A South African cyber-security researcher whose nym is “the grugq” recently posted a review of what we know about recent attempts to interfere with elections through the insecurity of our computer and social-media networks.
The thing that jumped out at me was his diagnosis of why the attempts in France failed. OK, #1 has to be that whatever cyber-criminals were trying to rig the election look like Boy Scouts next to former-president Sarkozy. But right behind that is the fact that the social-media troll army that did so much damage in the US ran into a brick wall: Trolls speak bad French, so the French didn’t listen to them.
We should promote a similar idea here. If the audience for our political discourse insisted on good English, complete with literary allusions (Sarkozy called François Fillon a “Thénardier” in the interview linked above), then external attempts to subvert elections would be doomed to failure, and our national security would be enhanced.
Disclaimer #1: I recognize that this proposal would have probably elected Jesse Jackson back in the 1980s.
Disclaimer #2: Observing the size of Pentagon research grants, compared to the size of research grants in the humanities, could not possibly be related to my motivation for writing this post.