President Donald Trump’s post-election speech was authoritarian — but according to one Russia expert, it was nothing like the ones Vladimir Putin delivers.
The Russian president doesn’t have to wait for vote counts or contest election results, because that democracy is a “stage-managed sham” while the U.S. is still “largely not,” wrote Foreign Policy columnist Mark Galeotti.
“The real question in Russian elections is how much effort, electoral bribery, and downright falsification is needed to get the results the Kremlin wants,” Galeotti wrote.
“The Kremlin wants to convince people that resistance is futile,” he added. “Apathy is, after all, an established authoritarian’s tool to ensure that those who would resist feel too marginal and isolated to do anything but conform.”
Trump, on the other hand, pushed sweaty narratives about “fraud” committed against him by “a very sad group of people.”
“Instead of calm confidence, he is returning to the kind of rhetoric that so successfully whips up his base, a narrative of plucky outsiders being suppressed by a deep state that would cheat them of their rightful victory — and the promise to fight for that victory,” Galeotti wrote.
That’s more in line with Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator who controlled his followers but not his own governmental system, Galeotti argued.
“Even after four years as president, Trump is still framing himself as the populist outsider, not the father of the nation,” he wrote.