2018-02-22 – “Emehrgency! Everybody to get from street!”
That’s what the accidental Russian invaders said in the 1966 movie “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming.” In that movie a Soviet submarine runs aground near a New England town and tries to get away without embarrassment. A Russian landing party enters the town and, to avoid conflict with the townspeople, announces:
“Emehrgency! Everybody to get from street!”
The Russians knew that they’d be sunk if the gritty New Englanders all got together to stand up for their country.
Russians still know this. Which is why, today, Russians promote division. We are strong when we are one; we are weak when we are divided.
It now appears that the Russian strategy is not to manufacture division but to amplify it. They look to see what makes Americans angry and multiply the anger-producing messages with fake Facebook posts and Twitter tweets.
I know that, when Donald Trump was elected, emotions were running so high that people began unfriending people who were posting disagreeable content. That troubled me. I felt that we needed more engagement, not less. I try to reach out, I try to understand, I try to explain. But I still see things that make me angry.
I now attribute nasty social media to Russian bots and trolls.
I know that the Russian work is just a drop in the bucket. But I’d rather blame the Russians than blame my friends. We’ve all gotta cut each other a little slack. And this is a little game I play with myself to help me do that.
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