God or Vlad?
“To what extent,” asks Masha Gessen, “can Putin provide insight into Trump’s understanding of power?”
When I published a biography of Putin in 2012, some American reviewers criticized the book for asserting that Putin was merely an “ordinary man [whom voters could invest] with whatever they wanted to see in him.” I argued that an unqualified man of limited intelligence had by accident come to rule a nuclear power. That simply does not happen, some reviewers claimed. It does. History contains a multitude of accidents, some of them decisive, but we insist on imbuing events with logic. No one wants to see this logic more than the men like Putin and Trump, who think of themselves as anything but accidental. But if their ascent was preordained despite their lack of qualifications, then a force more powerful than any political party or any voting system must be at play. It may be God’s will, providence, or their innate greatness: one way or the other they were chosen.
Other people have questions too.
Do you think the Russians interfered with the outcome of the U.S. election or was it God?
Life is full of mystery.