Russian Election Meddling Explained: “Office Space” Edition

Despite numerous reports detailing what we know happened, a number of folks still seem to have difficulty understanding how and why the Russians interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Fortunately, Mike Judge’s 1999 cult classic Office Space serves as a convenient and entertaining allegory to illustrate the motives and actions of those involved, as well as the lingering effects America is suffering as a result of their interference…

For a couple decades, Vladimir Putin has been behind the wheel in Russia.

 

His attempts to advance Russia’s standing in the world have been frustrated by sanctions, all while he has seen his nation’s neighbors move ahead with relative ease.

 

Of course, those sanctions were in place for doing things like lusting after…

 

…and invading Crimea.

 

In general, Russia was being punished because of Putin’s boundary issues.

 

Nevertheless, he most resented the country that led the way in imposing those sanctions…

 

…in particular, Hillary Clinton.

 

It’s hard to overstate how much Putin truly hates the former secretary of state.

 

Not only did she apply pressure to him…

 

…but so did her allies.

 

The pressure was relentless.

 

Some might say she even…

 

…tried to emasculate him on the world stage.

 

She totally got in his head.

 

Meanwhile, there was this eccentric American who loved calling people in the media to say all sorts of nonsense.

 

He was largely ignored by his peers.

 

He wasn’t seen as a threat.

 

Back in Moscow, Putin consulted with his folks on the best way to retaliate…

 

…in a nonmilitaristic manner.

 

His folks from the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg said they could help.

 

He eventually became convinced their plan would solve his most vexing problem…

 

…and make his life much, much easier.

 

Their plan put a smile on Putin’s usually grim face.

 

So he greenlighted their scheme to wage information warfare against America…

 

…which entailed subverting the 2016 election by feeding all sorts of propaganda to millions of unsuspecting Americans…

 

…who were unable to distinguish between facts and fake news.

 

But to fund the campaign, he needed the Russian oligarchs…

 

…who also were feeling the effects of the sanctions.

 

He reassured them that they had nothing to worry about.

 

So they put the plan into motion.

 

Yes, it was quite easy. Countless Americans were duped into helping Putin without ever realizing they were eating up stuff created by Russians.

 

At the same time, Putin’s GRU already had spies dispatched in the U.S. …

 

…where they were attempting to blend in…

 

…to advance Putin’s agenda.

 

As for Clinton, she tried to push back against all the propaganda.

 

Nevertheless, it fell on mostly deaf ears, because most Americans were less than thrilled about having her as their leader.

 

Thanks to indifference among most Americans, as well as lax security measures, Putin was able to take our social media platforms…

 

…and weaponize them…

 

…leaving us more vulnerable to future incursions by eroding trust in our democratic institutions.

 

Essentially, Putin strolled into America and tore down many of our highest ideals.

 

Driven by decades of frustration, he and his team worked tirelessly to destroy the things that make our representative republic function. They were initially pleased with the results.

 

The whole time, the eccentric, nonsense-spouting American watched what was happening to the nation with wide-eyed wonder.

 

Incidentally, there’s talk the Russians also engaged in money laundering…

 

…with some prominent Americans involved in politics.

 

Those Americans have disavowed all knowledge and involvement in helping the Russians launder money.

 

Contrary to popular belief, the goal of the Russians was not to cause Clinton to lose the 2016 election. Rather, it was to…

 

…damage her seemingly inevitable presidency…

 

…to the point that she would not be able to stop…

 

…Putin from doing what he wanted.

 

However, when the results came in on Election Night…

 

…the Russians realized their plan had worked too well for their own good.

 

They knew Clinton losing would draw unwanted attention to their involvement.

 

Some have compared it to bank robbers attempting to break into a safe with explosives but ending up blowing the whole thing to smithereens.

 

In the end, the Russians wound up making the beneficiary of their actions…

 

…the eccentric, nonsense-spouting American…

 

…who proceeded to destroy the republic.

 

Reassured by the remnants of what was once idealized as a “shining city on a hill” from which the rest of the world could draw hope, the Russians were pleased that their misinformation campaign — while it did not go exactly as planned — eventually worked, perhaps better than they could have hoped…

 

…making Putin extremely pleased.

About Jeremy White

Jeremy White
Jeremy White is an engineer by education, but a smartass by birth. He managed to overcome the obstacles presented by his technical background, and has brilliantly devised a way to make a living making fun of people.

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