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Election Interference by Hitler and Putin
September 24, 2018
by William P. Meyers

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Putin did not like Hillary Clinton; Hitler hated Roosevelt

Most people are now familiar with the idea that Russia interfered in the U.S. elections of 2016. Vladimir Putin preferred Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton. Whether Donald Trump or his minions explicitly helped Putin is yet to be determined. Putin disliked Hillary Clinton long before 2016, seeing her as a smart opponent of Russia's aims to reclaim its superpower status.

It should not be surprising that this was not the first time that a foreign power tried to fix the outcome of a U.S. election. Nor should Americans forget that our government has repeatedly interfered in other nations' elections, up to and including having candidates assassinated.

I came across a historic example in a book I am reading, William Manchester’s The Glory and the Dream, a Narrative History of America 1932-1972.

On page 272 Manchester informs us that "after the war it was discovered that the German government had, in fact, spent a lot of money on the 1940 election." It was not so much that Hitler had much in common with Republican candidate Wendell L. Willkie. But isolationism had been a strong current since World War I, and many Americans in both the Republican and Democratic Parties did not want to get involved in a European war. Franklin Delano Roosevelt did. He wanted a much larger American military, and he thought China should be a dependency of the United States, not of Japan. World War II had started with the German invasion of Poland in 1939. In 1940 Germany invaded a number of countries, notably defeating France, leaving the British Empire isolated. President Roosevelt believed that if Hitler defeated the British, sooner or later he would try to conquer the rest of the United States, and he was almost certainly right.

It is not as clear what Putin would gain by a defeat of Hillary Clinton. Putin may not be my ideal leader of a nation, but he is no Hitler. He is not fighting a world war. I think he feels America interferes to much in Russia's sphere of influence. Hillary was anti-Putin, so the feelings were mutual.

I believe to assert a right to freedom from outside interference in U.S. elections, America should pledge to stop interfering in other country’s elections. Better still, there should be stiff penalties, including jail time, for American officials who interfere in foreign elections.

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