If your government isn't doing all it can to protect your vote and have it counted, are you actually living in a democracy?

Back in the 1980's Ronald Regan knew what to do with the Russians: resist them.

He wasn't alone, Hollywood spread the message too, making every bad guy from Rocky to Red Dawn a glowering Slav.

From "The Day After" to "When The Wind Blows," we were left in no doubt whatsoever about the dangers of the Cold War, the same way the children of the 1950s had been taught to Duck and Cover (dubious advice if there ever was some).

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The Republicans of the 1980s used to know how to deal with Russian aggression. Even movie tough guys like Clint Eastwood in "Firefox" to Tom Cruise in "Top Gun" did too, they were first to the front with the right stuff.

But modern Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have taken an altogether more ambiguous approach to Putin's plutocracy. One possible reason for this curious silence is that sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has announced plans to invest around $200 million to build a new aluminum plant in McConnell's backyard in Kentucky. 

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have blocked election security bills four times - four times - to the point that the press is now openly calling McConnell #MoscowMitch. 

Our current president Donald Trump also publicly asked the Russians to post the results of their massive anti-American email fishing expedition, in the successful hope of damaging his then-presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

The Russians were only too happy to oblige, within hours of his request they posted thirty thousand private emails and attachment that obsessed the news media here throughout the close of the 2016 election cycle.

In 2016 they also targeted our outdated election infrastructure and voting machines as they sent political propaganda to 126 million American Facebook accounts (two out of every five Americans were successfully targeted).

But in a concentrated operation, they moved far beyond our social media into hacking the private email servers of our government at the highest levels. The attacks began in 2014 and as Robert Muller reminded us on Wednesday they are still ongoing:

"They are doing it as we sit here," he said.

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In our national press, these attacks are still being misreported as “meddling.” They are nothing of the kind. Analysts call them unprecedented cyberwarfare with the intent to misinform and alter the political landscape to benefit themselves.

A 61-page Senate Intelligence Committee report recently found that the Russians took advantage of our decentralized voting system, “exploiting seams” in all 50 states between federal oversight and state election systems.

They also found that our election cybersecurity is “sorely lacking” in all 50 states and that federal attempts to warn states about security breaches "did not provide enough information or go to the appropriate people."

In one state, according to ABC NEWS, the password to the voting machine was as simple as “ABC123” and the people testing the machines could easily switch the machines into supervisor mode to tamper with the votes to “call the results into question.”

If that doesn't alarm you then you might as well just sign up for the KGB right now.

So my question is: if your government doesn't do all it can to protect your vote, and to have your vote counted, are you actually living in a democracy?

What has happened to the Republican party, the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that they can sit on their hands whilst we face such a threat to our values and democracy?

The answer is that Trump considers any discussion of Russian cyberattacks to be a threat to his own legitimacy. A victory that has a whiff of Russian cyber involvement isn't a victory in his view. To spare his own vanity he is prepared to consign the United States of America to unprecedented Russian attacks.

“we are at war” - ⁦@JoeNBC⁩ is right. We ALL need to wake up. #MoscowMitch keeps killing any bill that will protect American democracy from Putin’s attacks pic.twitter.com/E1KuLsnDyy

— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) July 26, 2019

There is one other key player behind this Republican failure to respond to Russian attacks that needs to be named now: Rupert Murdoch.

The Fox News owner runs a cable channel that keeps your grandparents in a state of near-perpetual hysterical fury about “liberals.” That’s its only job. That is literally all it does: make otherwise comfortable people feel they are being sorely afflicted and cheated by their worthless neighbors. 

Fox News and the GOP have relentlessly targeted the enemy within to the point that many of them can no longer recognize the enemy without.

The GOP is now too busy battling their fellow Americans to notice that the gate is open and the Russian wolf has come.

Putin has quietly gambled that the GOP now detest their Democratic opponents even more than they detest Russian agents and their aggressive cyber warfare - and it looks like his gamble is successful.

MAGA hat wearing seniors at an anti-immigrant rally

MAGA hat wearing seniors at an anti-immigrant rally

So Fox News has weaponized our American seniors in a two and a half-decade long propaganda operation of its own, turning many of them into a red-hatted geriatric confederacy in search of a demagogue.

They have found him. He has not the slightest interest in how he was elected. He has no concern that he may have Russian help again in 2020. Neither does the party he represents now.

But if we still want to live in the United States of America in the new decade, we better sound the damn alarm right now.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section, below. 

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