Getting to know Glenn Greenwald

When Trump becomes the starting point and ending point for how we talk about American politics, [we] don’t end up talking about the fundamental ways the American political and economic and cultural system are completely fucked for huge numbers of Americans who voted for Trump for that reason … We don’t talk about all the ways the Democratic Party is a complete fucking disaster and a corrupt, sleazy sewer, and not an adequate alternative to this far-right movement that’s taking over American politics.

Glenn Greenwald

The Trump election — because it upended countless political norms, because polls failed to predict it — was a psychologically destabilizing development. When events happen that are so fucking out of the ordinary, people look for unifying events,” Greenwald tells me. It becomes like a religion.” But Greenwald didn’t view the election as an aberration that needed to be explained. Every time Trump says or does something that is xenophobic, or bigoted, or militaristic, or threatening, people always say, This is not what America is about,’ ” he told the crowd in Sante Fe. I always react to that by saying, It’s not?’ ”

Rather than see Trump as a product of a rotten power structure, as Greenwald does, and the 2016 election as a wild reaction against that power structure, as Greenwald also does, it was easier for most American liberals to frame his victory as an accident. And rather than look within to eradicate the conditions that wrought Trump, it was more comforting to pin his rise on an external foe.

The Russian scandal proved ideal.

Simon van Zuylen-Wood, Glenn Greenwald’s war on the Russia investigation

I now know much more about Glenn Greenwald than I did an hour ago.

May 8, 2020

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