Free Minds & Free Markets

If Democracy Is Doomed, Don't Blame the Russians: New at Reason

Fishy Facebook ads do not undermine the integrity of the electoral process.

Columbia University, Trump campaignColumbia University, Trump campaignA week before Hillary Clinton published her campaign memoir, Facebook seemed to validate her complaint that Vladimir Putin helped Donald Trump defeat her. But the social media platform's announcement about suspicious online political ads also highlighted common misconceptions about the nature of Russian attempts to influence the presidential election.

We often hear that Russia "hacked the election," "attacked our democracy," or "undermined the integrity of our electoral process." Yet so far all the anti-Clinton efforts blamed on Russia amount to attempts at persuasion, as opposed to interference in the casting and counting of votes. Jacob Sullum argues that our democracy probably can survive a few more voices in the cacophony of competing claims, especially if we cultivate habits of skepticism and critical thinking.

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  • Michael S. Langston||

    FYI: the link to the article is broken. It has a single quote at the end of the url which needs to be removed.

  • DajjaI||

    At the risk of getting banned again - I think Reason got hacked by Russians.

  • SIV||

    The Russians prefer the LvMI win!

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Those crazy Russians. Not satisfied with being able to easily manipulate the US public info picking any president they wish, now they're coming after the Libertarians.

    Here's hoping the libertarian philosophy and its adherents are stronger than the voting public. Otherwise, we're as doomed as Trump's next opponent.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But that quote is churchillian.

  • I can't even||

    Democracy is always doomed. The Greeks proved that rule long ago.

    I keep thinking that voter fraud will doom our representative government but Reason keeps telling me I'm wrong without citations.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I sometimes wonder if even voter fraud matters, when I look at the "choices" that are presented to us on Election Day.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Giant Douche v. Turd Sandwich?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Yeah, the voter frauds that actually have any effect whatsoever are those who are running.

  • Longtobefree||

    The reason that democracy is doomed is that while dictators (including the elected ones) can force people to submit, no government can force people to be free.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Consider the bell shaped curve. We all learned in school about averages, distribution, deviations, and probabilities. But did you ever stop to consider that it means about every other person you meet is a certified dumb fuck? This really explains a lot.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    especially if we cultivate habits of skepticism and critical thinking.

    Oof. That's a pretty big "if."

  • Rat on a train||

    Half the population are below median intelligence. The other half are idiots.


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