|Via Chris Cillizza (LOL), Washington Post, May 2014. I don't really believe in the significance of this but it's hypnotic.|
In Europe "they" (the general public) trust "them" (the people who are "saying", i.e. public institutions), while in the US "you" (the listener) look at "you" (Abbott or Ducey) not trusting Cuomo or Lamont and "you" (the listener) look at public institutions and "we" (the general public) don 't trust them. Which I get, actually, in spite of the pronoun slippage; it's that there are members of the general public, including (Republican) governors of some large and important states, who cannot find it in themselves to trust public institutions and their representatives including the (mostly Democratic) governors of some other large and important states, which Slavitt traces back to "we were founded on principles of liberty and freedom and distrust of government, and some of that is—makes us who we are" (as if the people he's talking about weren't following a ruthlessly enforced centralized line of groupthink)
Which is why the same people gullible enough to think that COVID is a hydroxy-curable Bill Gates conspiracy are the same people gullible enough to believe oil CEOs are telling the truth about climate, that millions are voting fraudulently, or that Q is is real.— David Atkins (@DavidOAtkins) July 28, 2020
And Slavitt knows this. They trust not widely but too well. And the Brooks line, in which "we" are the public institutions (we all write for The Times now)
If American life is a big open space, it is not a space filled with individuals. It is a space filled with these structures of social life — with institutions. And if we are too often failing to foster belonging, legitimacy and trust, what we are confronting is a failure of institutions.
For the Putin election, the guiding principle was to appeal to “the Left Behind.” [Putin campaigner and founder of the Post Factum news agency Gleb] Pavlovsky identified all the groups who had lost out from the Yeltsin years. These were completely disparate segments of society who in Soviet times would have been on different sides of the barricades: teachers and secret-service types, academics and soldiers. Putin himself was cast as a sort of political extension of Actionism [performance artists who abandoned language, like Oleg Kulik, who showed up as a dog on all fours growling at gallery visitors]. When he arrived on the scene, he offered photo ops of derring-do instead of ideological coherence — the emotional highs of “Make Russia Great Again.” Over time his slogans became sublime in their emptiness: “Putin’s Plan is Russia’s Victory” ran one. To the question of what “Russia’s Victory” was, one could only really answer “Putin’s Plan.”