This was inevitable although it should not have been. There are many ways to look at what has happened but one way is certainly the sour grapes vendetta of Russia under Putin. Rather than grapes perhaps this should be considered Russia’s campaign to piss in the lemonade having failed at both totalitarianism and semi representative government. We can’t take you on head to head but we’ll use our old techniques to piss in your lemonade and then we’ll feel so much better. And if our little misinformation campaigns destroy the great American experiment, that’s the cherry we get.
It can be seen as a power play by a weak nation state as the destruction of America and the EU leaves room for Russia to get more aggressive. Putin has eaten the poison and now has visions of a new Russian Empire but he’s not that much stronger than their old client states so their only hope is to spoil things for everyone. Then maybe they will win.
If he can trick enough people into the disaster of nationalism, inevitably advocated by the stupidest people in each nation, he can level the playing field by lowering it to his standards. Ironically Trump is way dumber than Putin but is desperate to play along. What else can he do?
I long hoped we could avoid this but it appears that the sins of the fathers are now here to not only haunt but to destroy the sons and daughters of the first effort to create an open planet for trade based on universal human rights. Nationalists by design deny rights to everyone including themselves.
It may be that the Western civilization needs to die and be buried for everyone else to make the planetary civilization a reality. That is a tragedy because it will take time and that is time we do not have to prevent civilization destroying climate change.