Politics can be a very dirty business. Sometimes, this is just as true in the United States as it is anywhere else in the world. We certainly saw a lot of mudslinging between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. But, as the shadow of the Mueller investigation continues to loom over the Trump administration, we’re starting to see just how deep the scandal goes.
Anyone who has been around long enough to see a few elections knows how dirty politics can get Farhad Azima himself has been dragged into the fray. However, in the world of fake news and downright dirty tricks, it’s becoming everyone’s responsibility to be their own advocate.
The American political system is among the best in the world. However, this is not to say that it’s perfect. There have been several examples of dirty tricks that modern politicians have used to help make waves in U.S. policy.
For example, U.S. politician John McCain has an adopted daughter Bridget. In 2000, false rumors were spread around the internet claiming that Bridget McCain was actually the illegitimate offspring of an illicit affair.
There are innumerable examples of these sorts of lies being used to influence politics. More recently, in 2010, a political operative was found to have recruited homeless people to run for public office in Arizona. The operative put these fake candidates on the ticket for the Green Party with the intention of splitting the liberal vote.
Third-party presidential candidate Ross Perot even quit his 1992 run for office, claiming that he was concerned that his opposition would published altered photographs of his daughter in order to humiliate her and harm his candidacy.
Name calling and personal brawls characterized the interactions between the candidates. Many credited this type of divisive politicking as having a negative impact on our national policy discourse over all.
As Farhad Azima has learned from his own experience, this type of slandering and the spread of false information can lead to serious harm. After all, our political systems are built on trust. If we can’t trust our leaders, we sow the seeds of political discontent.
That’s why the Mueller investigation is taking allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election so seriously.
The 2016 U.S. presidential election was one of the dirtiest political battles in U.S. history. There is now undeniable evidence that the Russians interfered with this U.S. presidential elections.
As reported by the Council for Foreign Relations, the issue has raised a lot of concerns about the security of the U.S. electoral process. Many of these concerns are well-founded. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation circulating online that has been placed there intentionally to manipulate public opinion.
Specifically, they know that the operation was ordered by President Vladimir Putin, and that it had two main goals.
First, it was designed to damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. But even worse, the misinformation and lies circulated by the Russians were meant to undermine the U.S. democratic process entirely.
Russian interference with U.S. politics was not just one isolated occurrence. Rather, it’s been a systematic attack on the U.S. electorate. In fact, Russians have attempted to access election-related computer systems in nearly half of the U.S. states.
But how is it that the Russians were able to achieve so much in their cyber attacks? We now know that the Russians used state-funded television, radio, and web media to portray Hillary Clinton in the most negative possible light.
This constant negative coverage stirred up questions of Clinton’s physical and mental health as well as ties to corrupt political activities.
These media reports were reproduced in several languages and spread around the internet, particularly focusing on high-traffic social media channels. These stories were perpetuated by hundreds of so-called “trolls” hired to post and share false news stories.
Altogether, this activity seriously undermined the integrity of the U.S. presidential election and has raised questions about the security of our democratic systems.
Once it came to light that the Russians were improperly influencing U.S. elections, something had to be done. But since President Trump’s campaign was inherently connected to the scandal, an independent investigator had to be hired. This is where Robert Mueller comes in.
He was named as special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 election. Mueller is a highly-respected leader in U.S. law enforcement, having been a longtime criminal prosecutor for the U.S. Justice Department and one of the most celebrated directors of the FBI in the agency’s history.
“He is not one of the best, Robert Mueller, he is the best I ever saw,” Mudd continued. “Leadership, judgment, decision-making, there is nobody better at doggedly pursuing a target without being subjected to any pressures from Congress, the President, the media, anybody in the FBI, the attorney general, the deputy attorney general. There is nobody better.”
All in all, people have a lot of faith in the Mueller investigation. And given that the investigation is seeing results, their faith may be well placed.
Just a few days ago, Mueller’s investigation indicted 12 Russian officials for federal crimes they allegedly committed during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. While the indictments have not identified any U.S. persons associated with the scandal, things are certainly heating up.
Some people may be wondering why the world is taking the Russian election interference scandal so seriously. Nobody was physically harmed, but fake news and the circulation of misinformation is harmful to us as individuals and our society.
It has real consequences on world events and on innocent people. Sometimes, powerful people connive ways to spread misinformation just to make headway in personal dealings. They spread lies and half-truths, ultimately seeking to slander good people.
In fact, fake news can foster feelings of inefficacy, alienation, and cynicism. Wikipedia, private information stolen by hackers, and trolls operating on social media, can be among the most damaging sources of misinformation. Farhad Azima has experienced this personally.
People have hacked his private communications and woven them into misinformation in a manner intentionally designed to manipulate public opinion. Ultimately, this issue will be resolved by the courts. However, until then. Farhad Azima will continue to operate his business and personal affairs with the honesty and integrity that has defined his character throughout his life.