(Tom Toles)

Anybody else feel as though we’re all sleepwalking through a very wrong turn in history?

There was something severely wrong with that election we just conducted, and not just the outcome. It’s becoming pretty evident that Russia was actively intending and acting to subvert our principal exercise in democracy by doing precisely what the original intent of Watergate was: stealing secrets from the Democratic Party and using them to undermine the party’s campaign. Mission accomplished this time.

But what’s worse is that it now appears that the FBI was unwittingly an accomplice to these dark efforts, and maybe not so entirely unwittingly. John Podesta isn’t a neutral observer for sure, but he manages to lay out a devastating critique of the FBI’s actions before the election, actions that could fairly have been described at the time as likely to prejudice the outcome.

And the media? One can only shake one’s head at this point. Nonstop video of Donald Trump holding forth. A twisted, inexplicable fascination with inflating the Hillary Clinton email nothingburger into the implied scandal of the century. In comparison, a stunning lack of consistent, clarifying reporting on Trump’s actual conflicts of interest. Topped off with the full-fireworks finale of reporting FBI Director James Comey’s cynical election-eve letter about new Clinton emails as earth-shaking news, when in fact the emails contained no news.

And yet Clinton still won the most votes. By a lot. And yet, she doesn’t get to be president because of a rule that gives Trump the White House because he won a tiny handful more votes in a few states. Yes, rules are rules. But when you look at the Russian efforts to swing the result, and the strange behavior of the FBI, is anybody prepared to say that those efforts weren’t sufficient to give Trump the tiny margin he will be made president by?

Democrats were supposed to be nice and play patriot after the 2000 election was handed to George W. Bush in a highly questionable way. And they sucked it up for the good of the country. But this time? We don’t need to wonder how the Republicans would have acted if the outcome had gone the other way, because they had already warned us.

Trump is now busy cementing a far-right, anti-science, conflict-riddled, authoritarian-flavored, unrepresentative plutocracy that is on course to create an unrecognizable America. Excuse me if I don’t feel that the election that led us here delivered the outcome the American people deserved, or in fact voted for.

If you don’t want to call it stolen, I’d like to hear your suggestion for a more appropriate word for what just happened.