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History will judge the complicit

Anne Applebaum at The Atlantic has written a new piece, titled History will judge the complicit, that every American should read. Unfortunately, about 38% of Americans will either NOT read it or will turn into bad Gollums on steroids whenever the article comes up.

Applebaum explains why some nations’ citizens go along with authoritarianism and why so few of us don’t. She’s studied the problem for years in Eastern Europe and said we are very close to losing our democracy. Sure, we’ve heard this before but Applebaum isn’t running around with her hair on fire looking like a publicity and fame seeker. Her argument is laid out rather bloodlessly with examples of how people in power are coopted. The piece is long but skip it at your own risk. If you’ve ever wondered why Susan Collins can never muster more than tepid concern or why Lindsay Graham acts like a fanboy, you’ll now know why. It’s not because Putin has pics of Lindsay diddling a 9 year old boy. It’s more of a case of most human beings not being profiles in courage. They just don’t want to rock the boat.

If you don’t have time for the big read, you can listen to the interview Applebaum gave to Fresh Air today where she discusses the same article.

She says that never have we seen such levels of hatred between sides since the Civil War and that history will judge the Trump presidency as a catastrophe. If you know what’s going on and choose to go along with it, for whatever reason, you’re complicit.

Giving in is easy. Democracy is hard.

2 Responses

  1. thanks – excellent article. i spend too much time drinking from the firehose, and miss stuff like this.

  2. Excellent article… best two sentence summary of where we are today I have seen:

    He meets his own psychological needs first; he thinks about the country last. The true nature of the ideology that Trump brought to Washington was not “America First,” but rather “Trump First.”

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