andrew sullivan twitter

How to fix Twitterif we all just stopped using social,media well he's cut it down by cut about,80,it

Andrew Sullivan

Updated on Jan 14,2023

How to fix Twitter

if we all just stopped using social,media well he's cut it down by cut about,80,it has some uses,but but john i can't i i'm bloody well,addicted to it i mean i've not analyzed,the addiction,it's it's it's this it's it's it's,they've rewired our brains in ways that,are very hard,to get out of if you want to feel i mean,i'm in a i mean i think if i didn't do,my job i might have a good if i were a,gardener i think i could probably,and part of me wants to become a,gardener not,read this stuff anymore but if but if,i'm in it i can't and then if i'm in it,i just can't,literally i read these stuff that are,designed to upset me or to enrage me or,to or to inspire me and i can't help,myself,so what i would do yeah but first i,would urge everybody to to read cal,newport's book deep work i teach that in,my course here at stern on work wisdom,and happiness and because i listened to,your conversation with johann hari which,is one of the best podcast conversations,i've ever heard it was just full of,highs and lows and humor and it was it,was great,so i bought,so i bought his book i just started,reading it i think he has a lot of,suggestions but both of them point out,this is not an individual willpower,thing like yes you can use your,willpower you can do better but there,have been structural changes in the,workplace and elsewhere that make it,very hard for us to get out of this so,once again it's a complex dynamical,system,it's some combination of of legislation,i think there is a role for legislation,even the legislation is usually stupid,and backfires but things are so bad we,need the media companies to realize that,if they don't start acting more,responsibly they're going to have the,heavy-handed hammer come down on them,could we pass a law that says,take out the like button take out the,retweet button,uh if you if you have you have if you're,a social media company and you have,those in there we are going to deny you,access i mean,okay wait wait wait no that is not,directly but i think i haven't checked,this with any lawyers but i think what,could be done is,section 230 protection is this special,protection for social media companies,nobody has a right to be free from,lawsuits you know i think gun makers or,some you know some some groups have,gotten congress to give them exemptions,it's very very rare normally companies,are can be held responsible for the harm,they cause section 230 gives them,exemption for a lot of their activity so,we can't say you know you're not allowed,to have this business model just or you,know but we can say oh you want section,230 protection well then you have to get,these things otherwise you're free to do,what you want do what you want you'll,get sued like any other company but you,do what you want so i think there are,ways uh that regulation i do think,either the fcc the federal communication,commission or the federal trade,commission both have jurisdiction here,and again i think,federal regulation is is sort of a last,resort i have a lot of friends who are,libertarians and they hate this about me,that i do think sometimes we do need,regulation as with machine guns and lead,in the get and get the,lead in the air,i think this is one of those cases i'd,much rather that there be,self-regulation by the industry or that,they be technological innovation there,are a couple of new platforms people are,developing all kinds of platforms that,are less toxic now whether they'll,actually take off we don't know but,as long as the law deals with doesn't,deal with content,but deals with the structure of it and,enabling exactly wait you take out a,like you're not it could like anything,right left or in the middle it is the,way it has been actually purposely,designed,for addictive purposes and and i think,there are ways in which we can,legislatively,control that but andrew i want to i want,to emphasize the first thing you said,there which is actually the more,important thing it's not about content,moderation

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Ban the Twitter business model?

Ban the Twitter business model?

