There is what I believe to be the real “Russia Collusion” story and also, a real problem with how people digest what they believe is factual news reporting.
The Russian Government has been trying to meddle in our elections for the last 70 years. Our own United States Government has also meddled in other countries elections in the past as well. It’s yet another problem that happens in the bad chess game of foreign policy.
I believe The Russian Government was able to influence our 2016 Presidential Election easily, by something that people view everyday or almost everyday.....social media.
When most people look at social media, some are just trying to see what’s going on with friends or family, posting pictures of your kids, pets, events for friends and family to see. But, also...there are people who talk with other people through social media about a whole host of different topics and subjects. Many of those topics and subjects have some connection with the political world.
When people view these different social media posts and pages about politics, more than likely, they view posts and pages that they believe agree with their political point of view. Many will post or share, tweet or re-tweet, other posts, pages, or sites that they believe are reliable news sources. “Reliable news sources” is something I believe that winds up being subjective for most people.
Most of us don’t dive deep into a headline. Instead....the headline becomes the story or proof of something that many people already suspect is true. Most people just don’t either have the time, or take the time, to really dive deep into topics which really take much more research on those particular topics or subject matter, because the topic or subject matter ( and it’s problems or possible solutions ) requires a much deeper study.
For a simple example....how many average citizens understand the parliamentary procedures and rules of local, state, or national political party meetings, or sessions at the state or national level in the House or Senate. Heck...people have a hard enough time trying to figure out these things at a local political party level, much less state or national. How many average people have a copy of Roberts Rules of Order? Uh...trust me...not many.
It’s pretty easy to create some fake accounts on social media, throw out headlines of misinformation, and people who already have their own personal biases, see these headlines that agree with their own political bent during a Presidential Election cycle, ( which always has a high element of emotion that comes with it, because let’s face it...all media and political parties on the right and on the left use one universal tactic to motivate it’s grassroots base to get to the polls...That tactic is the politics of fear. ) and believe the headlines or short articles linked to them are facts, and re-post or re-tweet such headlines and articles hundreds, thousands, and then millions of times.
As you see from my last paragraph above, it would be pretty easy to influence a national election using the already built in easy propaganda highway, that goes mostly around the globe....the internet and it’s social media websites, to influence people’s decisions on who they might vote for, or who can at least win an election on their particular side of the political aisle.
Folks.....when we stop reading books...( deeply challenging books ) that challenge us intellectually or even challenge our own deeply held beliefs, we are going to become more and more susceptible to misinformation on a whole host of different things, and on multiple levels. Deep study of anything, even a person’s deeply held religious beliefs, is an ignorance that is plaguing our society.
If we don’t want to continue to worry that some other country or some other entity is going to influence our national elections, then we need to get back to the fine art of reading in long form. Much of our political climate in this day in age, we have created ourselves by exchanging really studying for long periods of time on a topic or subject in books, for tweets, headlines, and short articles with little substance, because the writers know most people nowadays will not read anything beyond a few paragraphs.
( Side note.... I personally know some writers who work for media outlets, who are fantastic, and a few of them will still write long pieces that are very informative. So not all writers are writing non-substantive articles. I believe that many writers write their articles believing that people will hopefully dive deeper into a subject or topic themselves. Unfortunately....in reality...that’s not the case.)
If you haven’t picked up a book lately that challenges you intellectually, and also challenges your own deeply held personal beliefs....you would be better served in doing so. Some great plus sides in doing this, is not only will your knowledge increase, but so will your augments, and in some instances, your personal beliefs on something may change due to finding out new information that you never knew before.
I’m ignorant on so many things, but I believe if you continue to learn the virtue of humility, you can continue to learn.
*Andy Allen is a proud Covingtonian, Lover of Liberty & Christian Disciple.