You probably think the 2020 presidential election is already in full swing. Witness just a few weeks ago when the Iowa State Fair was overrun with Democrat presidential hopefuls. The nearly double dozen has been juggling live debates, while keeping up a dizzying schedule of meet-the-voters. President Trump, too, is stumping at rallies across the country, making his case for re-election. But, according to tradition and the calendar, this has all been just the warm-up.

The real race starts today, Labor Day, the unofficial official kickoff date for national campaigns. A year from now, the political nominees will have just a little over two months to close the deal with American voters.

Everything is on track for Nov. 3 Election Day, with one big exception. Our election system is actively being undermined by foreign interference — rigged by racist rhetoric and distorted by distant bots programmed to make what’s real seem false and what’s false seem real. I know it sounds like something out of a movie — Russian agents busily at work breaking into and manipulating vulnerable election machinery, and across the internet using social media to stoke racial tensions on political blogs, and to amp up toxic partisanship by embedding lies and provocative statements. But this is not big screen fiction; it is a targeted propaganda offensive with potentially devastating consequences.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report about Trump’s cooperation with the Russians provoked such a partisan dust up that his investigation into the 2016 election interference got short shrift — the part where Mueller wrote, “The Russian government interfered in sweeping and systematic fashion.”

Facing Congressional members in July, Mueller was emphatic, saying, “They’re doing it as we sit here.”

Then there’s the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report, which cited election interference in all 50 states, with hackings in Illinois and Arizona most egregious. There was no evidence that votes were changed through tampered voting machines, but the committee report noted, “Russian cyberactors were in a position to delete or change voter data.”

Yikes. This is scary stuff.

Yet Republicans blocked four bills offering various degrees of direct action, some hours after Mueller’s dire warnings. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he blocked two bills because the backers were the “same folks who hyped up a conspiracy theory” about President Trump and Russian collusion.

Voting is essential to our democracy, so I’ve been puzzled by the lack of public outrage about the well-documented interference and the obvious vulnerability of both our voting machines and election process. How can everybody be so whipped up about either re-electing the president or voting in his replacement, yet not recognize how dangerous this is? The Russians don’t even have to work hard to do their dirty work; we’ve left the doors wide open. Maybe they appreciate the power of a democracy more than we do.