Masha Gessen interview with MSNBC host Joy Reid where they briefly address our acclimation to Trump and media suppression in the wake of the new White House press briefings protocols

Writer Masha Gessen, having lived as a journalist in Russia under Putin's rise to power and his reversal of Russia's direction towards becoming a fledgling democracy back to authoritarianism, imho, understands both Trump and the stakes in the U.S. very well. My takeaway from this particular interview beyond the effectiveness of hampering an already too incurious media, is that most autocrats are both incompetent at true governing while successful at seizing the reins of power.

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Comment by Ron Powell on June 25, 2017 at 7:03am

 "...most autocrats are both incompetent at true governing while successful at seizing the reins of power."

Autocrats can 'govern'. Some can 'govern' effectively.

What they are unable to do is govern within the context of a democratic ideology and democratic principles predicated on the still somewhat revolutionary, even radical, notions of egalitarian self determination, self governance, and consent of the governed.

The idea of a social contract between the people and their government is quite foreign to most of the world's populations and anathema to the majority of the world's rulers.

Most of the people on the planet don't understand what democracy is or how it works.

And, most of the world's rulers would prefer to keep it that way whether they understand or appreciate the concept of democracy or not.

Comment by koshersalaami on June 25, 2017 at 8:22am

The difference between governing and getting elected is at least as true in democracies because getting elected and governing are wildly different skills

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on June 25, 2017 at 8:28am


Comment by JMac1949 Today on June 25, 2017 at 11:20am

The tyranny of autocrats is a direct product of apathy.  With any luck Putin and the Beast "45" will become footnotes in 21st Century history, along with Kim Il Jong, Assad and Rodrigo Duterte.  Who remembers Herbert Hoover or Calvin Coolidge?

Comment by MV Neland on June 25, 2017 at 1:50pm

@Ron Powell  - brilliantly said! And, an incredibly important distinction - that autocrats can't govern within a fair, consentual and democratic framework. As those of us who want a fairer social contract, we can only keep on keeping on. It's worth it to us. But...if what you say is true, we might have to settle for a small democratic island or something while the rest of the world shoulders their tyrants.

@koshersalaami - another vital distinction and good point. Oddly, most media conflate the two using the rationale that running a successful campaign means that the candidate is both able and worthy of governing. Er...maybe they'll be rethinking that one.

@ Jonathan Wolfman - i finally got a chance to listen to some of your podcasts. Just wonderful! And, so thoughtful. Thank you for making them. I see Masha as a fortuitous gift to us from the in-the-trenches Russian dissident movement. We are well advised and forewarned by her. Thx for having her on. You happen to have links to those podcasts? Or, can i just go to your show's library and scroll to find them?

@JMac 1949 Today - Coolidge who?  Yep, yer right, sooo much directly results from our apathy...Ultimately culminating in autocracy.  A very sobering point. I see it all around me in family and neighbors...not so my friends, but we're all agitators from way back and know to never take an eye off the people holding the levers.  It IS the apathy quotient that may determine this outcome sans a large rock falling from space. 

Comment by koshersalaami on June 26, 2017 at 7:13am

Given this administration's environmental record, I think they'd treat a large rock falling from space as a Chinese hoax

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on June 26, 2017 at 1:08pm

MV  thank you    Our Salon Radio has not kept an archive for a while   Lorianne is a one-person operation and that's time-comsuming. If you write me at  i will send you a few shows  :)

Comment by MV Neland on June 26, 2017 at 2:03pm

@Jonathan Wolfman - i will. And, a huge SHOUT OUT to Lorianne for OurSalon!

@koshersalaami - clever! 


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