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Posts Tagged ‘trolls’

Interesting, disconcerting, upsetting, disappointing, and depressing to see some longtime Democratic veterans engaging negatively in an unsourced (as is the practice) post by a pro-Hillary eastern European troll discrediting Joe Biden. This is but one of the dangers of trolls writ large, broad, and general. Not just anti-Hillary trolls. Pro-Hillary trolls, too.

Trolls target emotions and get visceral responses. It’s their MO. In the long run, this can be damaging to the party and to future primaries no matter how the Unity Reform Commission transforms the primary process. Trolls can, as we saw last year, influence the vote and interfere with the democratic process. The bottom line is that this borders on illegal. The fact that the troll is for Hillary should be irrelevant.

Here are some comments made by Joe Biden this morning.


Joe Biden has insisted that under no circumstances would he have agreed to replace Hillary Clinton last year as the Democratic presidential nominee running against Donald Trump.

The former US vice-president was asked about former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Donna Brazile’s book, Hacks, which says she considered replacing Clinton with Biden because of health concerns, particularly after the nominee suffered a fainting spell at a 9/11 anniversary commemoration in New York.

Biden told NBC’s Today show on Monday: “I give you my word, the first time I or any of my staff heard of anything about that was in the book, number one. And number two, I would never have taken it.”

He added: “I was for Hillary. I did 83 campaign events for Hillary. I think I can say I did more events and worked as hard for Hillary as anyone else. She would have been a first-rate president.”

Has Joe made critical comments about Hillary’s campaign? Sure. He said it lacked joy, a subjective judgment with which campaign staff, volunteers, rally attendees, and voters disagree strongly. (He was never at any of our parties.) He also said there was no discussion of issues.” That simply is not true. The evidence is here on this blog as well as at Hillary’s website ,which is promoted by the best indexsy seo company. The truth is that the media chose to focus on emails and bogus health reports rather than on the issues she spoke about routinely on the trail. We can agree to disagree with him on these remarks.

Here is the portion of a Facebook post that elicited a firestorm of negativity against Vice President Joe Biden today.

Joe Biden publicly adored Hillary all the time when she had great chances (yes, great chances) to be POTUS, and now that she is robbed, he turns against her? It is hypocrisy and backstabbing in my book. Plus, horrible tactics: Hillary fans are the majority.

Minus a single quote from him or a link to a story attributing remarks, Facebook friends came down on Joe Biden like Sharknado based solely on this Facebook character’s allegations.

https://i0.wp.com/media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/wp/wp-content/images/Screen-Shot-2017-06-16-at-9.48.20-AM.png

Aside from the fact that Americans for Hillary object strenuously to being called “fans” since we worked our hearts out, voted for her,  and consider ourselves supporters, the problem here is two-fold.

  1. There are no links to remarks indicating that Biden has “turned against” Hillary. This source routinely eschews posting links. Readers are supposed to trust “her” as the source. The Facebook character who posted this offered no basis for the “report.” (I am not certain “she” is not a coalition, i.e. electronic troll farm, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that her name is also the name of a fictional character.)
  2. That Facebook character is neither a Democrat nor even an American. Technically, a foreign agent has no business influencing any Americans regarding any internal issues be they national or partisan.

As to the first issue, a few commenters asked for links to source material on this subject or argued with the assessment. One who asked for a source was told to “Look around on the news, it is everywhere that he is criticizing Hillary, AGAIN.”  (Let me remind you, this account is operating out of eastern Europe.) A few objected to the effort to sow discord within the party. One chap said the discussion was getting “too tribal” for him. A few, having heard Biden’s remarks, said they did not interpret recent remarks as negative. Another veteran handful tried to argue that Hillary, in fact, has no intention of running again, to the chagrin of the character in charge of that page.

The overwhelming majority, however, went after Biden ruthlessly. (Think kids with tin cans at the end of “Suddenly Last Summer.”)

