15 min

Masha Gessen on Recognizing an Autocrat The New Yorker: Politics and More

    • Politics

In the past month, President Trump has cleared peaceful demonstrations with tear gas, told governors to “dominate” protesters, and threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act. The staff writer Masha Gessen argues that transgressions like these are signs that the President’s mind-set is fundamentally not democratic but autocratic. “Polarization and violence and high anxiety are all things that benefit an autocrat,” they warn David Remnick. Gessen’s new book, “Surviving Autocracy,” draws on their experience as a targeted journalist in Russia, and Gessen sees troubling similarities between Trump and Vladimir Putin.

In the past month, President Trump has cleared peaceful demonstrations with tear gas, told governors to “dominate” protesters, and threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act. The staff writer Masha Gessen argues that transgressions like these are signs that the President’s mind-set is fundamentally not democratic but autocratic. “Polarization and violence and high anxiety are all things that benefit an autocrat,” they warn David Remnick. Gessen’s new book, “Surviving Autocracy,” draws on their experience as a targeted journalist in Russia, and Gessen sees troubling similarities between Trump and Vladimir Putin.

15 min

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