Russian president Vladimir Putin is not finished attacking American democracy, and by extension, the western liberal order. As Rachel Maddow reported last night, the Kremlin and its British lackey Nigel Farage have targeted California with campaigns to separate the Golden State from the union or break it up.
The #CalExit campaign, which promotes California secession from the union, is headed by a man living in Siberia and receives free Moscow office space. At the behest of Republican operatives, Farage is leading a ballot initiative to split the state into a liberal coast and conservative inland.
FBI Director James Comey has acknowledged last week that Russia supported UKIP and Leave, which is tearing the United Kingdom apart as well as the European Union. Now Putin wants to do the same for the United States of America.
“That Russian idea of defeating your adversaries by splitting them up, by promoting divisions among them and within them, it seems almost ridiculous to think about it, but that strategy extends to us as well,” Maddow said in the A-block of her newscast last night. The competing efforts to break up the biggest of blue states may seem “cartoonish” and “ridiculous,” but that doesn’t make them less dangerous.
Imagine if your goal was to take the United States down a few pegs in the esteem of the world — in terms of global leadership, in terms of the way the rest of the world looked up to the United States for help or for advice, or conceivably as an exemplar of democracy, certainly as a pinnacle economic power — imagine how helpful it would be if your goal was to erode all of that, to hurt all of that. Imagine how helpful it would be to that goal if you had a chance, even a slim chance, even a hilarious, cartoonish, tiny chance of splitting off from the United States one of its fifty states that on its own terms is the sixth largest economy in the world.
So far, Rachel Maddow is the only prominent media figure to raise this alarm. What’s truly frightening about this story is that it’s not being discussed or investigated at the level it deserves. Russia’s war on American democracy and global power is not over. It is simply moving on to a new phase. Watch:
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