Anne Applebaum

Il Donald

Il Donald

For reasons that need no elucidation, I spent a few hours this morning watching Benito Mussolini, the dictator of Italy from 1925 to 1945, performing in the old newsreel clips that now float around the internet. It wasn’t the verbal content I was after, just the imagery. The staged entrances. The gesticulation, the posturing, the …

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A Citizen’s Guide to Defending the Election

A Citizen’s Guide to Defending the Election

In normal times, Americans don’t think much about democracy. Our Constitution, with its guarantees of free press, speech, and assembly, was written more than two centuries ago. Our electoral system has never failed, not during two world wars, not even during the Civil War. Citizenship requires very little of us, only that we show up …

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Thatcher: The Letting Go

Thatcher: The Letting Go

When Sir Geoffrey Howe got up to deliver his resignation statement in the House of Commons on Tuesday, November 13, 1990, the room felt expectant—in the words of Charles Moore in Margaret Thatcher: Herself Alone, “like a theatre audience before a new show.”

Trump Is a Super-Spreader of Disinformation

Trump Is a Super-Spreader of Disinformation

A super-spreader—a term we didn’t much use nine months ago—is a person with a contagious disease who gives it to a lot of other people. In the coronavirus pandemic, super-spreaders have played an outsize role. Scientists have identified super-spreaders who have infected dozens of people with the virus, while others with the illness haven’t infected …

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Don’t Make the Election About the Court

Don’t Make the Election About the Court

I know that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s empty Supreme Court seat has provoked an epic, long-awaited clash between Democrats and Republicans, that the very principle of judicial independence hangs dangerously in the balance. I realize that the social-media wave cannot be stopped, that the talking heads cannot be silenced, and that Democrats in Congress must fight …

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In Trump’s Virtual World, Real Catastrophes Do Not Compute

In Trump’s Virtual World, Real Catastrophes Do Not Compute

Oregon is on fire. Throughout the state, tens of thousands of people have been forced to take refuge. They are sleeping in their cars, in a convention center, on the floors of packed prisons. Several towns have been destroyed. Cities have been evacuated. Hundreds of homes have burned. The suburbs of Portland are threatened, and …

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Trump’s True Relationship With Russia Has Never Been Revealed

Trump’s True Relationship With Russia Has Never Been Revealed

Getty / Arsh Raziuddin / The Atlantic Fate offered Peter Strzok a place in history that he never sought. The son of an Army officer, Strzok also served in the United States military before joining the FBI’s counterintelligence operation in 1996. He excelled at his job: In 2001, he was part of the team that …

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The 22-Year-Old Blogger Behind Protests in Belarus

The 22-Year-Old Blogger Behind Protests in Belarus

In the videos posted last Sunday from Belarus, thousands of people can be seen streaming into the center of Minsk, walking up the broad avenues, gathering in a park. In smaller cities and even little towns—Brest, Gomel, Khotsimsk, Molodechno, Shklov—they are walking down main streets, meeting in squares, singing pop songs and folk songs. They …

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How to Beat Populists When the Facts Don’t Matter

How to Beat Populists When the Facts Don’t Matter

A few weeks ago, I went to a political rally in a farmyard. The Polish presidential candidate Rafał Trzaskowski was speaking; in the background, a golden wheat field shimmered in the late-afternoon sun. The audience was enthusiastic—the host, a local farmer, had spread news of the candidate’s visit only the day before—but the juxtaposition of …

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