On the second issue, there is much to be wary of. There is no reason why a foreign fan of Hillary’s cannot say “we Hillary fans” or “we Hillary supporters.” Lots of my friends are foreign nationals who like Hillary but do not refer to themselves as “we Democrats” or imply by omission that they are Americans. They do not say “We (emphasis mine) however have a candidate to vote for in 2020 and IT IS HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON.” This character does that regularly leading friends to believe that they are interacting with an American who lives here and can vote. Untrue on both counts. This is a foreign agent.

Aside from the deception and subterfuge, which is despicable, there is the emotional impact a post like this delivers. The Facebook friends have faith that these comments 1)come from an American and 2)are true.

That troll stirred up a mighty reaction against Vice President Joe Biden today. Think about that. Digest it. It was an attack by a foreign agent on a former vice president of our nation who is now a private citizen not running for any office.  Anything here sound familiar? This actually qualifies as a border skirmish in the cyberwar we fight with outside infiltrators. Chew on that.

When no one but Hillary Clinton is an acceptable candidate, the clear objective of this troll account, there are a few imaginable ways, none of which I choose to entertain, to throw this nation into chaos such as we have yet to see although we thought we had seen it all.

In the end, for me it is interesting, disconcerting, upsetting, disappointing, and depressing that smart, battle-tested veterans of campaigns take this bait. It is divisive and dangerous for Democrats, for the party, for Americans, and for future elections.

It imperils the nation when politically aware people cannot see that they are being played by a troll even when five full days after Election Day that character finally but vaguely refers to “the Blue Wave of the last few days,” and no one catches on.

We know exactly when we saw that Blue Wave. We can pinpoint it. It was last Tuesday night and most of us were up late on social media posting and celebrating.

It did not take us until Sunday to know about it or to mention it. We whooped and hollered and drank all kinds of Chardonnay and other spirits. It did not take days. We knew right away that night. We exploded the social nets with it.

So what kind of comment is that? It is a troll comment from someone who had no idea that we were even having elections here.

Disinformation on this account has been called out in the past. The reaction is never to correct the original statement but rather to blow off the truth and then act hurt. Saying you “try to be as accurate as possible” doesn’t cut it when you refuse to be accurate about who and where you are.

You don’t like backstabbers? I don’t like liars … especially when they stab other Democrats in the back with lies.

 

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Yes, I borrowed part of that header from a chapter in Hillary Clinton’s book. Interesting not simply for their historical perspective, a couple of articles that popped up today present cautionary tales.

The first, a report from Time on how Russian hackers attacked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, provides not only a blueprint of how that happened but also implies safeguards to be implemented in the future.

While we, of course, expect that Democratic Party officials and future campaigns will improve security going forward based on this knowledge, there are precautions each of us can and should take as individuals. Cyberspace is where a lot of campaigning and organizing takes place, and in the 2016 cycle most of us here were using the internet in communication with the campaign. Any weak link in the network potentially endangers the community and whole operation. We all have an obligation to keep ourselves and each other secure.

So although this is a long read (save it for weekend brunch perhaps), it is a must read. We all go forward better armed if we are informed.


(WASHINGTON) — It was just before noon in Moscow on March 10, 2016, when the first volley of malicious messages hit the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The first 29 phishing emails were almost all misfires. Addressed to people who worked for Clinton during her first presidential run, the messages bounced back untouched.

Except one.

Within nine days, some of the campaign’s most consequential secrets would be in the hackers’ hands, part of a massive operation aimed at vacuuming up millions of messages from thousands of inboxes across the world.

An Associated Press investigation into the digital break-ins that disrupted the U.S. presidential contest has sketched out an anatomy of the hack that led to months of damaging disclosures about the Democratic Party’s nominee. It wasn’t just a few aides that the hackers went after; it was an all-out blitz across the Democratic Party. They tried to compromise Clinton’s inner circle and more than 130 party employees, supporters and contractors.

While U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the email thefts, the AP drew on forensic data to report Thursday that the hackers known as Fancy Bear were closely aligned with the interests of the Russian government.

