BOSTON (CBS) – I’m mindful of the fact that not everyone is a political junkie or even has time to follow all the daily developments. So I get there may be some, or even many of you, who wonder what all the fuss is about over Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election.
Keep in mind, there are two major issues here.
One is the speculation over whether or not the Trump campaign in general and then-candidate Trump in particular knowingly colluded with Russian operatives in the effort to manipulate the election through selective leaking of stolen e-mails. There are multiple ongoing investigations into this, but so far, no conclusive proof of that. The president and his allies claim it’s a giant smear campaign; if proof of that behavior does surface, it could be grounds for impeachment.
But while that is going on, there is another issue at play, a fact that no one seriously disputes – that the Russian government and its allies did their best to manipulate the outcome of the election, primarily through those leaked e-mails and with slanderous fake news stories planted online.
They tried to pull the same stunt last week in the French elections, but their preferred candidate lost in a landslide. There is every reason to think they are at it again in the German elections set for September.
Why does this matter to you?
We’ve seen the damage a contested election can do to our politics – in some ways we’re still feeling the effects of the Bush-Gore cliffhanger from 17 years ago. If you care about our democracy, you should care about a hostile power thinking they can undermine it.