Try as I might, I’ll be damned if I can think of historical analogies to Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election — and as I sit here thinking about it now, that seems odd. We have always had enemies; surely some of them have tried to mess with our governance and, specifically, our elections?

The nearest thing I can come up with, and it’s not very close, is the infamous Zimmerman Telegram, Germany’s invitation to Mexico to join a war against the United States in World War I; if victorious, Mexico would be awarded a large part of the American southwest. I suppose that counts as an intervention of sorts, albeit not in an election.

LaFayette fought during our Revolutionary War on the American side, and encouraged French sympathy for America. Baron von Steuben, a Prussian, fought on the American side as a commander of troops. Benedict Arnold defected to the British during the Revolution. Aaron Burr participated in some kind of hare-brained scheme to conquer the American southwest and set himself up as an emperor, I seem to recall, perhaps with the assistance of Spain. Properly, I’m not sure that any of those four cases would count as foreign meddling.

Maybe I’m just too old and creaky to have any business trying to think back to school days. I know Civil Commotion’s readership is better informed and more widely read than average … so how about it? What should I be remembering?

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