THE RUSSIAN FRONT – PART TWO

1. It’s Tuesday, December 13, 2016.

2. It’s the 380th anniversary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony founding what would eventually become the National Guard.

I have a sick feeling we’re going to hear a lot about the National Guard in the years ahead.

3. Trump could have quelled some of the unrest in American politics, including among some Republicans, about indications that the Russians may have influenced our election.

All he had to do is stand fully behind a thorough investigation by a bipartisan panel. And he could put off naming an apparent Russophile, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, as Secretary of State.

And he could have held the news conference, the first since his election, that was scheduled for Thursday.

But that’s all too easy. Why end a potential constitutional crisis when its continuation keeps your name at the top of the news?

There are too many things bubbling. The fact that Trump refuses to turn them down to a mere simmer is a big flashing danger sign.

4. So how do people offended by a possible Russian intrusion into American politics respond?

Especially when the people you’d want to lead you don’t seem able or willing to do so.

Yesterday, I said I thought that if the Russians acted to foul our election, they did so for two reasons. One was to eliminate the influence of President Obama, whose sanctions against the Russians after their aggression in Ukraine caused problems.

The other was to jumpstart the oil market, which is a huge chunk of the Russian economy. It has been hurt by falling demand around the world, in part because the world is getting better about using alternative energy.

That’s particularly true in the United States, where more people are putting solar panels on their roofs and driving fuel-efficient or even non-gas vehicles.

So installing an American administration more friendly to the oil industry might seem to Putin and the Russians like a good way to help business.

And yet that makes the answer as to how Americans outraged by all this can respond a little bit simpler.

5. Don’t give in.

Try to use less oil and gas. Buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Install solar panels on your roof. Insulate your home.

Do all those energy-efficient things that you’ve been doing for the past few decades. Do them all the time.

It’s clear the country’s energy policy will favor the oil industry in the Trump years. So the American people need an energy policy of their own that’s probably at odds with the government’s.

It would help if some organization, say the Natural Resources Defense Fund or the Sierra Fund, took the lead and determined a civilian national energy policy. Come up with a plan that cuts fuel consumption without any help from the Trump administration.

It might be a tall order. I’m not an expert on energy policy.

But I’m going to drive less starting Jan. 20. I’m going to bring out my sweatshirts for colder days.

Because every time I don’t use a fossil fuel, I’m sticking it to Trump and the Russians. And if enough people do that, it’s going to thwart their get-rich-again plans.

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