Growing up in the early 1960’s I heard about the Russians. I heard about the space race and Sputnik, and remember seeing Khrushchev on television. I remember hearing how we were supposed to be afraid of the Russians, though I had no idea why. In my politically left-leaning family, Communism wasn’t considered a danger. My elementary schools had fall out shelters, left from the Cold War when we feared being bombed by the Russians. I knew it was a huge country far away but had no personal reason to fear it.
As I got older, I followed the news of famous people defecting from the then Soviet Union, seeking the freedom offered by the United States. There was ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov in 1974 and tennis champion Martina Navratilova in 1975 among many others. I read about the imprisonment and eventual release of writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and dissident Natan Sharansky.
Then in 1989, the Berlin Wall came down, crumbling the Soviet Union, and opening borders. My brother studied Russian and went to work in Moscow, where he met his wife. A cousin lived and worked in Moscow for years and I visited her a few years ago. We toured Moscow and St. Petersburg, enjoying great food, music, dance, and art.
Now jump ahead nearly 30 years, and the Russians have hacked our election, interfered with our democracy and compromised our national security.
President Obama in a CNN interview said, “Vladimir Putin is not on our team.” This story gives more detail of Putin’s influence in the US. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/07/politics/intelligence-report-russian-interference/index.html
I sent this letter to my congressman, Leonard Lance, this week. Feel free to borrow or share.
Dear Rep. Lance:
Events of the past two weeks show that it is no longer speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin condoned interference in the 2016 election.
However I have yet to hear or read any statement from you about this vile infringement on our democracy.
Why aren’t you concerned about the risk to our national security created by Trump’s affiliation with Russia?
Why haven’t you insisted Trump release his personal and business tax returns to prove, as he maintains, he has no business interests with Russia?
Why aren’t you defending the emoluments clause in the US Constitution, enacted by the Founding Fathers to protect us from the dangers of foreign influence and corruption?
You owe it to your constituents to answer these questions.