This is why the "calm down and let the process play out," "this is not who we are," "the institutions will save us," is so dangerous, arrogant, and stupid. It is a position born of ignorance and privilege.
It is a willful blindness to human history and human nature, a condescending belief that Americans are somehow constitutionally different—and superior to—the other 7 bln people on this planet, that our nature is one of calm deliberation, not violence—like *those* people.
It is a willful disregard for evidence screaming you in the face and therefore an inability to understand why things play out the way they do, leading to surprised and naive declarations of "this is not who we are."
It's not who we are until it is. It can't happen here until it does. The system works until it doesn't. The institutions hold until they don't. We're different than those other countries until we're not.
Americans are not ubermenschen. We are people. We are subject to the same forces of history and politics as the citizens of every other country on earth. We are not immune. We are not different. We are not superior.
It is time to stop lying to ourselves. It is time to listen to the voices—many of them black and brown as well as those who know and understand authoritarianism—who have been predicting every step of this fiasco for years.

This is who we are.

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More from @juliaioffe

8 Jan
There’s a reason this resonates for us former foreign correspondents. When I was reporting out of Moscow, we wrestled with the question of objectivity. In the end, we knew: Putin is objectively corrupt, Putin is objectively an authoritarian, Putin objectively was not good. 1/
Our editors back home in Washington and NYC agreed—and they ate it up. We wrote stories about “the man to take on Putin,” not the man in the version of the Russian diner who supported Putin. We agreed: the opposition was the good guys, the Kremlin was the bad guys. 2/
Then came Trump and it turned out that the standards we applied to writing about foreign countries had to be toned down to “racially charged” and “not supported by the facts” and both sides. 3/
Read 5 tweets
30 Dec 20
I love seeing the same people who were like “omg why do these hicks insist on going to church in the middle of a pandemic?!” now posting pictures from their tropical vacations to poor countries that don’t have the health infrastructure to take care of the resort staff they infect
It’s “I’m one of the good guys” syndrome on steroids. Loudly proclaiming your liberal values on social media or lawn signs doesn’t magically exempt you from the rules—or following public health guidelines that overwhelmed healthcare staff are begging you to follow.
It’s a simple question but it bears repeating: just who do you think you are?
Read 4 tweets
20 Dec 20
Yesterday, my beloved grandmother Emma Bruk died of #COVID19. Born in 1934, she did what most people of her generation couldn't do: she lived life on her own terms, without compromising her ideals or hopes, with an inner freedom that seems impossible for her era.
She was a cardiologist and many of her patients became her lifelong friends. Even after she retired at 77, she kept treating anyone who needed her help. She saw every concert, every exhibit, every play, followed the news, went to protests. (In 1991, she manned the barricades.)
"Moscow won't be the same without her," a friend said. And it's true. I can't imagine a city or a world without her endless energy, irrepressible optimism, her curiosity, and her lectures on Russian history, which, in her opinion, I did not understand. I can't believe she's gone.
Read 4 tweets
10 Nov 20
This is the clearest argument I’ve heard from the right: you undermined Trump’s legitimacy for 4 years, therefore we do not have to grant your guy legitimacy. 1/
But there is a big difference between the rhetoric of a party out out power, and the actions of the party in power, refusing to relinquish the power it lost in a free and fair election. 2/
The problem of Trump’s lack of legitimacy did not stem from an a priori decision of all Dems not to see him as legitimate, though such a contingent did exist. It came from winning in the EC but losing by 3m votes, and US intel community concluding Russia had tried to help him. 3/
Read 6 tweets
20 Sep 20
Today marks 6 weeks since I came down with #COVID19, so here's an update (thread).

The good news is that I'm no longer actively sick or contagious (according to the pulmonologist I saw a couple days ago).

The bad news is that I have post-viral damage: partially collapsed lungs (bibasilar atelectasis) and reactive airway disease.

The good news is that both sound scarier than they are and are both reversible, hopefully without too much scarring.

The bad news is that it'll take weeks or even months to get back to normal. Normal for me, a healthy 37-yo, was breezing through a 2-hour spin class. Now, I get winded going up the stairs in my house.

The good news is that every day feels better than the last.

Read 6 tweets
20 Aug 20
🚨🚨🚨Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny is in a hospital and unconscious, his team says he was poisoned.🚨🚨🚨
There's still a lot we don't know. But: last year, Navalny was poisoned in jail. Three years ago, government-backed thugs sprayed him with "brilliant green," which resulted in a chemical burn to one of his eyes.…
For years, Navalny has been exposing the corruption of Vladimir Putin and everyone around him. For doing this work, Navalny has always had a target on his back. Yet he persisted. In 2018, ran for president of Russia, mounting a sophisticated, grass roots, American-style campaign.
Read 4 tweets

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