The Gerasimov Doctrine
I don’t like golf. Let me rephrase: I don’t understand golf. Let me clarify again: I don’t understand the attraction to golf. I can’t imagine what fascination lies in whacking a little white ball around a big green field or watching those who do. But guess what? That’s OK. A lot of people cannot understand how I can be such a big fan of IndyCar and other auto forms of racing. “A bunch of cars going in circles”, they say. It’s probably safe to say they’re not going to the Indianapolis 500 anytime soon nor am I going to attend The Masters.
I don’t use someone’s opinion of golf as a barometer for what kind of person I think they are. I am sure that most golf enthusiasts are law-abiding, decent, hard-working, friendly people. I would hope they would think the same of me given that I am <em>not</em> a golf-enthusiast and that I like automobile racing (not that the two are mutually exclusive).
While it may seem crazy to judge a person’s general character based on their affinity for golf or racing, it has unfortunately become the norm when it comes to politics. You’re a Republican? You must be for everybody owning a .50 caliber machine gun and the rich paying no tax at all. You’re a Democrat? You must advocate the abolishment of private property and support free food for everybody for life.
We can debate endlessly about whether the Russians specifically helped Donald Trump win the presidency. It may never be proven. What is not even debatable is that the Russians <em>are</em> using social media to sow the seeds of discontent… to divide Americans in any way they can. It’s called <a href="https://www.politico.eu/article/new-battles-cyberwarfare-russia/">The Gerasimov Doctrine</a> and it started three full years before the 2016 election. The Russians cannot defeat us militarily, but they can create the spark that causes us to tear ourselves apart. That is exactly the strategy behind the Gerasimov Doctrine.
Yes, I think Donald Trump is an autocrat. Yes, I think the history books will eventually record him as the most corrupt president ever. But those are just my thoughts. There are people I know, people whom I respect, people who are decent and caring and law-abiding, who for reasons I will never understand, support the president. I will never convince them, and they will never convince me, but it doesn’t mean we need to play into General Gerasimov’s hands and tear each other apart.