Is the GOP Handing our Democracy to Putin and Russia?

Angela Johnson
5 min readDec 6, 2019

Trump has publicly announced — on the world stage — that he believes Vladimir Putin over the United States Intelligence organizations.

President Trump withdrew the troops aiding our allies in Syria, allowing Russia easier access to Syrian land Putin desired.

Trump criminally withheld nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, money Ukraine needs to defend itself from active attack by Russia. Thus, OUR President assisted war efforts by Russia on a US ally and a fledgling democracy.

Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election — through widespread media blitzes of misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric — has been undeniably proven.

Yet, even while some Republicans lawmakers and conservative media sources continue to insist that Democrats cannot get over the results of the 2016 election,” it is in fact the GOP who continues to look for alternative — and continually debunked — theories as to who else could have possibly affected said election. Despite the fact that they won the presidency.

And why? Because it doesn’t look great when your candidate wins due to widespread influence by a corrupt foreign power. An “enemy” whom Trump assists far more than American allies (with whom he has repeatedly picked fights), while praising Putin more than other world leaders of noncorrupt countries.

And now. Instead of looking at the very real facts (not “alternative facts” which most of use refer to as “lies”) Republican lawmakers involved in the impeachment inquiry are abandoning morality, ethics, and even common decency, insulting witnesses and colleagues, sometimes reigniting discredited conspiracy theories, and turning blind ears to the safety and integrity of our constitution and our democracy.

Will our democracy become a museum piece? Please, GOP, no. Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

Note that I have been saying “Republican lawmakers,” rather than Republicans more broadly. Every day I hear Republican voters expressing their abhorrence of this president’s moral failings — from his treatment of women, to his nonstop verbal bullying, to his downright dismissal of the law. Many of these support impeaching him for his attempts to subvert our democracy, even many — or perhaps especially those –who gave him their trust by voting for him.

Republican lawmakers would do well to remember these constituents. There are “Ever Trumpers” of course, but there are more Republicans who are gravely disappointed in how he has turned the institution of the Executive Branch into his personal playground and turned their party into one led by dozens of snarky lemmings kowtowing to a buffoon.

These men and women are enabling a president who continues to assist Russia in ways we can witness plainly. One wonders what else he might be doing behind the scenes.

During the 2016 election, Rick Perry said that Donald Trump was “arrogant, self-absorbed,” and “a cancer on conservatism [that] must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded.”

Lyndsey Graham, meanwhile, asserted that Trump was “unfit for office,” “crazy,” and a “kook,” and acknowledges that his newfound support for him is to maintain relevancy to the most adamant — and one might say radical — 20% of voters.

Many of Graham’s colleagues have been shocked by his adoption of Trump’s bullish and hysterical rhetoric, coinciding with Graham’s abandoning much of his willingness to work cross-party.

Republican lawmakers would be wise to remember the moral alarms that went off in their consciences when Trump was a presidential candidate. Many, many of them felt that he was amoral (or immoral at best), narcissistic, and self-serving.

Along with Graham and Perry, many others worried about that Trump’s election to the presidency would be detrimental to America’s best interests, with Perry even predicting a Trump Presidency would destroy the GOP.

Those concerns have been justified, and yet nearly all current Republican lawmakers, including those who recently acknowledged this man’s lack of integrity and loyalty to our democracy, betrayed their own instincts and now refute the evidence that our democracy and our constitution are at risk.

I am saddened, deeply disappointed, and profoundly worried about the future of America as I see Republican lawmakers continue to ignore the truth, name-call and criticize, and, worst of all, consistently gaslight voters about what we are indeed seeing that they persist does not exist.

I am disgusted at this sham. We can see and hear what is happening, and it cannot be denied, especially when the President asks on national TV that China also investigate the Bidens. How can they continue to say he is doing nothing wrong?

Because it is as Graham alluded: they are pandering to the basest of human instincts — to protect one’s own interests first and foremost, neglecting the rest of humanity. Will the Republican Party become one of hate, bigotry, and false idolatry to a “leader” who sees himself as all-powerful?

As Americans, I think we’re better than this. I know we are.

At this point, supporting this man who undermines so many tenets of our democracy is like handing the safety and security of the United States to Vladimir Putin, whose goal for many, many years has been to undermine the “united” part of the US. And it’s working.

Take Russia’s major support of the National Rifle Association: The NRA spent $30 million to help get Trump elected, along with tens of millions more for other pro-gun politicians and policies, and Russian money and Russian operatives were involved in these efforts.

High-magazine assault rifles kill Americans. Photo by Will Porada on Unsplash

Not only is this a way to support Trump and Republican lawmakers, but a way to ensure that Americans continue to have easy access to war weapons to use against fellow Americans.

Please understand this clearly: Russia is financially funding the slaughter of Americans by other Americans.

Be warned: Russia is engaging in violent imperialism in Ukraine and Syria, and Donald Trump’s actions have been beneficial to these efforts. Donald Trump, if not colluding with, did not discourage the assistance of Russian meddling, and it seems like he is repaying Putin through his foreign policy.

And yet, here we go again. Even though this case has cut-and-dried clarity, Donald Trump may be absolved of blatant wrongdoing involving foreign influence in our electoral process by Republican Congressmembers who have cemented themselves into the GOP tribe rather than stand up for what is right. As they do so, most of them are dropping the consciences at the curb and muting the strong instincts they heard a few years ago.

They accuse Democrats of dividing the country, one of the more profoundly disturbing gaslighting attempts: I would wholeheartedly expect Democrats to investigate these same actions by a Democratic president. And yet, as more and more Republican lawmakers sink to sneering, name-calling, gaslighting, and avoidance, they move the GOP further and further away from compromise and unity.

Republican lawmakers: please stop playing directly into Putin’s plans to divide our country. Do what is right and restore independence of our democracy from foreign interests.

God save our Republic.



Angela Johnson

Writer for hire, for fun, and from the necessity of untangling my thoughts. The adage I cling to lately is "the first 40 years of childhood are the hardest."