Read more >>>>

The second article, from The Daily Beast, is shorter but equally important. A character sketch of a Russian troll who fooled many, some of them very smart, prominent people, it provides some insight into an how an individual online troll profile appears, communicates, and corrals the unsuspecting into its sphere of influence.

Readers here know that I have been on a campaign to warn folks about an eastern European troll I uncovered and the troll characteristics I discovered in tracking down this entity.

Your Facebook Friend Might Be a Troll If …

September 16, 2017

Location, Location, Location

September 21, 2017

Hillary Clinton is Not Your ‘Mama’ – Stop Calling Her That!

October 22, 2017

I was gratified to find that the Daily Beast article portrayed a character more similar to ‘my troll’ than not.


Jenna Abrams had a lot of enemies on Twitter, but she was a very good friend to viral content writers across the world.

Her opinions about everything from manspreading on the subway to Rachel Dolezal to ballistic missiles still linger on news sites all over the web.

One website devoted an entire article to Abrams’ tweet about Kim Kardashian’s clothes. The story was titled “This Tweeter’s PERFECT Response to Kim K’s Naked Selfie Will Crack You Up.”

“Thank goodness, then, that there are people like Twitter user Jenna Abrams to come to the celebrity’s wardrobe-lacking aide,” reads a Brit & Co. article from March of 2016.

Those same users who followed @Jenn_Abrams for her perfect Kim Kardashian jokes would be blasted with her shoddily punctuated ideas on slavery and segregation just one month later.

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Unlike hackers who seek to breach secure gateways and capture guarded information, trolls seek to gather an audience and influence it or elicit a reaction, usually emotional. While you in fact know little to nothing about them – their location for instance, their actual nationality, who they really are  – they learn a lot about you! Your location, your opinions, even your habits.

So much about Jenna Abrams was similar to ‘my troll’ that they could be sisters.

  1. The impersonation of an American;
  2. The range in types of posts/comments (seemingly frivolous to some embedded with a clear political message);
  3. The linguistic variations among posts (indicating more than one person doing the writing);
  4. The familiarity in imparting ‘information’ (or disinformation – both Jenna and my troll like “Did you know…?”);
  5. The trademark of the troll: targeting an emotional response.

These are just a few similarities I noticed.

If you campaigned the way I did, then you probably at least doubled your Facebook friends and those you follow on Twitter in the course of the 19 months of the 2016  election cycle. It was impossible to spend a lot of time checking deeply into friend requests, and we wanted all the friends and followers we could muster to get people involved. It would be foolhardy to try a deep check on every new friend.

When you read the Daily Beast article and also my post about Facebook friends, you get an idea of how a foreign troll impersonating an American can trip an alarm and why it is important to identify them.

 

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There’s a small enclave of roughly 1500 on Facebook that routinely refers to Hillary Clinton as “mama,” “mom,” “mother,” and other maternal terms. There is a central entity (also referred to here as ‘the source’ and ‘the account owner/s)¹ that posts using these terms. The friends and followers of that account enable (I use this term in the co-dependence sense), encourage, and repeat this terminology.

My initial reaction to the use of these terms was that it is decidedly not American. I have seen Africans (specifically sub-Saharan Africans) and some West Indians refer to female leaders in that way, but never Americans. Even the littlest Hillary supporters among us, boys who showed up in Hillary gear and girls who sported pantsuits at Hillary’s campaign events last year, called her Hillary. She related to them as citizens, and even though they were too young to vote, they all seemed to understand who she was, who they were, and that the campaign was a battle we all were in together – an exercise in democracy. So this mama meme² rang odd. Non-native. Not simply the words – the idea.

At first I questioned this usage directly on the Facebook timeline. I was met with anger, defensiveness, and misinterpretation of my words. No, I had not said African-Americans. I had said Africans. Some said they thought it was cute. To me it was anything but endearing. There was something antithetical about it that I could not quite put my finger on. It was alien somehow. I started investigating.

