Last week, we asked: Should the U.S. meddle in Russia’s election? Well, Vladimir Putin won again, with 75 percent of the vote (even more than the last time around), after a campaign in which the leading opposition candidate was barred from running. So it seems the U.S. chose not to interfere, interfered on behalf of Putin or was simply ineffective. Regardless, here’s what you thought should have been done, with comments edited for clarity.
Jonathan Hager, Temple, Texas
We’ve done that before, and it’s always resulted in what the CIA euphemistically called “blowback.” It’s a slippery slope that I don’t think we should go any further down. Besides, from what [special counsel Robert] Mueller has said so far, the “meddling” was done by private groups unconnected with the Russian government.
Marshall Johnson, Apex, North Carolina
I see Russia as giving us truthful information, as opposed to our own media. So if telling us the truth is considered meddling, then so be it.
Daniel Hallford, San Francisco
If they aren’t trying, then they aren’t doing their job.
Carmen Mitoff, Denver
It appears that Trump won’t do anything to his buddy Putin. It has been proved by U.S. intelligence that Russia did meddle in the 2016 election, but Trump is only concerned with [whether the meddling] changed the outcome, because it shows that Trump is indeed an illegitimate president.
Frankie Diaz, Hampton, Virginia
Taking the moral high road, right? So, “let’s meddle with their political system”? Why not do something innovative — and let everyone handle their own problems and work on improving ourselves?
Rick Brooks, Anchorage, Alaska
The United States of Amnesia! U.S. consultants secretly helped Boris Yeltsin win an election he was going to lose badly in 1996.
The U.S. messes with others’ culture, freedom and religion and intervenes with wars. Why stop with elections?
Lou Newman, Houston
It’s hard to say without knowing all of the sanctions available. But we should certainly pursue sanctions that would affect Putin and not the Russian people.
Michael Piotti, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
What difference would it make if Putin decides who is on the ballot? Want to send a message? Hijack TV broadcasts simultaneously across the country with a one-minute video of Putin’s crimes and stolen Russian wealth.
The best thing for America to do at this time is implement safeguards in our democratic process that minimize any [effects] from outside interference — something Trump and his cronies have no interest in.
Michael John Csonka, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
We have both been doing this to each other and to all sorts of other nations since before World War II. Only the tactics change, to reflect new technology. To act like propaganda campaigns and misinformation are new and unique is simply a complete ignorance of history.
Thomas Jelen, Concord, California
So we’re going to send some Twitter bots and ads at them? Their elections are already rigged, it won’t matter.
Can we buy airtime for ads like “Did you know, the greatest leaders any great democracy ever has always retire from politics?”
Harrison Krenitsky, Philadelphia
The U.S., during the previous administration, attempted to meddle in the Israeli elections, and like the Russians, we had little effect on the outcome. Sadly, the Democratic Party has become the puppet of the Western media’s propaganda agendas.
Martee Shannon, Soquel, California
So naive to believe the U.S. is innocent of actively influencing foreign elections for years.… Our administration could not care less — they are making money, and that’s all that matters to them.
David Grubbs, Rockwall, Texas
Putin would just declare that the election results were tainted and stay in power anyway — much like Trump will do when he is defeated.
Jack Howard, Inglewood, California