Musings on a Post-Mueller Era

30 03 19

We haven’t seen the Mueller Report but we know Trump, while not exonerated, won’t be charged with obstruction of justice. As I watched the reaction to Barr’s letter I realized to some extent it doesn’t matter what the report actually says. Republicans would only believe things that put Trump in a positive light and Democrats’ opinions of Trump weren’t going to change either. To be clear, I want the report released. My tax dollars helped fund it. But the Right has been telling us for months that they won’t accept anything negative the report says about their guy. Nothing the Mueller Report could say is going to change that.

Meanwhile the underlying issues still exist. Russia continues to interfere in American political discourse and other state actors have joined them, adopting similar tactics. Just this week Facebook announced another takedown of “coordinated inauthentic behavior” originating in Iran, Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo. They continue to prey on political weaknesses of the countries they target, and here in America we give them plenty to work with. African Americans continue to be especially vulnerable to voter suppression and trolls exploiting African American identities to sow division. The Trump Administration has shown little to no interest in doing anything about any of this, and pro-Trump trolls have adopted tactics and best practices from hostile state actors for their own purposes.

2020 online is going to be a shitshow. I worry a lot less about straight political disinformation, partly because as the Mueller report shows us people are going to believe what they want to believe. It’s just a less effective tactic than it was a few years ago. But we haven’t made nearly enough progress on fighting extremism, the mainstreaming of extremist views, and online radicalization. The Trump political operation will exploit the hell out of this reality. White nationalists are a constituency they will continue to foster. They’ll also continue to amplify extremist political views to a global audience. It’s an electoral strategy that puts us all in danger but that’s the reality.

It’s worth noting that this week, Facebook finally extended its ban on hate speech to “prohibit the promotion and support of white nationalism and white separatism.” Twitter is considering adding a flag to tweets from political figures that also violate the site’s policies on hate speech and other terms of service violations. Expect the right to continue harping about conservative bias but also be on the lookout for complaints about tech companies not removing what they term hate from the left. Hate speech isn’t a partisan issue but the right will do everything they can to game the refs here.

So how do we move forward? My hope for the Post-Mueller era is that the House (where Democrats have the majority) can investigate Trump in an open and transparent way with far more disclosures to the public than the Special Counsel’s Investigation allowed. Same goes for foreign interference, extremism, and online toxicity. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and the American public deserves a hell of a lot more than we’ve had since Trump took office.

Share this on Twitter

Like Ctrl Alt-Right Delete? Subscribe to receive the newsletter every Sunday in your inbox.


Stay informed

Sign up for emails from HOPE not hate to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news, and to receive simple actions you can take to help spread HOPE.


We couldn't do it without our supporters

Fund research, counter hate and support and grow inclusive communities by donating to HOPE not hate today

I am looking for...


Useful links

Close Search X
Donate to HOPE not hate