It turned out that some undetermined percentage of the followers of that account are not American. A similarly undetermined percentage are. The account itself is run by an eastern European source. The username on the account is also the title of a short story published independently on a blog and is the name of the main character in that story. The source is not American. (I have chatted privately with one or more – it’s unclear –  representatives of that entity.) The source stubbornly impersonates an American on Facebook notwithstanding my having discovered the true location which the source has confirmed as have I, independently. Consequently, I have been blocked, likely an effort to prevent my leaking the location. No location is cited on the Facebook profile which is minimalist in the extreme.

The source regularly begs HRC to run in 2020 when HRC insists she will do nothing of the kind. That little wrinkle will eventually iron itself out, although it is annoying that a foreign entity so easily influences the Americans who follow it and echo its calls in contradiction to Hillary’s own words.

More central to my issues with this account and this little enclave is that niggling mama meme. Something is not right about that, but what?

The Tracy Flick in me kicked in. Eureka! I know! It is the irrefutable Conservative metaphor at the basis. So I defer and bow in respect to George Lakoff³.

Conservatives r eally want to change the basis of American life, to make America run according to the conservative moral worldview in all areas of life.

In the 2008 campaign, candidate Obama accurately described the basis of American democracy: Empathy — citizens caring for each other, both social and personal responsibility—acting on that care, and an ethic of excellence. From these, our freedoms and our way of life follow, as does the role of government: to protect and empower everyone equally. Protection includes safety, health, the environment, pensions and empowerment starts with education and infrastructure. No one can be free without these, and without a commitment to care and act on that care by one’s fellow citizens.

The conservative worldview rejects all of that.

Conservatives believe in individual responsibility alone, not social responsibility. They don’t think government should help its citizens. That is, they don’t think citizens should help each other. The part of government they want to cut is not the military (we have over 800** military bases around the world), not government subsidies to corporations, not the aspect of government that fits their worldview. They want to cut the part that helps people. Why? Because that violates individual responsibility.

But where does that view of individual responsibility alone come from?

The way to understand the conservative moral system is to consider a strict father family. The father is The Decider, the ultimate moral authority in the family. His authority must not be challenged. His job is to protect the family, to support the family (by winning competitions in the marketplace), and to teach his kids right from wrong by disciplining them physically when they do wrong. The use of force is necessary and required. Only then will children develop the internal discipline to become moral beings. And only with such discipline will they be able to prosper. And what of people who are not prosperous? They don’t have discipline, and without discipline they cannot be moral, so they deserve their poverty. The good people are hence the prosperous people. Helping others takes away their discipline, and hence makes them both unable to prosper on their own and function morally. -George Lakoff

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The mama meme is in direct conflict with progressive values. No matter what sort of “mother of us all” HRC is portrayed to be, the metaphor of HRC as mother is antithetical to the ideals held by progressives, liberals, Democrats. It is an alien concept. That is what bothered me about it.

When I look at those “mama” posts, I see pleas for HRC to come and fix it all. For her somehow to transcend the possibly/probably illegitimate administration and roll back the damage. This message is counter to Hillary’s which is in perfect alignment with big ‘D’ Democratic principles as outlined by Lakoff: We all roll up our sleeves and, in whatever ways we can, move Onward Together.

I believe more fiercely than ever that citizen engagement at every level is central to a strong and vibrant democracy.

To support this wave of grassroots organizing, we’re launching Onward Together, an organization dedicated to advancing the progressive vision that earned nearly 66 million votes in the last election. Onward Together will work to build a brighter future for generations to come by supporting groups that encourage people to organize and run for office. – HRC

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The mama meme is a contradiction of this grassroots doctrine.

There is much about that odd Facebook enclave that should cause Americans, particularly Democrats, pause. The language irregularities – typical of non-native speakers. The lack of local context. A friend/follower recommended contacting the source’s congressional representative but stopped short of asking who that might be – apparently not suspecting that there is none despite no location identified on Facebook for that source. Recently, the source mistook a broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for ABC News  – the American Broadcasting Company. Americans asked which news show on ABC would carry the interview. No one called out this source for the confusion that ensued when the show did not air in the U.S. because it is an Australian show. There’s the lack of familiarity with American culture as it intersects with the language. Could I possibly be the only American who noted the unfortunate use of “mama” by an adult when “yo’ mama” is an insult most Americans would recognize?

