From Rossiiskaya gazeta, Jan. 18, 2021, complete text:

The US electoral system is archaic, social networks have demonstrated blatant censorship, and Moscow now expects only a continuation of harsh anti-Russian policies from Washington. In an article for TASS, Russian Security Council deputy chairman Dmitry Medvedev assessed the lessons and consequences of the US presidential race both for that country and the world.

 Medvedev described the [2020] US election as perhaps the most controversial in the country’s history; an election that underscored serious problems with the country’s electoral system. “[US] citizens are questioning whether the US meets the main criterion of democracy – the state’s ability to ensure a fair and transparent expression of the people’s will as a whole,” he stressed. The country has been split into two camps, and contradictions between the federal center and individual states have emerged. Technologies that were previously used to spread democracy in other countries have boomeranged at Washington, [Medvedev] said, commenting on the events at the Capitol. Meanwhile, “the cold civil war that has been going on in the US for several months now has reached its peak.”

 “This situation, which was provoked by a chain of events that evolved as a result of the archaic nature of the electoral system, could result in new wave of violence and unrest. Of course, the American political system has proven its flexibility over the course of centuries. I am certain it will overcome this, too,” Dmitry Medvedev writes.

 The US election also demonstrated the unprecedented role of social networks and new media in public policy. According to Medvedev, they unleashed a no-holds-barred propaganda war against just one person – US President Donald Trump. “Several tech corporations based in California have gotten a taste for power, and allowed themselves to freely manipulate the news and the facts based on their own political preferences. What is this, if not blatant censorship?” he said.

 Social networks have come to supplant state institutions and are now forcing their stance on others, depriving people of the freedom of choice. As a result, 75 million people who voted for Trump and several million of his followers “got thrown overboard” – they have been deemed untrustworthy, Medvedev writes. “This has all the earmarks of the specter of digital totalitarianism that is gradually taking over [American] society, depriving it (and potentially the whole world) of the ability to objectively assess what is going on,” Medvedev writes.

 In recent years, the trajectory of relations between Moscow and Washington has been steadily declining regardless of who is in the White House. Medvedev comments that Joe Biden has yet to say anything positive about Russia. The US president-elect is known for his patently unfriendly, harsh and even aggressive rhetoric regarding Moscow. He considers Russia the biggest threat to the US in terms of undermining its security and alliances. “In addition, the Democrat’s team includes politicians who hold similar views and are not at all interested in improving relations between Moscow and Washington,” Medvedev writes, assessing Biden’s staffing decisions. By all indications, relations will remain extremely cold in the coming years.

 The unpredictability of the US’s further actions in the international arena, and the country’s certain degree of toxicity even for its allies and partners are all the result of the social upheavals that American society is going through, Medvedev believes. According to him, this instability is largely due to the clumsy and hopelessly outdated electoral system, which has not undergone any significant changes since the 18th century. “The most recent election was not a political competition of ideas, which the US has always prided itself on, but a confrontation between two vitriolic campaigns,” Medvedev writes.

 “Only Americans themselves can decide whether to cast aside this national egocentrism and launch a reform of the political system, as well as the country’s political life. So far, there is no real movement toward this. There isn’t even a hint of a desire to change anything. Meanwhile, the world community is already paying too high a price for the US’s reluctance to change,” Medvedev concludes.