I hope this helps shed some light on what is meant by Russian influence. My first exposure to Russian culture was when I was 13 and my stepmother took a business trip to Russia 10 days after the coup. I got to see hundreds and hundreds of pictures of anything and everything from everyday life to Palaces/Basilicas in Moscow and St. Petersburg (Lenningrad). I’ve also worked for people originally from an Eastern Block Country before, and I’ve had Russian neighbors. The Russian royal family was also originally Danish. I grew up with grandparents that still spoke Danish and that is a lesson in critical thinking. Because every once in awhile they tend to throw in something very false just to see if one is actually paying attention…
When I studied in Spain in 2000, I needed to take a regional history class. The class that fit my schedule was Relations between the United States and Europe Since World War II. The class mostly centered on the Cold War. It was taught by a Spanish professor in Spanish in a walk up apartment down the road from Cathedral of Seville, and the entire room was the size of an American master closet.
Russia really is the master of covert activities. Whether it is putting nitroglycerin in the drinking water at an Embassy, spying, or running long term psychological warfare. Very rarely will a KGB trained Russian (like Putin) do something overt that is actually sincere. He was in East Berlin when the wall fell. Honestly, he was probably helping burn documents.
America has been in a state of demoralization for many decades. Notice how even going back 50+ years ago (after the Cuban Missile Crisis) every person that was well respected and recognized that ultimately wanted to be a force to “Unite” the United States of America was assassinated. After a while and enough psychological trauma was inflicted people stopped speaking out. Recently it has been very interesting to learn that Russia has been pushing its agenda through the NRA. I guess they’ve learned its not hard to radicalize people that are already very fanatical. It really seems like the Cold War never actually ended, but instead just thawed out some.
After the demoralization comes destabilization. Whether it comes from trolls encouraging people to fight amongst themselves online or a puppet leader doing every thing he can to ruin relationships with long term allies, it doesn’t matter as it all makes us more divided. Its important to know Russia doesn’t care how long it takes. As long as it meets its goal, which is to be the world’s dominate power. Russians tend to believe everything is a zero sum game. That is someone has “to lose” in order for them “to win”. We also have a president that thinks that way, but I guess that would be expected after marrying two women that speak Russian and dealing with mostly only Russian businessmen after American institutions refused to do any business with him. I’ve always wondered if Melania went to New York or was sent to New York? Your guess is as good as mine… Once again its important to remember Russians don’t care how long something takes as long as they get their desired outcome.
After everyone has been demoralized and a country is in chaos from destabilization, then a crisis is usually manufactured, which is used a reason or excuse for the government to grab more power and take away the rights of it’s citizens. Then a rebuilding process is done, but with values that are in line with Russian values and beliefs. You don’t have to be in Russia or speak a word of Russian to have the “Russian Flu”. You just have to show apathy towards most all others and enjoy constantly arguing and wallowing in all the negativity and division created.
For all the people out there that think they are “too smart” to have fallen to any influence. Please remember Putin speaks multiple languages fluently, is very intelligent, and educated. Influence doesn’t have to be a giant noticible shove either a thousand tiny pushes will also do the same job.
The solution for anyone that has caught the Russian Flu is to realize first that it is something one can get without ever having left the United States. Second it is important for people to speak out or take actions that show they aren’t going to go willingly like a hog down the tunnel to the slaughter house. Then demonstrate some actual morals and values. Not the fly by night or “whatever is convenient” type of values (seen a little too often in the USA recently), but real positive values involving character and integrity. Study how/what people with actual culture and values believe and learn why they think that way. Learn to celebrate some diversity/expand horizons/show some tolerance/actually learn a thing or two or just sit back and enjoy some Cuban music to try and understand something outside of our current bubble.
Fight like your values and way of life are on the line because they probably are…