Originally, I could not make sense of this Facebook phenomenon – essentially an eastern European Hillary troll. What would be the purpose? What could be the harm? Why collect Hillary supporters as friends? What is the agenda? But now, in the context of Lakoff’s metaphor, I perceive an effort to wrench that demographic away, philosophically, from its grassroots, small ‘d’ democratic foundation in favor of an authoritarian ideal. Not the ‘strict father’ but the ‘benevolent mother’ who heals all hurts.

In this scenario, the ‘benevolent mother’ is one and only one person. No alternatives are tolerated, and it is imperative that HRC fulfill this destiny as seen by the perpetrators of this meme. No solutions beyond restoring HRC to the rank denied her is acceptable. No candidate other than HRC is worthy. No one else can fix everything.

Where have we heard that theme before? Oh, right! From “strict dad,” Donald Trump! It is one-and-the-same dogma, a most deleterious incursion into grassroots democratic thinking and values. One that Hillary Clinton would renounce and condemn if she knew about it.

It would not be surprising for a foreign source to misunderstand our party’s ethic. But perhaps they understand it all too well and are out to undermine it. What better way than to heap praise and adoring compliments on Hillary and occasionally interject requests that she swoop in like Wonder Woman and right all wrongs? She may be getting that “Wonder Woman Award” but she knows better than anyone – in fact she is the one who keeps reminding us of this – it takes a village.

What is disconcerting is that some percentage of legitimate American Democratic Hillary voters buy into this questionable content. They have come for your hearts and minds, and you have surrendered.

 

For more on George Lakoff’s analysis of Conservative thinking, go here.>>>>


¹ If you have been following my posts about this Facebook entity, you should note that in the past I referred to it as “she” based upon the scanty Facebook profile provided. I have come to doubt that the username” accurately reflects the source since the name also appears as a character and title in a fictional piece. I am not sure this is one person. There may be several people operating this account and one who was my contact in private chats. Therefore I have generalized the identity as “the source.”

² Meme: A meme is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Meme – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme

³ For more from George Lakoff, go here >>>>

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The Christopher Steele memos are not going away.


Nine months after its first appearance, the set of intelligence reports known as the Steele dossier, one of the most explosive documents in modern political history, is still hanging over Washington, casting a shadow over the Trump administration that has only grown darker as time has gone by.

It was reported this week that the document’s author, former British intelligence official, Christopher Steele, has been interviewed by investigators working for the special counsel on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The Senate and House intelligence committees are, meanwhile, asking to see Steele to make up their own mind about his findings. The ranking Democrat on the House committee, Adam Schiff, said that the dossier was “a very important and useful guide to help us figure out what we need to look into”.

The fact that Steele’s reports are being taken seriously after lengthy scrutiny by federal and congressional investigators has far-reaching implications.

SNIP

The Steele dossier said one of the aims of the Russian influence campaign was to peel off voters who had supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries and nudge them towards Trump.

Evidence has since emerged that Russians and eastern Europeans posing as Americans targeted Sanders supporters with divisive and anti-Clinton messages in the summer of 2016, after the primaries were over.

Read more >>>>

Regarding that last sentence, what are we to make of this? It was posted yesterday by an eastern European who poses as an American, refuses to disclose nationality and location to “friends” on Facebook, and boasted privately to me about “reach.” Who uses that word? And why? Especially when you are talking American politics to Americans!

Political survey: Q1: Who is our champion for 2020? Q2: WHY HILLARY?… I do not want to influence you, but …

Of course American friends ate this up despite HRC having stated quite publicly several times that she has run her last campaign and is moving forward on a new footing. As to that “I do not want to influence you…” portion, I refer you to George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant.

