In the wake of the shocking revelations by the Central Intelligence Agency that confirm that the Russian Federation interfered in our recent elections by way of email hacks and strategically leaking misinformation to Wikileaks, the reaction from our elected officials have been mixed, to say the least.
Some, like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), have been vocally demanding investigations into the scandal; some, like the head of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-CA), would rather sweep it under the rug. Others, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are suddenly in cover-their-ass damage control mode as it becomes public that he fought to keep the White House from investigating the issue at all.
Famed Star Trek actor and LGBTQ activist George Takei posed an important question to our elected officials tonight, with an implicit warning that they should all heed.
Elected leaders, history will judge you by this: What did you do when you learned our democratic institutions had been attacked by Russia?
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 12, 2016
While “attacked” may be too strong of a word, the interference of Russian government agents in our electoral process is an aggression that cannot be allowed to go unchallenged – especially as Trump’s cabinet choices make it obvious that he’s planning to rescind the sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Russia following the 2014 annexation of the Crimea. We cannot reward Putin and oligarchs both American and Russian for successfully hoodwinking the American people with lies and libel.
Now our elected officials are faced with la reveal magnifico. Will the Republicans who have spent their whole careers obsessing over the superficial indicators of patriotism in an attempt to distract their constituents from their constant attempts to dismantle all of America’s social services stand up to this existential threat to the integrity of our democracy, or will they meekly turn their backs on their country now that they finally have the opportunity to pass all the budget-cuts, corporate handouts, and institutionalized Christian extremism they want?
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.