The US’ obsession with “proving” alleged “Russian meddling” in the 2016 election and America’s subsequent institutional destruction as a result will go down in history as representing the suicide of this former superpower’s soft power.
The US spent decades building up its soft power reputation as “the land of the free” and portraying itself as the most “democratic” society in the world, only to have generations’ worth of soft power investments dramatically done away with over the past twelve months as the media-manufactured “RussiaGate” scandal transforms into an institutional inquisition. It’s presumed that the reader is already generally aware of what’s going on and why, namely that hostile elements of the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (the “deep state”), in full collusion with academia, the Mainstream Media, and Hollywood, are vehemently working to subvert Trump’s surprise election victory by alleging that he only won because of secretive Kremlin support.
This is a completely false narrative that’s regularly debunked every time a newly invented accusation arises, but instead of crafting a different political approach to complicate Trump’s Presidency, the Democrats and their “deep state” accomplices have continued to advance this made-up storyline, and in the process they’ve inflicted irreparable soft power damage to the US’ international prestige. The country that was once the unquestioned superpower of the world has all but committed soft power suicide in the course of only a single year by confirming the same “conspiracy theories” that it’s worked so hard to belittle in the past, thereby exposing many of its international information campaigns as lies and ultimately contradicting the very essence of “American Exceptionalism“.
The “Deep State”
Take for example the existence of the “deep state”, which no objective observer would have ever countenanced to be a “conspiracy theory” in the first place because it’s just a method of analyzing inter-elite rivalries within any given country. Nevertheless, the US and its surrogates consistently insisted for years that nothing of the sort existed, at least not in the US that is, and that anytime this was brought to the global masses’ attention by the mainstream media, it was usually framed as “democratic” or “Western” forces in a foreign government struggling against “authoritarian” ones. Only sometimes was it suggested that corrupt interests were behind this rivalry, but mostly in the cases when a Western government was implicated due to some sort of scandalous behavior. By and large, however, the prevailing American-imposed “groupthink” was that the “deep state” didn’t exist within the US.
Now, however, it’s irrefutable that “deep state” elements are sabotaging the Trump Presidency, and the most immediate consequence is that the global masses are realizing that the previous Mainstream Media-drive narrative denying the existence of the American “deep state” was just a lie, and that not only was it there all along, but that it had conspired to discredit anyone else who had previously tried to discuss it.
Social Media Manipulation
Another “conspiracy theory” that the RussiaGate scandal has proven is that the American government finally acknowledges that voters could be manipulated by social media. Russia, China, Iran, and others had long been alleging this for some time, but because they’re attacked as “non-Western dictatorships” in the American and Mainstream Media discourses, the implied message was that they had just invented these threats in order to have a pretext for “cracking down on democracy and free speech”.
The US and its partners never took Russia or the others seriously when they said that people could be manipulated by foreign intelligence services over social media, but in a sudden about-face, Washington says that Moscow is capable of doing this within the US though without ever explaining why the CIA apparently can’t the same in Russia or elsewhere.
Just like with the commonly denied existence of the “deep state”, the former “conspiracy theory” of social media manipulation has been revealed to actually be a truth that the US government was long suppressing until some of its hostile elements decided to wage their War on Trump.
It follows that if Russia was purportedly able to engage in social media manipulation, that the American masses are therefore easily misled, though this has been something that the US government denied for decades in order to portray its population as the most “democratically enlightened” in the world.
If the fake news narrative is to be believed, then Russia’s “weaponization” of social media was so successful that it caused masses of Americans to be misled into voting for Trump, thus negating at least 18 years of “democratic conditioning” in effortlessly submitting to crude “propaganda” and blindly voting for the candidate that the Russian “dictator” preferred. This of course isn’t what happened at all, but the fact that prominent American voices are inferring as much carries with it a degree of “authority” in showing the world that even the US “deep state” (which “officially” didn’t exist until after Trump’s victory) thinks that Americans are stupid.
Again, another pillar of American soft power crumbles as the “deep state” relentlessly attacks Trump with no concern being given to the profound collateral damage that they’re inflicting to their country’s reputation abroad.
Most people across the world had some idea or another about the imperfect nature of American Democracy, but it was still regarded by some as being superior to the other competing systems out there. After all, the thinking goes, if it wasn’t so effective, then it wouldn’t be the longest continually existing governmental model still around today, nor would so many wars have been fought to spread it across the rest of the world. The controversial Electoral College is assumed to be a unique characteristic of the US and therefore omitted from its “export package”, but that and a few other issues aside (Super PACs, lobbyists, etc.), the other shortcomings of American Democracy weren’t really all that well known, until now, that is.
Throughout the course of the RussiaGate inquisition, the world found out all about the “deep state”, social media manipulation, and the misled masses, thereby collapsing the very foundation of American soft power – its presumably better-than-average “democratic” model – by showing that it’s in fact imperfect and not much different than most of the rest.
A large part of America’s international attractiveness rested for years on the “revolutionary brilliance” of its governing model, which was supposed to have been responsible for enabling people to “live their dreams” in the “land of the free”, but the end result is that the structural core of “American Exceptionalism” was revealed to have been nothing more than a carefully crafted perception management operation which was ultimately discredited by none other than the American elite themselves.