Emotion is the death of reason
It’s scary to consider the possibility that a foreign entity played a role in disturbing the sanctity of our elections.
But what exactly does it mean when we hear “Russia hacked the election”?
The details are still fuzzy, but we do know our intelligence community has taken the threat seriously enough to inform both President Obama and, at the time, President-elect Trump of the possibility that Russia was involved in the hacks.
Of course, regardless of who’s in power, if our intelligence community advises us there’s a possibility a foreign entity tried to influence our election, action should be taken.
That should go without saying.
But before we go making assertions about the legitimacy or illegitimacy of certain elections or officeholders, it’s paramount we understand the content leaked and role it played.
From Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails published on Wikileaks, we know the DNC sought to undermine the campaign of Bernie Sanders. The chairwoman at the time, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, was involved in emails strategizing how to use Sanders’ religion, or lack thereof, against him in key primary states, among other things.
From Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s leaked emails we know Donna Brazile, CNN contributor and interim DNC chairwoman (after Wasserman-Schultz resigned), leaked debate questions to the Clinton campaign.
Though these two instances were likely the most significant revelations, there were certainly many others.
Some leaks originated elsewhere, including conservative group Project Veritas Action. From these we heard Secretary Clinton address the need for “both a public and a private position” and observed coordination between the Clinton campaign and grassroots organizations whose goal was to incite violence at Trump rallies.
Now, in the spirit of fairness, would it have been nice for the RNC’s similar information to have been released as well? Absolutely.
But before we blame a foreign entity for merely exposing the wrongdoing of one of our two major political parties, maybe we should review the concepts of personal responsibility.
If the DNC wanted to avoid the Trump presidency, perhap they should have been committed to ensure a fair and accurate primary process.
Maybe if the Clinton campaign wanted to occupy the White House, Hillary Clinton should’ve shared more of her “private stances," and her campaign should’ve refrained from collaboration with ill-intentioned grassroots organizations.
Of course, we should do everything in our power to ensure no one, especially a foreign government, gains access to the type of information that was accessed this past election. But this in no way means that we should ignore the knowledge gained from the events that have transpired.
Finally, I want to speak to those who benefitted from the leaks.
We mustn’t become so anti-Democrat that we become pro-Russia. Let me use an imperfect football analogy.
If you’re a Republican, let’s say the Democrats are defense and you’re the offense. All week, you practice against the defense. You try to score on them, you do your best to beat them, you don’t take it easy on them. But you do this to make them better, because on Sunday, both the defense and the offense have to work together to beat the real enemy, the opposing team.
Let’s remember what team we’re on.
Jonathan Deemer is a sophomore studying biomedical science.