and liberals have spent the entire election calling Trump a puppet to the Kremlin when in fact they have now become the unwitting puppets doing Putin’s bidding. They are already proposing to give Trump the Garland treatment when it comes to his cabinet nominations. Furthermore, the Democrats are supporters of the regressive left who use identity politics to achieve their ends. When Social Justice Warriors engage in their crusade for safe spaces and political correctness, it only divides the country even more on not only ideological lines but racial and ethnic ones too. This entrenching divisiveness encourages conflict and destabilizes the internal political process, which is what the stated goal mentioned in the Foundation of Geopolitics.
When one takes a step back to notice the subversion and disinformation that was discussed in Foundation for Geopolitics, seems honestly too good to be true how well it is working out for the Russians right now. The book is meant to be interpreted as a long-term objective for them and not an overnight change. Today, the progress toward their goal of a Eurasian World Order is slowly becoming a reality.
It is jaw-dropping to think that this Russian book that lays out their plan to recapture power on the world stage has barely been mentioned in the American media; I guess they have more important things to speculate about…
When Time Magazine declared Donald Trump their annual Person of the Year, they captioned the cover of him as “Donald Trump: President of the Divided States of America.” Let’s see if their prediction comes to fruition.