Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Defense Failed to Make the Jury See Him as a Human Being, The Strange Death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Friend, Killed by the FBI, Russia’s Humanitarian Convoys: Another Chance for Putin to Play the West for a Fool. Trump had no use for any of it: the magnanimity, the generosity, the awe (unless it’s inspired by him personally), the pride (unless it’s his own), the aspiration. How the International LGBTQ Rights Movement Failed Russian Gays in Sochi, The Women of Pussy Riot Are Launching a Powerful New Protest Movement, How Obama’s Snub of Putin’s Olympics Could Cause the Release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, When Putin Declared War on Gay Families, It Was Time for Mine to Leave Russia, I Envy Angelina Jolie Her Nipples, but I’m Glad I Had Preventive Surgery, How Vladimir Putin Rigged the Russian Election Before Anyone Had a Chance To Vote. This is pretty perfect. Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. But when the inauguration came, Trump trampled on some of the most hallowed public rituals of American power. Whether it’s the sight of Putin entering a room like a thug who owns it, or the sound of his below-the-belt jokes, or the ritual of politicians and talking heads trying to out-scream and out-sabre-rattle one another as they engage in what passes for discussion on television—though none of them seems to be able to form a complete sentence—it has a way of making one ashamed of seeing and hearing. And it serves a purpose: by degrading language and discrediting the spectacle of politics the Russian government is destroying the public sphere. The minister of culture, who has a doctorate in history, regularly exposes his ignorance of history; indeed, Trump might be tempted to plagiarize the minister’s dissertation, which begins with the assertion that the criterion of truth in history is determined solely by the national interests of Russia—if it’s good for the country, it must be true (much of the rest of the dissertation is itself plagiarized). They also make ignorant, repressive, inhumane policy. On Saturday it emerged that the inaugural-ball cake that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence cut with a sword was a knock-off of President Obama’s 2013 inaugural-ball cake. “We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon” was how he summed up the American foreign policy legacy: a zero-sum game in which a penny spent—whether on the Marshall Plan or an ill-conceived war—is a penny lost. This is part of our Future of Democracy series which is taking place all year and will culminate in a constitutional convention, currently … Choice is a great burden. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. News about upcoming issues, contributors, special events, online features, and more. As the day progresses and the new first couple accept the honor and the responsibility bestowed on them, they transition into a different state of being: as the country watches, they acquire the quality of being presidential (which so many pundits hoped against hope Trump would suddenly display). Best of The New York Review, plus books, events, and other items of interest, First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence, Washington, D.C., January 20, 2017. Watch this video to see the German chancellor cringe. Within 48 hours of Donald Trump's 2016 victory, Masha Gessen's essay Autocracy: Rules for Survival had gone viral. Masha Gessen is in conversation with Festival of Ideas director Andrew Kelly. But what does it say about the man? To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: , for easy access to all your favourite programmes, Podcast (MP3) Gessen talks about surviving autocracy and strengthening our societies. (February 2018). Trump’s was commissioned from a decidedly more modest Washington bakery than Goldman’s, and the transition-team representative who put in the order explicitly asked for an exact copy of Goldman’s design—even when the baker suggested creating a variation on the theme of Goldman’s cake. And you'll never see this message again. At the same time, as Trump moved through the day, he repeatedly turned his back on his wife. What our staff is reading, watching, and listening to each week. Did Kennedy’s Gay Marriage Decision Keep Hungarian Pride Marchers Safe This Weekend? Better yet, take the cake. Masha Gessen is the author of The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2017. On Saturday, Trump went to the CIA and stood in front of a wall honoring the memory of agents who died in the line of duty, failed to acknowledge the location, and lied to the faces of the people gathered, provoking an unprecedented rebuke from outgoing CIA chief John Brennan. But even as Trump was promoting his brand at the CIA, the cringeworthy spectacle of his inauguration had already given way to its aesthetic opposite: pictures of millions of determined, peaceful Americans taking part in women’s protest marches in Washington and across the country—events that brimmed with witty slogans, good cheer, and irony. (February 2018) (One way in which Putin continuously reasserts his lack of aspiration is by making crude jokes at the most inappropriate times—as when, during a joint appearance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2013, he compared EU monetary policy to a wedding night: “No matter what you do, the result will be the same,” his way of lightly covering up the “you get fucked” punchline. Domodedovo Airport Moscow bombing: Is lax airport security another example of Russia’s love of risk-taking? More: Russia Masha Gessen Keith Gessen Soviet Union Vladimir Putin Donald Trump. The New Yorker Recommends. Russian sociologist Lev Gudkov has theorized that the Soviet totalitarian system, which ruled through violence and fear, created a society in which all initiative was suppressed, personal and professional growth was all but impossible, and the entire society became stagnant. More than half a century after Sinyavsky came up with the phrase, Americans who witnessed Donald Trump’s inaugural weekend can now fully grasp its meaning. She is a staff writer at The New Yorker. For 15 Years, Putin Has Been Planning His Revenge for the U.S Bombing of Kosovo. © 1963-2020 NYREV, Inc. All rights reserved. “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have born the cost” is how he summed up the work of all the men and women who have come before him, in effect the entire political history of the country, which he declared to be over: “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” Having dismissed the political past, he offered, by way of vision, the future of a fortress under siege: a walled country that puts itself first, the way a self-help manual might advise you to “put yourself first,” convention and consideration for others be damned. Here’s How to Fix That. Dog. It might take a long time to understand why we have come to enter the age of a kakistocracy, but evidently we have. Sometimes vastly different processes yield surprisingly similar results. He swept the White House website clean of substantive content on climate policy, civil rights, health care, and LGBT rights, took down the Spanish-language site, and added a biography of his wife that advertises her mail-order jewelry line. Masha Gessen. He dispatched his press secretary to do the same. Not only does it not achieve excellence: it does not even see the point of excellence. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. Since Trump became president, every time I told myself this man is bonkers, I remembered Ubu Roi, realizing how the story of his presidency and the cast of characters he has assembled in the White House would easily fit into Alfred Jarry’s play. Masha Gessen is a Russian-American journalist who is the author of Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot and The Man Without a … The Flight 17 Disaster Is Just One Misstep in His Wider War on the West. She is a staff writer at The New Yorker. Not only did the government start lying, but did so in dull, simple, and unimaginative language. He defiled the inauguration with a speech that was not only mean and meaningless but also badly written, pitched to the basest level of emotion and intelligence. His advisers and cabinet picks sport the same aesthetics: Kellyanne Conway’s coat inspired jokes about what happens when the gays refuse to dress you, and Betsy DeVos’s subliterate tweet (about the “historical” inauguration) inspired mockery of the incoming education secretary’s ignorance—as did her performance during her Senate hearing on Tuesday.

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