Foreign interference in domestic elections.

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Foreign interference in domestic elections.

Postby hyksos on December 13th, 2019, 4:04 am 

Q:

Should a sitting president be able to solicit, invite, and then accept interference in a domestic election?


Imagine an abstract president of the United States of America. No particular one, but all and any of them. Should we allow this person to use the powers of their office to invite foreign interference in elections? Recent events in the news might motivate you to respond with a kneejerk reaction below. Instead consider the question as an elaborate ethical puzzle. Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in the chamber of the U.S. Congress in 2015. Noam Chomsky has remarked that this speech inside the Congress was full-blown foreign interference in the American election system. To gain clarity on this ethical problem, we may need to define our terms.

Your thoughts?
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Re: Foreign interference in domestic elections.

Postby TheVat on December 13th, 2019, 10:49 am 

"The desire [of] foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our counsels" said Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist paper #68, is a source of corruption and "one of the most deadly adversaries of republican government."

A founder's opinion is humbly offered.
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Re: Foreign interference in domestic elections.

Postby Serpent on December 13th, 2019, 10:55 am 

'Interference' is not legally or ethically definable.
There are so many kinds of intervention, manipulation, subterfuge, coercion, sabotage, influence, espionage, pressure, bribery and collusion that to put them all under the same blanket would render them all meaningless.
Suppose we treat them as specific action in particular circumstances.

Should any head of state be invited to address another nation's legislative assembly? Should he be be given a public platform in another country's political arena?
Maybe not, but if he's invited, and simply says what he thinks - what everybody already knows he stands for - he's not to blame if his words have an affect.

Should any government agency hack another country's security system?
Of course not, but everybody has spies and we all know this and tolerate it - indeed, celebrate it in literature and cinema. Of course it's wrong - but we don't seem to mind. If we hire assassins and saboteurs, why should we not expect others to do the same?

Then, should we mind if our corrupt president - one that was elected with well-known, life-long record of duplicity and fraud, not to mention brazen lying right into the microphone - takes it across national borders? Don't they all?

International politics and ethics don't belong in the same sentence - and never have in the history of civilization.

What Americans should mind is that they hired an incompetent, who keep hiring other incompetents. In any other line of work, they'd have fired him after the first month.
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Re: Foreign interference in domestic elections.

Postby Serpent on December 13th, 2019, 11:00 am 

TheVat » December 13th, 2019, 9:49 am wrote:"The desire [of] foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our counsels" said Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist paper #68, is a source of corruption and "one of the most deadly adversaries of republican government."

A founder's opinion is humbly offered.

But what's "improper"?
Soliciting the aid of a foreign power (i.e. France) to establish an independent nation is proper? Meddling, bribery, blackmail, economic, clandestine and openly armed intervention in the affairs of other countries is proper?
It's a fuzzy line, at best.
Really, I don't think there is a line at all. Certain interest groups object to certain kinds of activity in certain situations - but none have the slightest intention of rooting out corruption in general. And if you're okay with 90% of the corruption 90% of the time, you can't expect to be taken seriously when you take a stand against 1% of it once in a blue moon.
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