For most folks, the topic of active measures is a fairly new concept.
So if you’re new to all of this, let me be the first to inform you that Russian active measures did not begin in 2016. They didn’t even begin in 2008. This has been going on for over 100 years. But for Kremlinologists and some members of the intelligence community, this is old news. It’s a topic that, historically, really hasn’t interested most people. And for some in academia, it has always warranted skepticism and even contempt.
From my perspective, I find this very curious since one really can’t understand reality without understanding Russia’s active measures. It’s been said that the world’s best Russia experts understand the WORLD, because Russia’s use of active measures is so global and pervasive in nature. Active measures are and have been a central component of Russian foreign policy for a very long time, as was also the case with Soviet foreign policy before it.
(Here’s a great source from 1988, BTW…https://calhoun.nps.edu/bitstream/handle/10945/23088/perceptionsmanag00walt.pdf)
In a sense, the Kremlin made a strategic blunder by so blatantly attacking the integrity of the 2016 elections, attacking Hillary Clinton’s campaign and doing their part to ensure Trump’s success. The political left-wing has now experienced, firsthand, what some have spoken about for many decades, only to be laughed off as paranoid John Birch Society groupies. Having said that, some of the greatest “anti-Communists” and opponents of Soviet active measures were unapologetic left-wingers.
But the game is shifting before our very eyes. And the Kremlin is gaining the upper hand again, this time with the 2020 elections in their sights. And, frankly, I’m getting worried.
In my opinion, we’ve now reached or will shortly reach a point in which the Trump administration poses a lesser risk to national security than the two-fold risk of Trump’s phony opposition and Trump’s grassroots supporters. In fact, I can already see the battlefield coming into view.
If one looks at the alt-Right as a sort of extension of Russian intelligence, which is how I kind of look at it, they may at first appear to be white nationalists, fascists and neo-Nazis. But this notion falls apart when one sees how the alt-Right intersects with the alt-Left. At the end of the day, what we have are far right and far left agitators who intersect based upon shared economic interests. Such is the game of Russian active measures and their over-reliance upon “Horseshoe Theory”, as I have explained in previous articles.
The same fallacy exists with regard to Bannon and Trump and their supposed antisemitism. In fact, it’s preposterous to believe that a couple guys who surround themselves with Russian Jewish mafia thugs in Palm Beach are really antisemites.
And yet these incorrect and misleading narratives are prevalent in the “Resistance” movement.
As a Conservative “NeverTrumper”, I’m as irate at the GOP as anyone on the Left…perhaps even more so since they have nearly destroyed my party altogether. Unfortunately, I have watched as certain key individuals in the “Resistance” have taken that same narrative and extended it to the GOP and Conservatives themselves. While I can understand the temptation, I want to share a few details from history that I hope will demonstrate the dangers of both identity politics and partisan politics.
My case will likely elicit some strong emotions. So I ask you to please bear with me while I present my case, which is going to take some time here. I do not defend or admonish either the GOP or the Democratic Party. I merely want to try to present history as it actually happened, with a mind for understanding the role of active measures in U.S. history. My hope is that there are a few surprises in my arguments, and we all come a little closer to the center and to each other.
A look at political divisions in Congress in the late 1950s and early 1960s (source):
85th Congress, 1957-1959
86th Congress, 1959-1961
88th Congress, 1963-1965
OK. Here’s the part you might not like…
VOTES-Civil Rights Act of 1957
Democrats: 119 Yea (50.85%) 107 Nay (45.7%)
Republicans: 167 Yea (83%) 19 Nay (9.5%)
VOTES-Civil Rights Act of 1960
Democrats: 165 Yea (58.3%) 82 Nay (29%)
Republicans: 123 Yea (80.4%) 12 Nay (8%)
VOTES-Civil Rights Act of 1964
Democrats: 153 Yea (59.3%) 91 Nay (35.3%)
Republicans: 136 Yea (77.3%) 35 Nay (19.9%)
Democrats: 46 Yea (68.7%) 21 Nay (31.3%)
Republicans: 27 Yea (81.8%) 6 Nay (18.2%)
Some of you were already familiar with those numbers. Others will quickly want to discuss Barry Goldwater, who was one of the “Nay” voters in the Senate for the vote on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and who should never have been on the GOP ticket that year, IMO. And the election results confirm that America, as a whole, felt the same way. And some others, still, will want to talk about Lee Atwater and the “Southern Strategy”, which is a pretty important part of this discussion, but which will have to be covered in subsequent articles. In the mean time, think of Lee Atwater as COMRADE Atwater.
Before we get into all of that, let me ask you, my readers, why you think Democrats ever defended Senator Byrd. I will tell you why, in my opinion. They defended him for the same reason the Republicans defended Barry Goldwater or Lee Atwater or now defend Donald Trump.
So, let me tell you about my parents. From 1960-1964, they lived in East Lansing, Michigan, while my father finished his Master’s degree and his Ph.D. and my mother worked as an elementary school teacher. My grandparents very generously purchased their first house for them. Their neighbors and good friends were an African American couple living next door, who were also starting a new family. I tend to think of my parents as pretty typical, middle-class, white Americans in most ways. I believe they’d probably agree with me. To kind of explain how my parents raised me, they taught me that the “N” word is more vile and reprehensible than the “C” word. When I hear the word spoken, I wince. It’s just a word that is so vastly alien from my view of African Americans that I just don’t feel comfortable with it’s use, regardless of who utters it. In a nutshell, my siblings and I were raised in such a way that none of us could ever understand what possessed others to give a damn about someone’s race or gender. It was like…why would anyone care about THAT?
It took me months to get through to them about Trump, who I first wrote about in December of 2015. But I finally got through to them, just before the elections.
So let’s talk about elections.
With people like my very typical, white American parents, who have never burned a cross, used the “N” word or wished ill will on someone because of their race or skin color, how do you expect they might respond to the “white racist Republican” narrative, in upcoming elections?
Let’s look at the flipside of this argument. If I want to attract registered Democrats to vote for a Conservative candidate, will I succeed in convincing them by pointing out that not one Democrat voted to free slaves? Or will that, um, maybe amplify an already bad partisan rift?
As I have mentioned in previous articles, Russian active measures employ the use of “Reflexive Control Theory” in order to provoke a desired social response. One example is how Russia, through the use of various media fronts such as Infowars and Drudge Report portrayed President Obama as a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary wishing to invoke martial law and seize everyone’s firearms or as a Muslim trying to transform the country under Sharia law. It would be difficult to quantify to what extent this impacted the 2016 elections, but it would be absurd to believe it had no impact whatsoever.
Similarly, I can only speculate about Donna Brazille’s influence on Hillary Clinton’s campaign and campaign faux pas. Was she the source of the “Deplorable” gaffe? I have my theories. Either way, Brazille’s identity politics and history with Gore and Jesse Jackson may mean little to most people, but having gained some skill in identifying agents of influence, I would have to believe that the intelligence community has come to the same conclusions about Brazille that I have come to.
So there are additional reasons I have concerns about identity politics, particularly as we inch closer to the 2020 elections.
Unfortunately, my concerns are based on yet MORE information my readers aren’t going to like. Sigh…and another article I REALLY don’t want to write.