Trump is merely the first stage of our (potential/likely/frightening) descent into autocracy.
A podcast episode for your commute or non-commute, in which Ezra Klein interviews Masha Gessen—who is just so good—about her new book on Trump, Putin, and the language of liberal democracy, among other things.
What I write about in the book is that I think there is a difference of political audiences in autocracy and a democracy. In a democracy, a politician’s audience is their voters. They are accountable to their voters. Their voters decide whether they stay in office or lose their jobs. They address their voters whenever they’re speaking publicly, even if it’s ostensibly to someone else. In an autocracy, a politician’s audience is always the autocrat because it is the autocrat who distributes power and often money. It is the autocrat who decides whether the politician keeps their job or not. And I think somehow, in a matter literally of months, an entire half of our political life changed to the audience of an autocracy. Because it’s Donald Trump who can commit murder by tweet and causes any elected representative probably to lose his or her job.