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Michael O'Malley is a senior studying political science at Ohio University.

For What it's Worth: 2016 election brings up important questions about American diplomacy

On Dec. 29, 35 Russian diplomats were expelled from the U.S. by an outgoing administration which has also imposed new sanctions on the Eurasian nation and sworn to impose reciprocal penalty upon Russia for her transgressions. 

Moreover, the Obama administration is not alone in its outrage. In Congress, leadership on both the left and right, including Chuck Schumer, Lindsey Graham and Paul Ryan, have condemned Russia and called for further inquiry. 

What great sin could have committed to elicit such a dramatic response? War crimes? Human rights violations (the current Russian regime is certainly guilty of both)? No, this response was provoked by Russia's alleged interference in a foreign election, a game which the United States practically invented. 

In 1948, CIA agents armed with heaps of money were able to assure a centrist victory over the Soviet-backed leftist coalition in that years Italian general election. In 2000, the government of the U.S. spent millions in Yugoslavia in an effort to oust radical Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević. Between these two interventions, the U.S. interfered in approximately 80 democratic elections and yet America was outraged over the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Russia’s alleged interference in this election and the response which it engendered, serve to highlight a quintessentially American sentiment: It’s different when it's America. This is the same sentiment which enables us to justify the imposition of sanctions or even military intervention in order to prevent nuclear proliferation, while simultaneously maintaining one of the world's largest nuclear arsenals or criticizing human rights violations in foreign lands in spite of the fact that the U.S. has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. 

This idea nullifies the hypocrisy inherent in condemning acts of terror while endorsing drone strikes that are as likely to kill a civilian as they are a combatant. This nation is able to condemn ethnic persecution abroad without even acknowledging the native american genocide which took place within its borders because it’s different when it's America.

This self-righteous philosophy is a manifestation of our national arrogance which has been fostered by U.S. success and dominance over the American century. However ss we progress further into this dawning age, encountering new and frightening challenges, our national interest would be best served if we were to tear back the wool from our eyes and work to rid our national character of the arrogance which has infected it.  

Michael O'Malley is a senior studying political science at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What do you feel about the events of the 2016 election? Email your thoughts to Michael at

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