Absolutely! Yes you do! This is bald-faced influence peddling.

Why would a foreigner purportedly worshipful of Hillary contradict Hillary’s own words regularly with the ubiquitous #Hillary2020 hashtag?

Though this be madness yet there is method in it‘.

Yes indeedy!

To paraphrase Mammy in “Gone With the Wind,” trolls of this ilk are sitting there waiting to pounce just like a tiger when the time is right.

At Stanford, Hillary said,

“Make no mistake this isn’t just about what happened in 2016, it’s about what is happening right now”

Yep! And the trolls come in all manner of guises – but they are disguises. Be wary!

She has warned us in the past. Too many ignored and disregarded her, and look where we are.

Image result for hillary clinton stanford

 

 

 

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For the record, here are some of the Facebook and Twitter posts that Russian accounts disguised as Americans used to attack Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Please regard it as a public service announcement.

This is not over. They still are doing it. November is around the corner. Stay vigilant.

thinkprogress.org

These are the Facebook posts Russia used to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign – ThinkProgress

Casey Michel Twitter

An anti-Clinton bias coursed through Facebook pages secretly run by Russian actors (CREDIT: AP/ANDREW HA


By meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Moscow appears to have initially aimed to plant Donald Trump in the White House. But as signs toward the end of the campaign pointed to Trump’s defeat, actors in Russia were primarily trying to hamstring Hillary Clinton’s perceived ascension to the presidency. That theme ThinkProgress detailed earlier this week by analyzing Russia’s creation of hundreds of fake Facebook accounts, pumped via ads and promotion into Americans’ feeds.

For part 1 of this series, click here.

We’ve also learned that certain pages called for followers to vote for Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders, as opposed to Clinton — although those posts, especially as pertaining to Sanders, haven’t yet been revealed publicly.

SNIP

… while nominally pro-Clinton material existed on certain of these fake accounts, it was explicitly targeted at those opposed to the groups said to support Clinton.

And it’s within that paradox that we can parse the primary contour of Russia’s Facebook operations. Because where pro-Trump and anti-Clinton material have dominated the accounts that have thus far come to light, a key theme emerges throughout: The Russian operations also targeted the cultural schisms and tensions coursing through the U.S., muddying messages and exacerbating tensions to the point of nearly breaking.

Read more >>>>

 

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This from Daily Beast is interesting.


It was just last week when congressional investigators said they favored more transparency to the general public about exactly which Facebook posts a Kremlin-backed troll farm used to target Americans with anti-immigrant rhetoric—and even rallies on U.S. soil.

The lawmakers who lead the Capitol Hill committees charged with investigating Russia’s election meddling spoke out after Facebook declined to commit to sharing with Congress information about Russian government-backed posts, groups, and paid advertisements—including ones first reported by The Daily Beast.

On Thursday, Facebook announced that it plans to turn over more than 3,000 Russian-linked ads that appeared on the site to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, and Congress is keeping information about the process close to the vest—at least for now.

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Is location a privacy issue? Should it be? We know now that location on social platforms is an issue. Individual users can hide their locations on Facebook.

We can argue two sides to the privacy question as a function of public safety:

I, personally, am safer hiding my location. V. The population is safer when we can identify a user’s location.

We can also argue that what goes for terrorists should not necessarily apply to trolls and bots. Is one more of a threat to public safety than the other?

At the far end of that argument is interference is elections, not only in the United States, and not only presidential elections. Potentially any election anywhere. Is the danger of that less than the dangers posed by terrorists?

Terrorist groups like ISIS operate recruiting efforts via a network of users dispersed over a variety of locations.

Although current evidence indicates that Russian trolls on Facebook operate out of brick-and-mortar “troll farms” like the one we saw on Homeland last season, we also know that the Macedonian trolls operated via a virtual troll farm in our last election. So we know that trolling need not operate from a hard-wired consolidated location in order to succeed.

https://nyoobserver.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/homeland-10.png?w=500

So is location a privacy issue? Should Fake Americans have a right to hide their locations from Facebook followers on the basis of the argument that doing so ensures their safety? Should trolls have different rules from those that govern terrorists? Just asking.

