Monday, August 1, 2016

From Russia with Loathe?

The second half of July featured early conventions from the Republicans, who nominated Donald Trump (R-NY) for President while Democrats finally elevated former First Lady, Senator and Obama Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY) to the top of their ticket.

Traditionally, when the other party holds their convention, you let them have their time in the spotlight.  But this is not the usual election cycle.  Donald Trump's vault to success was using earned media and trolling his opponents.  So as the Democrats were warming up their propaganda machine in Philadelphia, Trump offered some attention grabbing counter-programming.

Donald Trump suggests Russians release Hillary's hacked emails

In the wake of the DNC Leaks disclosure by Wikileaks, Donald Trump raised a compelling question against candidate Clinton during an extended,press conference at Trump Doral in Florida-- will Hillary Clinton's 30,000 missing emails become public? Trump suggested that Russians captured that cache of deleted emails from Clinton's unsecured homebrew server while serving as Secretary of State and ought to release them.

This modest proposal inspired a backlash from many circles, with some going so far as claiming that Trump committed treason.  Others alleged that Trump invited foreign intelligence services to hack at America.  Still other observers considered the cozy relations which Trump associates and campaign staff have with Russian interests.

It is dubious if Trump was petitioning Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin to hack into American servers.  This is foreign intelligence agency's modus operandi.  Wikileaks has shown itself to be a Russian cat's paw and the DNC Leaks seem to be "From Russia with Loathe" for Hillary.  But what may work on reality television for ratings  hardly seems leader-like for a prospective President of the United States to sarcastically suggest espionage against America.  It implies weakness of America's intelligence infrastructure, being sympatico with an aggressive autocrat, and invites chaos of having foreigners influence American elections.

While Trump certainly did steal some limelights, he raised more questions with his stunt.  Brilliant idea to have a no bars held presser during the Democrats convention week as it underlined how Hillary has not done one in over 250 days.  Much of Trump's appeal is going to be anti-Hillary, so pursuing the perspective that Hillary is an unindicted National Security criminal plays to that strategy.  However, when you asked a hostile foreign government to help take down an opponent, you besmirch yourself and lose the critical focus on your opponent. 

Wikileaks has intimated that there is another cache that will put Hillary away. That might please the Donald, but surely his focus will have moved on to the next series of insults and insinuations.

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