Seemingly the left and the Democrats’ top messaging priority for a number of years has been that Russia somehow “stole” the election for President Trump in 2016. Facts have regularly proven this narrative false but the reality is the narrative is helping the Russians. In a USA Today op-ed Eric Wang makes the case:
One of the reports, written mostly by staff at the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge, concludes that the Russian Internet Research Agency’s (IRA) “focus on elections was merely a small subset” of its activities. The larger aim was “focused on dividing Americans.”
The other report, written mostly by Oxford University researchers, points to how the Russian efforts began in 2013 and extended into 2018, and “increased substantially after the (2016) election.”
The myth that Russian bots won the election is pure fiction. Ironically that was never the goal. Russia's goal was to divide America. With Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other liberals' rhetoric, arguably the Russians won the war if not the 2016 election battle, as Eric writes:
However, the postelection propaganda boosted Trump supporters and opponents alike. The obvious goal was to widen Americans’ political divide.
More generally, only a very small percentage of online ads and posts focused on Trump and Hillary Clinton. The vast majority of content exploited pre-existing fault lines in American identity politics, pitting groups against each other based on race, religion, sexual orientation and region. Much of the location-based content targeted high African-American populations. The Oxford report concluded that “the targeting had more to do with race than a state’s role in the Electoral College or status as a swing state.”
While political debates and disagreements are understandable, the Democrats using the Russian attacks to undermine the will of the American electorate was exactly what the Russians wanted. The Russians did not win the election for Trump, but they did win the post-election in the sense that their efforts did divide Americans. Shame on the Democrats for letting the Russians “win.”