My weekly political letter, paired with an unrelated painting.
87 State St
Montpelier, VT 05602
2 January 2017
Happy new year. Thanks for your work in the Senate. I've been confused and worried by recent events, and I'm hoping for your help and attention.
Without convincing public evidence, I have trouble believing that the Russian government is responsible for the Democratic National Committee leaks or the malware on Burlington Electric's laptop, nevermind more dramatic recent accusations ("hacking the election / the grid"). It seems just as plausible that parts of our own government might be using these events for their own purposes, including weakening Trump's already weak mandate. I'm broadly in favor of weakening Trump. But the coverage and reactions, including your quote in Friday's VTDigger-- "This is a direct threat to Vermont"-- frighten me because I feel like we're being drawn toward more war.
I'm horrified that Trump won the election, and dismayed that our infrastructure seems so rickety and hackable. But I don't yet see any reason to pin the Kremlin for those problems; we screwed things up adequately ourselves. The solutions I'd like to see have nothing to do with our intelligence agencies or with Russia. They include getting rid of the electoral college, downgrading our political parties, building more distributed and robust energy infrastructure, and using less energy.
At this point I find myself uncomfortably agreeing with Trump that we should hold off on blaming Russia, and that Obama shouldn't have expelled the Russian officials. I'd like to hear more of your thoughts on these questions. Please take care and keep your eyes and ears open for us.
Glen Coburn Hutcheson