i don't want to be a kind of high-minded,person here in the sense that obviously,all media has to,has to seize your attention has to be,entertaining has to be engrossing,but if it's all,specifically designed,to make money off your obsessive,addiction then it will create addiction,if it's designed to actually advance,some other goal like finding out more,about the world that makes sense,then it can be a very better possibility,how but how do you legally do that but,how do you uninvent,the algorithms which are designed to do,this,yes so we don't want to unembed,algorithms we want to change the,business model for exactly the reason,you just said that those are two,slightly different things so,i remember saying to aza a's are saying,to me just like we banned leading paint,and petrol we should just ban the,current business model,we just say you cannot have a business,model that's based on finding out,weaknesses in people's attention hacking,them and selling their attention to the,highest bidder i remember,saying to him right and lots of the,other people who said this to me in,silicon valley,right but,let's say we did that the next day do i,open facebook and it just says sorry,we've gone fishing he said of course not,they would have to move to a different,model one is subscription which you've,just talked about another potential,model might be you know before we had,sewers we had in the streets we got,cholera so we all pay for the sewers to,be built and we all own them together,right you own the sewers in dc i own,them in london it may be that like we,own the sewage pipes together,we might want to own the information,pipes together so that we because we're,getting the attentional equivalent of,cholera now you'd have to make sure that,was independent of government you'd have,to model like the bbc most respected,media body in the world you obviously be,catastrophic if it was owned by the,government for all sorts of reasons,that's so obvious i don't need to go,into them but i mean but at the same,time how would you ever insulate it from,government pressure because,you're such you're nationalizing it,essentially,well there's always the threat that the,government could nationalize anything,right so that i mean the government,could do that with anything,in america there are ways,i mean i just don't know legally how you,do it i mean i,i in general i'm a little leery of a,rather ham-handed attempts to to to,shift,the private sector's business models i,mean they're trying to make profits how,do we say you can't make a profit or you,must make a lower price i think,i think you've there's all sorts of,things we say that people can't i mean,the lead industry for example was an,enormous industry we just said look for,you to pursue your business model is so,profoundly harmful to the society and,particularly to our children we're not,going to allow you to do it right now of,course that doesn't mean social media,disappears but the key thing is when you,move to a different business model,whether it's subscription or public,ownership of some kind of public,ownership independent government,all the incentives change suddenly,you're the customer so they have to ask,what does andrew want oh andrew wants to,be able to pay attention okay let's,redesign our algorithms to,heal his attention rather than harm them,there's all sorts of ways that can be,done i go through some of them in the,book but i think you've got to a really,important thing as well which i would,say that is difficult but it's hard to,do you're absolutely right,what happens if we don't do it socially,right and i think this relates to lots,of the things you've been writing about,trumpism wokism i think you have to,understand it in relation to,uh deeper psychological phenomenon so,two things have come together you've got,a business model premised upon,getting you to scroll as long as,possible so all the algorithms are,trying to figure out what keeps people,scrolling,and this was not the intention of anyone,who designed them could be clear about,that they didn't design it this way but,that bumped into,a deep human truth that's been known,about for a long time by psychologists,which is called negativity bias so,anyone who's ever seen a car accident,knows what negativity biases human,beings will stare longer at things that,shock,anger and frighten them than they will,at things that make them feel good you,stared longer at the car crash than you,did at the pretty flowers on the other,side of the street right this is very,deep in human nature 10 week old babies,will stare longer and angry face than a,than a happy face probably for obvious,reasons in our evolution humans who are,more alert to danger are more likely to,survive but this has a horrific effect,when it combines with algorithms,designed to maximize engagement picture,it as simple as this picture two teenage,girls you mentioned them before you go,to the same party and go home on the,same bus,and one of them does a status

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Andrew Sullivan in conversation with Freddie Sayers LIVE

