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The country is more divided than ever. A new Gallup Poll says 3/4 of us feel that we “are greatly divided when it comes to our most important values.” That’s because our leaders want it that way. It keeps us from talking together, to think of solutions they don’t want. Liberals are saying Donald Trump used the Russians to get elected. Republicans are saying the only thing that’s important is to find out how the public found out about these things. As usual, both are wrong. But they won’t admit it. They just make up “alternative facts,” –when they’ll “go to the mattresses” even in silly disputes over the number of people were on the Washington Mall. Seriously??

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Certainly, the November debacle was painful for Democrats. The idea that Trump would hold onto his base AND take Florida AND Ohio AND Pennsylvania(?) AND Wisconsin(??) AND Michigan(???) still seems impossible. And they couldn’t even claim the election was “rigged,” since even after winning, Trump was the one saying it was rigged!!

Democrats are trying to push the narrative that Trump huddled with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to win the election. That makes little sense on several levels. The main evidence is Trump’s own “bromance” with Putin, practically orgasmic in his praise of the Russian autocrat. On the one hand, that would reasonably weaken his chances, since most of the Republican Party has never trusted Russia. More importantly, if there were a secret rendezvous of Trump and Putin, would he really be dumb enough to brag about his dalliance?

The FBI has been investigating a Trump-Russia connection since July, according to FBI Chief James Comey. That was earlier reported in the New York Times on October 31, 2016.

For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.

In fact, on October 21, USA Today reported that 17 US intelligence agencies were investigating—and agreed that Russia was behind the political hacking.

Donald Trump’s claim that the United States has “no idea” who is behind recent email hacks is just not true. . . Trump pushed back, saying that Clinton and the United States had “no idea whether it is Russia, China or anybody else.”

[But that’s also untrue, according to an October 7 joint statement;]

“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. . .We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

OK, so the Russians did it. Does that mean Trump was involved? Does it even mean the Russians were trying to help Trump? Certainly not, according to “Journalist Luke Harding [who] has an insider’s understanding of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Harding adds that Putin’s aim is to disrupt the politics that have dominated America and Europe for the last 70 years. “[Putin] wants to turn the clock back to an age of great powers, to almost an imperial era of the 19th century, where strong sovereign nations didn’t talk about values or human rights or anything like that,” he says. “They cut deals, they had summits, they made grand bargains … and they divvied up, they divided the world into spheres of influence.”. . .

The full audio is available here, if you’re interested.

No, there was probably no collusion between Trump and Putin. In fact, while Trump was bragging that Putin called him “a genius,” Putin smirked that the actual Russian word just means, “colorful.”

The likely reason for Russia’s involvement was to disrupt what we always considered fair elections here. And to undermine the expected winner, Hillary Clinton.

Why does Putin hate the Clintons so intensely?

The interview notes that Putin was a KGB agent in East Germany when the USSR collapsed. He has said it was the worst catastrophe of the 20th century. Then, he felt that the drunken Boris Yeltzin sold out Russia to the West, and that Bill Clinton took advantage of him—including expanding NATO right up to near the Russian border.

Then, during the “Arab Spring,” when leaders from Egypt, Libya and other Middle Eastern countries were overthrown. Putin worries about holding onto power. He felt that Hillary Clinton promoted unrest in Russia at the time. Worse yet, Hillary openly criticized the Russian election, saying it was “rigged.” (Sound familiar?) That infuriated Putin.

It’s clear that Putin just wanted to attack Hillary, so there’s no reason to think—with what we know now—that there was a Trump-Putin conspiracy. So liberals are likely wrong that Trump worked with Putin.

But, of course, that won’t end the idiocy. As the National Review says.

Washington [is] caught up in one of its periodic conspiracy frenzies. Actually, two. One, anti–Donald Trump, is that he and his campaign colluded with Russian intelligence. The other, anti–Barack Obama–CIA– “deep state,” is that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower to ensnare candidate Trump. The odd thing is that, as of today, there is no evidence for either charge. That won’t, of course, stop the launch of multiple all-consuming investigations.

Sorry, liberals. Russia did not work with Trump to get him elected. And, no, it’s no surprise that the Russians tried to make us look bad. Nope. The only real scandal in this whole matter is that for the first time in history, an American candidate for president colluded with the Russians to undermine the respect and confidence of the people in the democracy of the United States of America.

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Goethe Behr is a Contributing Editor and Moderator at Election Central. He started out posting during the 2008 election, became more active during 2012, and very active in 2016. He has been a political junkie since the 1950s and enjoys adding a historical perspective.

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