January 11, 2023

BREAKING: Russian Bots Didn’t Cost Hillary the Election

Another confirmation that the conspiracy theory which dominated American political life since 2016 was a hoax.

It was the granddaddy of ‘em all, the dirtiest of dirty Russian tricks: They stole the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton and gave it to Donald Trump.

At least, that’s what Hillary would have us believe.

Indeed, in the run-up to her preordained election as our nation’s first-ever president with a uterus, those dastardly Russians had taken to Twitter and engineered a campaign of social media falsehoods so widespread, so influential, and so deeply damaging that they robbed her of her rightful place in history and instead awarded the American presidency to Donald Trump.

Yep, that was the pernicious lie that our federal law enforcement and intelligence services and our mainstream media and one of our two main political parties had staked their reputations on.

It wasn’t her unlikability and her god-awful candidacy; it was Donald Trump and Steve Bannon and those damned dirty Macedonian content farmers! shrieked Hillary’s true believers and dead-enders. And the noose is tightening! Any day now, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team of crackerjack investigators are gonna drop the bomb and perp-walk that awful Donald Trump out of the White House and straight into a prison cell!

Uhhh, no.

As it turns out, “Russian influence operations on Twitter in the 2016 presidential election reached relatively few users, most of whom were highly partisan Republicans, and the Russian accounts had no measurable impact in changing minds or influencing voter behavior.”

That bitter little pill was delivered Monday morning in The Washington Post, deep down in its The Cybersecurity 202 blog. But it was there, right there in the nation’s most thoroughly invested organ of Trump hatred, and the study from which that information was pulled was from New York University’s Center for Social Media and Politics.

As the study notes, “The relationship between the number of posts from Russian foreign influence accounts that users are exposed to and voting for Donald Trump is near zero.”

Near. Zero.

How tough it must’ve been for the Post to publish something so crushing, so dispiriting. Now the only folks left who believe the Russians swung the election to Trump are Hillary herself and a few dozen readers of The New Yorker. Recall that Mueller had already concluded in 2019 what the rest of us knew all along: The Russia collusion accusations were fabricated.

“My personal sense coming out of this is that this got way overhyped,” said Josh Tucker, one of the report’s authors and also the co-director of the aforementioned NYU center, referring to the influence of the Russian tweets.

“Now we’re looking back at data,” said Tucker, “and we can see how concentrated this was in one small portion of the population, and how the fact that people who were being exposed to these were really, really likely to vote for Trump.”

As the study notes, only 1% of Twitter users accounted for 70% of the exposure to accounts that Twitter identified as Russian troll accounts.

The genius of the whole operation is stunning. Having hatched the plan with Le Bête Orange himself, those crafty Russian social media manipulators set about targeting a tiny subsegment of deeply committed Trump voters to get them to — wait for it! — vote for Trump.

Talk about 4-D chess.

Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games and leftist idiocy. As National Review’s Rich Lowry notes, the destructive byproducts of this conspiratorial obsession are with us today: “This fevered notion fueled Democratic 2016 election denialism; catalyzed a federal investigation into Trump that was senseless and disruptive; created a cottage industry of supposed disinformation experts; pushed social media companies into exercising rank political censorship in the name of fact-based content moderation; led to the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story; and distorted the work of the FBI, which made itself an adjunct of the progressive crusade against such supposedly pervasive and incredibly consequential disinformation.”

It doesn’t bode well for upcoming elections, either. Think about it: Regardless of which party’s candidate wins the 2024 presidential election, what are the odds that those in the other party will accept the results?

There are many lessons to be learned from 2016, but this study makes clear that classic conspiratorial thinking dominated its aftermath. The Left couldn’t believe that the American people had rejected Hillary Clinton, so it latched onto whatever excuses it could find. And to the Left, “The Russians!” is almost as soothing as “Racism!” or “Misogyny!”

But, ultimately, as Lowry points out, “It turns out that random drivel produced by foreigners and thrown into the enormous, all-consuming maw of American social media doesn’t have much effect.”

Hmm … ya think?

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service, are proud sponsors of the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Folds of Honor, Honoring the Sacrifice, Warrior Freedom Service Dogs, Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, the Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Join us in prayer for our nation, that good and righteous national leaders would rise and prevail, and that division would be healed so we would be united as Americans. We pray also for the protection of our military Patriots, first responders and their families, and comfort for veterans who are suffering.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.