Letter to the Editor

Troubling attitude toward Russia

Monday, August 27, 2018

Recently a picture appeared of two individuals attending a Trump rally wearing t-shirts which said, "I'd rather be a Russian than Democrat." While this may be meant as a joke, I still find it troubling. Russia under Vladimir Putin has done the following:

* Limited the independence of the judiciary;

* Limited the right to have freedom of conscience and religion;

* Limited the right to have freedom of expression;

* Limited the right to have freedom of association and assembly;

* Limited protection from discrimination.

During Putin's administration Russia has engaged in the following foreign adventures:

* A 2008 invasion of the country of Georgia;

* Taking the Crimea away from Ukraine in 2014;

* Sending troops into southeastern Ukraine to support the anti-government side in a civil war and then lying about doing so;

* Providing military aid and support to a dictatorship in Syria which in order to stay in power has engaged in crimes against humanity.

Russia has also engaged in the following activities:

* Hacked into the 2016 United States National Election with a view toward influencing its outcome;

* Is hacking into the 2018 United States National Election with a view toward influencing its outcome.

In spite of Russia's authoritarian behavior, and adverse actions toward the United States, a substantial number of Republicans have no problem with it. A Yahoo poll conducted in late July found that 40 percent of Republicans would be okay with Russian interference in a U.S. election if it helped their side. This should be unacceptable to all patriotic Americans.

JOHN PIEPHO, Cape Girardeau