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It’s always good to have a print record of Hillary’s words. Let’s not twist and spin her words out of context. Save that muscle power for the laundry.


Hillary Clinton outside the Fresh Air studio in Philadelphia on Sept. 14. Courtesy of Jessica Kourkounis

Hillary Clinton says she would not rule out questioning the legitimacy of the 2016 election if new information surfaces that the Russians interfered even more deeply than currently known. In an interview with Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross about her new memoir, What Happened, Clinton acknowledges that such a challenge would be unprecedented and that “I just don’t think we have a mechanism” for it.

Read more >>>>

 


I want to add this, on the subject of Fake Americans for Hillary (AKA Hillary Supporter Trolls) that I have been pursuing here

On the night of July 4, 2017, HBO aired a documentary entitled The Words That Built America. Both Hillary and Bill Clinton appeared in it. It was a bipartisan effort. Many Democrats and Republicans participated. It focused on the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution.

The previous July, at the Democratic National Convention, Khizr Khan had offered his pocket Constitution to Donald Trump. Pocket Constitutions went like hotcakes after that. All of which is to say that Americans, particularly Hillary supporters, had both the means and the reasons to review the U.S. Constitution over the course of that year.

Since the election last November, and increasingly after the inauguration as the ill-begotten Trump presidency rolled on, many voices called for the nullification of what evermore apparently was a flawed election. Early on, I joined that chorus – one time. A lawyer friend quickly pointed out that there was no Constitutional mechanism. I went back to the Constitution. Indeed, there is none.

Thereafter, for awhile, whenever I saw these cries to invalidate the election, I reminded my friends of this glaring absence. Some simply responded with, “True.” Others suggested that we can change the Constitution, which is also true, but we cannot make such a change retroactive.

When one Facebook “friend” mounted this proposal, and I posted my stock response, “We don’t have a Constitutional mechanism to do this,” I was, as usual, met with hostile argumentation. It ran a course like this. (Not verbatim. I no longer have access to that. This was the gist.)

Troll: We can change the Constitution.

Me: Yes, but we can’t make that change retroactive.

Troll: Yes, we can write it in.

Me: It would never be ratified in that form. The electoral states she lost will never ratify an amendment like that.

Troll: She can sue.

Me: Hillary had a whole contingent of lawyers, both paid and volunteer. If a lawsuit had a basis, don’t you think they would have done this already?

Troll: You just don’t want Hillary to be president! Why do you say you support her? You are a Bernie or Trump supporter.

Me. I give up.

This troll is one of the ones I later tracked to an Eastern European location and is not a U.S. citizen. As such, is not in a position to “change the Constitution.” Unless there is a plan for these folks to somehow influence our government, why use “we?”

As I have mentioned, I have not figured out what their agenda is other than to ramp up emotions among Hillary supporters. When a cool head intervenes, that individual is accused of disloyalty to Hillary. I do think that the mission is driven by emotion- particularly anger. They want Hillary voters riled up.

So! I am glad to see a very cool head, the candidate herself, who also is a lawyer, making my point. I am not gloating.  I just dislike seeing my fellow Americans baited and barking up the wrong tree.

(FTR: I am not going to stop talking about these trolls. We used to call it “consciousness raising” in the old days.)

Related posts – please read:

“Keep Going!” – Harriet Tubman

Your Facebook Friend Might Be a Troll If …


Edited 09/19/17 to add this.

Exclusive: Hillary Clinton says, “No one, including me, is saying we will contest the election”

A friend posted this, and the first comment was “Make the precedent!” I wish people would spend as much time and energy contacting their Reps –  (202) 224-3121 –  as they do telling Hillary Clinton what to do.

Once again – there is no mechanism! Now get on the phone and get to work defeating the Graham-Cassidy Bill.

 

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