The Horror of Trumpism

As I’ve noted, I’m still holding on to some level of skepticism about what we truly know about the DNC hack. But this new article from The Daily Beast suggests that the weight of evidence appears to fall heavily of a Russian disruption campaign mounted to help Donald Trump become President.

From The Daily Beast

The FBI suspects that Russian government hackers breached the networks of the Democratic National Committee and stole emails that were posted to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks on Friday. It’s an operation that several U.S. officials now suspect was a deliberate attempt to influence the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, according to five individuals familiar with the investigation of the breach.

Given the timing of events, there’s really no question that someone is trying to upend the Democrats’ convention. In itself this would be troubling since the release stems from a criminal hacking into private email servers. As I’ve noted the revelations themselves seem quite tame. Folks at the DNC were supportive of Clinton. We knew that. There’s simply little or no evidence that acted to interfere in the outcome of the race. But this is not logic you will have much arguing to Sanders support hyped up in the moment or reporters hungry for a juicy story. At the end of the day, a hack is theft. When it’s used not to expose wrongdoing or advance newsworthy information that the public should know but rather to conduct a disruption operation, that’s considerably worse. When that operation is organized and executed by a largely hostile foreign state, that’s a major alarm bells situation.

This action obviously throws into much starker relief the question of the true relationship between the Trump campaign and Russia. But setting aside that entire question. Last week we had a mini-international crisis when Trump suggested he might not honor NATO security commitments (it would become maxi real fast should he be elected). Now we appear to have a hostile foreign government mounting a disruption campaign on behalf of one candidate in a national presidential election.

There’s no other way to put it but where Trump goes shit gets weird and dark; and dangerous new things happen that haven’t happened before. In some ways, this is simply the story of the entire campaign season. The worst part of it is that it all seems to be accelerating. Far from pivoting he appears to be growing more comfortable running as a transgressive right-wing ethnic nationalist. There used to be a phrase about what were then called the ‘Black Muslims’, i.e., the pre-1974 Nation of Islam. ‘They may not go looking for trouble, but they always seem to find it.’ Quite apart from intentionality and plans (whatever those things may be) bad things happen around Trump. He’s like someone who lightning strikes again and again or someone who is a harbinger of disaster. And he’s in our house.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

TPM Staff
Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: