Opinion

Medvedev To Americans: ‘Only You Can Put Aside Your National Selfishness’!

Former Russian President, Prime Minister, and current Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev published a scathing analysis over the weekend about America’s electoral system, the dystopian censorship role that Big Tech has appointed itself to play in the country’s political process, and the global consequences of the resultant turmoil, which concludes with the exhortation that “only Americans themselves can decide whether to put aside their national selfishness and launch the voting system reform, and, consequently, the reform of political life, or not.”

Russian Insight Into America’s Political Crisis

America’s in the midst of a deep soul-searching process prompted by the unprecedented tumult leading up and following the fateful events of 6 January when an angry mob stormed the US Capitol demanding that Congress “stop the steal” that they sincerely believed was being committed as the Electoral College voted to certify President-Elect Biden’s contentious victory from late last year. Democrats and Republicans blame one another, yet former Russian President, Prime Minister, and current Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev believes that the real fault lies with America’s electoral system. One of the most powerful men in Russia’s post-Soviet history published a scathing analysis about this over the weekend at TASS, where he also slammed the dystopian censorship role that Big Tech has appointed itself to play in the US’ political process and expressed serious concern about the global consequences of the resultant turmoil.

A Collection Of Quotes

His lengthy article deserves to be read in full, but for those who are unable to find the time, the present piece focuses on the key highlights. The overarching themes are the US’ systemic electoral challenges, observations about recent events, criticism of Big Tech’s dystopian censorship role, predictions for the future, and a final appeal to the American people. What follows is a list of paraphrased points from Medvedev’s article accompanied by his exact words of pertinence. Upon sharing all passages of relevance, the author will then briefly critique Medevedv’s ideas. The purpose in reviewing his article in this manner is to raise awareness of the most important insight that he shared. Considering Medvedev’s extensive governing experience and highly influential role in Russian decision-making processes, his words shouldn’t be dismissed as a private citizen’s opinion but should be regarded as the official stance of the Russian government.

* The 2020 Elections Were The Most Scandal-Ridden In US History:

“It is not that this presidential campaign, likely the most scandal-ridden in history, proved that the flaws in the US electoral system have a comprehensive nature. That is no news.”

* American Elections Are A Domestic Issue With Global Consequences:

“The strengths and shortcomings of the US voting system could be regarded as a purely domestic issue. But there is one problem. Elections in this country, especially when there is a transfer of power from one political force to the other, can trigger significant changes in the global economic development, seriously affecting the existing institutions of international law and global security system.”

* The US Has A Responsibility To Address The World’s Concerns:

“The problem is that the rest of the world finds it increasingly ‘inconvenient’ to work with such a country, as the US becomes an unpredictable partner. This unpredictability gives other States, regional associations and military political organizations cause for concern. It would be nice if the US political establishment realized this responsibility.”

* American Elections Are A Façade:

“At first, everything seems quite presentable: alternative candidates, primary elections, and live TV debates. But this is a façade, a nice stage set which determines the spectacularity of the event and, naturally, the preferences of the voters.”

* The Electoral College Is Undemocratic:

“Since the existing system awards all the electoral votes to the winner, a candidate who won by a small margin in states with a total of 271 electoral votes may win an election, despite having lost by a landslide in other states. In theory, even a candidate who won the popular vote by more than 100 million ballots may still lose the election in the electoral vote.”

* Faithless Electors Are A Systemic Flaw:

“On top of that, there is another significant shortcoming in the Electoral College system, where an elector has a right to cast their vote – sometimes without any serious consequences – for someone other than the candidate they have pledged to represent in accordance with the will of the voters.”

* Americans Themselves Are Concerned About Unfair And Opaque Elections:

“Moreover, the US citizens themselves have called into question their country’s conformity with the main criterion of democracy – the ability of the State to ensure fair and transparent expression of the people’s will in general.”

* Americans Are Divided Along Three Primary Fault Lines:

“The nation is divided, the fault line running between people of different value orientations, which reflect on the electoral choice between Republicans and Democrats. There is a clear ‘value divide’ between conservative Americans and those who promote change in traditionalist attitudes, between ‘law-abiding’ Americans and those who support active street protest, between those employed in high-tech industry and those left out of the technological revolution.”

* Federalism Is Failing:

“Besides, the election race laid bare the tensions between the federal government and state and local governments. Accusations against the federal government of exceeding its authority in using force to suppress riots have exposed cracks in American federalism, which the central government (regardless of party affiliation) prefers to conceal as far as possible.”

* Lack Of Standard Election Procedures Leads To Fraud:

“There have also been large-scale violations of the election law. The United States still has no standard procedures for voter registration, voter identification, ballot issuance and submission.”

* The Democrats Suspiciously Changed Mail-In Voting Procedures At The Last Minute:

“On the eve of the voting day, the Democratic Party allegedly attempted to change the procedure for counting postal ballots in the states of Wisconsin, Indiana, North Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Alabama in order to considerably lengthen the period of their acceptance. This made it possible to relax the monitoring requirements for vote-counting.”

* The US Hypocritically Imposes Democratic Norms Onto Others That It Doesn’t Follow Itself:

“All of this is hardly consistent with those norms of democracy that Washington arrogantly imposes on other countries.”

* America’s Electoral System Is Archaic:

“Besides, the archaic US electoral system is such that the US federal government has no powers to establish procedures even for federal elections as this is the prerogative of the states. Just as when America was a farmers’ republic with a population of 3.5 million, the president is still elected by the states, which inform the Congress of their decisions through the electoral college.”

* Lengthy Electoral Disputes Show How inefficient The System Is:

“The lengthy disputes over the election results in courts (and, at the end of the day, electing a new president there) is yet another fact demonstrating how inefficient and outdated this voting system is.”

* The Storming Of The US Capitol Was A Color Revolution Attempt:

“It was hard to believe that the events resembling so much Ukraine’s Maidan and other color revolutions that unfolded in recent years across a wide range of countries, including those in the post-Soviet space, were broadcasted live from the United States all over the world.”

* America’s “Cold Civil War” Just Climaxed:

“The cold civil war that had been raging in the US for a few months reached its climax. And while the world is condemning the attack on the Capitol, anxiously waiting for what is to come next, it is as yet unclear how the Republicans and the Democrats are supposed to find common ground. The social polarization keeps growing.”

* The Return Of McCarthyism Precludes Much-Needed Unity:

“The long-forgotten spirit of McCarthyism is again felt in the air. And there is no one who could answer the question: are there a person and a timeless value that could unite the nation.”

* The US’ Archaic Voting System Is To Blame For Violence:

“The situation that has been brought about by a chain of events predetermined by the archaic voting system can lead to new waves of violence and unrest.”

* Big Tech Is Waging An Unregulated Infowar On Trump:

“Conventional American media, whose activities are regulated by laws and fall within the First Amendment, have traditionally – and always officially – taken the side of a certain candidate and yet deemed it necessary to give coverage to statements made by the opponent during election and post-election campaigns. The social media, however, are beyond any special regulations and work on the basis of user agreements. And it was them that unleashed the media war without rules! And that war is waged against one single person.”

* Trump Supporters Are Being Censored En Masse:

“They blocked tens of thousands of supporters of the incumbent president across all kinds of platforms which used to be viewed as forums for a full-fledged discussion.”

* Big Tech’s “Supreme Judges” Carry Out Corporate Censorship:

“For America, just as for the rest of the world, this level of corporate censorship is a truly extraordinary phenomenon. A question arises: who are those supreme judges that decided that they, of their own volition and based on their own rules – but, in fact, guided by their political preferences, can deprive the country’s president of the opportunity to communicate with an audience of many millions?”

* California Corporations Are Power-Hungry:

“Whether Trump is good or bad, he is his country’s national, and, furthermore, an official who enjoys the trust of nearly half of the Americans. Thus, it turns out that several technological corporations located in California got an appetite for power and thought it possible to juggle with news and facts to suit their own political preferences. This is but a blatant censorship!”

* Big Tech Wants To Replace American Democracy With “Cyber Totalitarianism”:

“Dictating their own terms, they have sought to substitute for state institutions, encroaching on their mandates, aggressively imposing their views on a great number of people, leaving them no other choice; while the 75 millions of Trump’s voters and hundreds of millions of his subscribers were left out of their ‘choice.’ These were simply labelled as insecure. Isn’t it, indeed, a spectre of cyber totalitarianism that is gradually overwhelming the society, taking away from it (and potentially the entire world) the opportunity to see the reality for what it is?”

* Trump Might Be Erased From The Internet, Prompting Other Leaders To Preemptively Defend Themselves From That Scenario:

“But even if Donald Trump leaves the politics for good and the Tech Giants wipe out his digital footprint, the minds will remain hugely polarized. This is yet another problem stemming from the US’s outdated voting system, and it will push governments of different countries into action to prevent the same scenario in their own States.”

* At The Very Least, US Elections Impact The Global Economy:

“It is crystal clear that the elections influence directly trends in global development. Everything else, with certain reservations, can be regarded as an internal affair of the US itself. Yet outward effects are our common issue.”

* Biden Will Seek To Reverse Trump’s Policies In Order To Spite Him, Just Like Trump Did To Obama:

“US dollar volatility will abruptly increase only if US manufacturers lose a considerable share of the world market or investors doubt the existing safeguards for the protection of assets, the relevance and soundness of the FRS’s long-term policy. Since this is impossible in the near future, it seems of much more interest to us what Joe Biden’s economic policy will look like. And this is often shaped based on the thesis ‘just not the way Trump would have it.’ It’s some sort of a tradition: the same way, the 45th president without hesitation reversed the 44th president Barack Obama’s directives on all tracks.”

* Each Country Has The Right To Choose Its Own Systems:

“It is obvious that the development of a national legal and political system is the sovereign choice of a state itself, though many countries (and first of all the US) are seeking to impose their model of development on the world as the most effective.”

* “Classical” Democracy No Longer Exists Anywhere In The World:

“Certainly, there is no legal and political system that can be called the monument of ‘classical’ democracy. It is constantly developing and improving. The question is, how relevant and timely the models that are offered as a replacement for those that have lost their progressive potential are. And here what we need is a combination of sound conservatism and well-timed new laws. Both artificial preservation of and constant experimentation with political and legal realities pose a danger. The post-Soviet nations have the examples of both, state regimes sometimes transiting from the presidential system to parliamentary and back once every two or three years.”

* The World Is Concerned About Abrupt American Foreign Policy Shifts:

“Governments in many countries are posing questions about the policy continuity of such an important actor in world affairs as the US. The 2016 elections shattered the century-long tradition of continuity of the administrations, particularly in foreign policy issues. This time, again, the US’s stance on a range of key issues depends on the election results. Where shall we witness a reverse in policy, a getting-around to approaches adopted by Barack Obama and his predecessors’ administrations?”

* It Is “Grotesque” For Americans To Virtue Signal Their Political Disposition By Refusing To Wear Masks:

“The polarization among citizens themselves, when you could tell with great certainty by the presence or absence of a mask which party the voter has voted for, was grotesque indeed.”

* Biden Will Restore The US’ Full Membership In The WHO And WTO:

“These elections will inevitably lead to the restoration of the US’s full membership and the development of cooperation within international organizations such as the WHO and the WTO. The outgoing administration has been notorious for its abrupt and hardly predictable demarches regarding its participation in such associations, which certainly destabilized their work. Yet the US’s financial support is crucial and very significant for them.”

* Russia Is “Optimistic” About Biden’s Pragmatic Stance Towards Arms Control:

“As in the case of international organizations, the US is trying to restore to a certain extent its image as a reliable strategic partner. Election pledges to extend the START III treaty with Russia which Biden called ‘an anchor of strategic stability between the United States and Russia’, sound very optimistic. The president-elect is an advocate of arms reduction and has been involved in drafting the INF Treaty since the Soviet era.”

* The “New Economic Order” Will Be Green:

“There is now a tectonic change in the very basis of economic activity. A new economic order is taking shape. States and individual companies are reshaping their models to be carbon neutral, carrying out rigorous assessment of their business chains starting from suppliers in some countries to consumers in others. Global investors are rethinking their strategies. International organizations are shaping new reporting standards that will obviously apply globally. Finally, most recently the UN Secretary General called on all nations to rethink their tax strategies by cutting taxes on income while raising taxes on carbon. All of these factors are of global importance.”

* Biden Will Repair Transatlantic Ties:

“The Biden administration which is largely made up of the key figures from the Obama administration has already assured its European partners that full cooperation within the North Atlantic Alliance will be restored.”

* Anti-Chinese Trade Restrictions Might Remain In Place:

“As part of the election campaign, Biden’s rhetoric towards China was significantly more peaceful in comparison to Trump’s promises and actions. However, trade restrictions imposed by the Trump administration may remain in place in the new circumstances if the situation requires so. The experience of the Jackson-Vanik amendment and other sanctions laws shows that such restrictions can persist for a long time, even after the reason for their imposition has disappeared.”

* Russia Is Bracing For More American Aggression:

“We expect it is highly likely that the United States will consistently pursue an anti-Russian policy. In recent years, the trajectory of relations between Washington and Moscow has been steadily going downhill, no matter who was at the helm in the White House.”

* Russian-American Relations Have Been Worse Under Trump Than Under Obama:

“There was indeed some hope of reversing the negative dynamics during the Trump presidency. After all, back in 2016, it seemed that relations between the two countries could not be any worse than those under B. Obama. However, the following years have dispelled this illusion.”

*Congress Successfully Sabotaged Trump’s Russia Policy:

“The Trump administration consistently strengthened the systemic confrontation between Washington and Moscow, continued its sanctions policy against our country wishing, inter alia, to force it out of the energy markets, and reduced our diplomatic contacts to a minimum. And this was done against the background of D. Trump constantly speaking about the desire to ‘get along with Russia’. His words did not matter much, however, as numerous restrictive measures in the Congress were supported by both Democrats and Republicans.”

* The New Cold War Will Continue, But Biden’s Pragmatic Arms Control Stance Might Lead To A Thaw:

“Our relations are likely to remain extremely cold in the coming years. And right now we do not expect anything but the continuation of a tough anti-Russian policy. But perhaps Biden will revisit the issues still on our joint agenda, for example arms control.”

* The US’ “Clumsy, Hopelessly Outdated Voting System” Is A Global Threat:

“Most importantly: the unpredictability of further US actions in the international arena, a kind of toxicity of this country even for its allies and partners is a result of serious social upheavals that American society faces. This internal and external instability is largely due to a clumsy, hopelessly outdated voting system that has seen no major changes since the 18th century up to the present.”

* Russia Wants America To Stabilize:

“We do not want the US to have problems. And for practical reasons: such problems create waves of instability all-around that overflow us as well. The problems of the Unites States can only be solved by the Americans themselves along with the good governance of the country.”

* Americans’ Refusal To “Put Aside Their National Selfishness” Is Endangering The World:

“Of course, only Americans themselves can decide whether to put aside their national selfishness and launch the voting system reform, and, consequently, the reform of political life, or not. So far, there has been no real move towards this. Nor even the slightest hint of a desire to change anything. And the international community is already paying too high a price for the US reluctance to change.”

Constructive Criticisms

As can be seen, Medvedev sincerely believes that the US’ electoral system is dysfunctional and that the resultant consequences of domestic turmoil are a serious threat to the international community. He places disproportionate importance on the form in which the country’s phased leadership transitions takes without acknowledging the influence of intense factionalism in the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”). This is a significant oversight which implies that Russia has yet to realize that “Military Intelligence Has Weaponized Democracy Worldwide” and that “The US Deep State And The Democrats Are The Problem, Not The Solution” like the author suggested in early 2018. Nevertheless, if the Democrats succeed in imposing de facto one-party rule in Biden’s “dystopian hellhole” like the author fears, then Russia might not mind so long as this makes the US’ foreign policy more predictable.


By Andrew Korybko
Source: One World

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