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Election 2016 Redux? Please No

As the 2020 elections draw closer, there are some eerie similarities to the 2016 elections.

First, we have Democrats, with establishment candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, followed by some time Democrat, Bernie Sanders. We also have the specter of Russian interference once again influencing the electoral process. And finally, we have Donald Trump, with his cries of “Fake News” and “a rigged system” echoing from his base-filled rafters.

Are we going to see another replay of the 2016 election?

In 2016, Hillary Clinton had a commanding lead heading into the election. Biden currently enjoys such a status. Also, like Hillary, Biden is trailed by Bernie Sanders, whose fervent followers will once again stubbornly refuse to back an establishment candidate. They will ignore that this was the same scenario that greatly benefitted Trump, leading to Hillary’s defeat.

But, Bernie-backers don’t deserve all the blame. A sophisticated network of Russian operatives fanned the flames of discord with select releases of e-mails and a social media presence that further divided Democrats. Through targeted social media campaigns, Russians took advantage of the gullibility of certain segments of the population, as well as adding fuel to already volatile situations, such as Black Lives Matter.

Intelligence agencies are warning that this is continuing, yet the Trump administration is doing nothing to stop it. Why should they when in the past it led to Trump’s victory? Why should they not welcome this intervention by a hostile foreign power if it means re-election?

Even now, there are undoubtedly troll factories seeking to dig up dirt on Biden and other Democratic candidates. With no one stopping them, they are free to create whatever conspiracy theories they can dream up, like Pizzagate.

It’s time to wake up, America! Don’t let this be a repeat of 2016.

If Bernie doesn’t win the nomination, which he likely won’t, don’t stubbornly refuse to vote for whomever Democrats choose. Otherwise, I’m not sure we will survive four more years of this. Do you really want to?

CJ Waldron is a retired English teacher from upstate New York. An adjunct instructor at Horry Georgetown Technical College, he lives in Conway, SC with his wife, Donna.

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