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What could the Russians do that is not done by our own political candidates and parties? The whole point of our political advertising is to spread misinformation and instill fear, uncertainty and doubt in the voter. The opposition is branded incompetent at best and evil and corrupt at worst. Supported candidates and party are presented as working hard, against all odds, to maintain stability in the universe.

When testifying in court, witnesses swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You cannot lie, you cannot leave out bits of the truth and you cannot mix truth and lies.

Political advertising always fails the second, often the third and is not squeamish about stepping over the line on the first. Reports state the Russians spent tens of thousands of dollars and distributed thousands of ads. What a bunch of amateurs. Last fall, "60 Minutes" aired an interview with Brad Parscale, digital media boss for the Donald Trump campaign. In the interview he stated that Facebook was the reason for Trump winning the election. He stated that with the active guidance and assistance of embedded Facebook staff, his company carpet bombed Facebook with hundreds of thousands of ads, tens of thousands daily, costing tens of millions of dollars.

On other fronts, news reports reveal that gerrymandering is alive and well. For those too young to remember, research the 1972 Watergate break-in. In the Burns Vietnam documentary, the listener hears the voices of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara and others discussing the prosecution of the Vietnam War in terms of the political impact on upcoming elections. Thousands of Americans died because these guys were worried about losing elections.

Mr. Putin and company are wasting their time. America has plenty of homegrown experience and expertise with election meddling.

Vern Mastel, Mandan

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