“I have agreed to appear before this committee today, because I’m guilty… This committee has accused me of a great number of many things… and so I also accuse you of playing politics only when it suits you. I know… your crusade to take me down. Is it for justice? For the good of the nation? Is the truth that you are really after? Or is it for some personal gain, perhaps trying to fill the small hole of your soul that you sold off long time ago?”
The wind in Washington these days resembles an echo of a fictional character, President Underwood. While everyone is putting up a poker face, the “Russia Card” seems to be considered as the joker that could determine some sort of personal gain. However, the so-called “Russia Card” could just be a groundless speculation constructed by pure imagination, in which it does not exist at all.
It all began with the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, when Donald Trump, the then Republican Candidate adopted a pro-Russian stance, who openly admitted that his admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and publicly urged Russian hackers to find Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 missing emails. The rumor did not end with Donald Trump being elected as the 45th President of the United States, as many Americans believed that the Russia’s interference was the game-changer for the presidential election.
Since the discovery claimed by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security last December, reports that are associated with Russia’s meddling the U.S. Presidential Election has been occupying the headlines of western mainstream media. Under the description of these mainstream media, the politics in Washington has been quite eventful. From nominating Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of the State to the firing of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James Comey, Trump was also somehow feeding the conspiracy theory.
Now with the suspicions of any tapes between the U.S. President and the former FBI Director ever exist, everyone seems to demand some sort of an answer from the smoking gun scenario. However, as far as series of testimonies have been taken place, there is no clear evidence of Moscow’s interference in the election that has put Trump in the White House.
And yet, for those who are chasing for the “Russia Card”, such answer is inarguably beyond satisfaction. How can a question to be answered properly, while the answer itself has somehow been predetermined already?
There is always more than one way to look at a question, as there is also more than one way to answer the question. Truth itself is entirely objective. Simply thinking too much not only could pollute one’s pure mind, but it could also blind the truth from presenting itself. As well as the truth can never be presented fully, there is no such thing as a good answer could really satisfy the question that has been asked. Therefore, the aim of this essay is not to impose any objective view on its readers, but rather to provide an alternative understanding that would give way to more clarity in answering the question.
The eventful politics in Washington has hardly gain any attention to its Cold War counterpart, not to mention anything that would associated itself with the U.S. internal affairs, if there is any. Having spent almost a year in Moscow as a master student majored in international relations, it is almost clear to say that, the truth is entirely different from the other side of the world.
From the very beginning of this series, everyone was already too certain to assume that Hillary Clinton would win the U.S. Presidential Election. Russia has already prepared for any worsen situation, because of Clinton’s tough stance on Russia in the foreign policy agenda during her presidential campaign. And indeed, an unexpected victory of Donald Trump had caught Russia by surprise as much as it has shocked the United States.
Although Russia was well aware of Trump’s pro-Russian stance in his election campaign, it is in the Russian perspective that the relationship between Russia and the United States is destined to be trapped in an endless cycle of resets. President Putin once said that for all the U.S. Presidents that he has encountered, he described that they are all the same. Judging by the several failed reset attempts that previous administrations from both the U.S. and Russia has been trying to bring about, having a pro-Russia candidate as a U.S. President may only temporarily ease the tense relationship by launching another reset attempt, and then the two countries would just return to right where they were, due to the nature and the fundamental differences.
Therefore, in a positive way, it is fair for Russia to prefer a presidential candidate who had an intention to forge a more friendly relationship with Moscow than the opposite.
There is a house, and there are cards in the house. And perhaps, they are just cards, nothing more than that. As this essay has been going a bit of a Constructivist’s approach, it could be concluded with a reference from the Putin’s interview by NBC’s Megyn Kelly. “I haven’t seen even once, any direct proof of Russian interference in the presidential election in the United States.. IP address, they can be invented, you know… Hackers can be anywhere, they can be in Russia… they can even be in the United States, who is very skillfully and professionally swift the blame, as we say, on to Russia.. Put your finger anywhere on the map of the world, and everywhere you will hear complains that American officials are interfering an internal electrical processes.
It doesn’t sounds like a justification, it sounds like a statement of facts. Every action has an equal and opposite reactions. But I repeat, we don’t even have to do that, presidents come and go, even the parties in power change, but the main political direction does not change. That’s why in the grand scheme of things, we don’t care who is the Head of the United States. We know more or less what is going to happen. And so in this regards, even if we wanted to, it wouldn’t make sense for us to interfere.”