Andrew Sullivan in conversation with Freddie Sayers LIVE

foreign,good evening everybody and welcome to,the brand new in the process of opening,unheard Club,yes and if you are watching online,welcome to YouTube this is a brand new,Venture which comes out of a few,instincts more than a kind of detailed,plan of action and the instinct is,I suppose also after the covid era where,everyone was sort of isolated and being,keyboard Warriors and fighting this,fight online and this increasingly nasty,and often quite surreal way there is,something really different and magical,about actually being together in 3D in,real life in a room and actually just,having a discussion it's much harder to,hate people when you are with them in,the flesh,um and our sort of ambition here our aim,um is to bring into Westminster we are,here we are Stones Throw from Downing,Street in that direction we are a stone,stove from Westminster Abbey and Nethers,we could not be more in the heart of,power and yet we don't want to just,reflect what we are hearing around us we,want to bring different ideas in so when,there are great thinkers such as our,guest this evening who I am about to,introduce coming from overseas or people,who are kind of zooming out a bit and,looking at the bigger ideas instead of,just the horse race or today's policy or,whatever the argument on Twitter is we,want to have them here and we want to,bring people together and we want to see,if we can work it all out so thank you,for being part of this little growing,but as yet nascent community and let me,introduce Our Guest which is none other,than Andrew Sullivan,so I have written on my little notes,here he is the most influential,political writer of his generation,uncontroversial claim,um but normally I wouldn't do a whole,sort of biography but I just want to,touch on a couple of things because for,me it's absolutely fascinating the,journey that Andrew has been on he is by,birth a Brit,um he Heralds from Surrey and East,grinstead I think that's right,um born a Catholic had an absolutely,Stellar academic career with,scholarships to Oxford he was president,of the Oxford Union he then went to,Harvard where he also ultimately got a,PhD in Michael oakshot there is a oak,shot book standing just behind him,um at this point he very shortly,afterwards became a journalist he became,the youngest ever editor of the National,Review no is that not right the new,Republic oh sorry,it's okay,the other one of the new Republic,um which,was a conservative is a conservative,leading magazine and he why don't you,take over I'm sorry,it was an old school liberal magazine,and the weird thing was that I was it,was that I was appointed edit of not,being a liberal that was the huge fuss,about it but but you made one of the,very first the thing I was about to say,look I think this is right is that you,made the argument for gay marriage yep,in let's say conservative context which,at the time which is we're talking early,90s was kind of considered completely,ladies actually even in the late 80s,wild yes sort of outrageous crazy,um and of course uh in retrospect looks,prescient to say the least I'm gonna,fast forward to my home I'm sorry I just,wanted to make sure people didn't,understand after that he almost,single-handedly invented blogging,um with the creation of the dish and,which became this absolutely huge uh,blog and he was writing literally like,one line blogs every five minutes and It,ultimately led to it was kind of a,burnout for you because it just became,too much but he had this grew this huge,devoted following,um of uh people who are in a way still,with you I think uh all these years,later,um we wrote for the New York Times,magazine most recently New York Magazine,leaving in circumstances that maybe we,will investigate,um he was strongly anti-hillary strongly,Pro Obama and strongly anti-trump so,he's basically managed to upset,everybody,um which makes him a friend here are,unheard because we we like that kind of,attitude don't like people who are sort,of loyally only in One Tribe he is,prepared to to break the mold,what I wanted to start with I mean there,is a huge amount that we could be,covering but I figured since we have,managed to schedule this conversation,exactly at the same time as the England,United States football match and we will,be getting updates I hope from flow if,there are any goals so you don't need to,to panic that you are missing out,um is to see if there are common moods,on both sides of this Atlantic that we,should be trying to kind of observe,um I feel one idea that's insufficiently,explored is that the UK is actually,ahead of the US in some respects I mean,we all those of us who live through 2016,most obviously were aware that something,very serious was happening in the spring,when the brexit result happened and all,of my American friends were just,uninterested by as far as they was,concerned the old world was still there,and they only discovered that it wasn't,in November and there's been quite a few,examples of it and most rec

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Is Twitter a Reliable Source for News? - Andrew Sullivan

Is Twitter a Reliable Source for News? - Andrew Sullivan

for a TV the world is thinking any,understanding of an event as its,unfolding is going to be by its very,nature wrong in many respects and and,and or it may be right at that,particular moment but wrong a day later,I mean that these these catalytic human,events are extraordinarily hard to,understand you know from his from a,historical point of view of sociological,any point of you especially with the,regime like this which which is very,complicated and and a changing regime so,III think it can distort the important,thing and like this is everything is,true as long as it isn't taken to be,anything more than it is all this,information is is vital and real the,critical thing is is is to try and,understand it in context constantly to,try and also keep looking up at the big,picture to understand the larger forces,in the region for example but for this,instance obviously this is something,that look this is in some ways what,George Bush are argued for I mean this,is the actual democratic revolution that,the United States has been saying needs,to happen it didn't happen in Iraq it,happened in Iran and I think it was,always going to happen near on before it,happened in Iraq just coming back to,your question I mean I I think of course,it's distorting to read I mean those of,you who haven't done this should go on,andrew's blog and look at some of these,these Twitter streams which are I mean,he hasn't been green also so they're,they're delineated and they feel even,more urgent for whatever reason but but,you read them and you really are taken,to the street and that's very useful the,problem with being taking the street is,that distorting effect of being you know,if you've covered a battle you know you,see as a reporter you see about 25 feet,around you and you have no idea if they,decide you're happened to be covering is,winning or losing it's the same thing I,think with twitter which is I'm going to,say something on behalf of our antique,profession of reporting which is why,you absolutely should read these twitter,feeds but what you need the reporters to,filter the information and test it and,and actually it wait a while and think,about it and analyze it and then present,it and a in a more complete coherent,package I think taken together you'll,get a better understanding of what's,happening on the streets but I think,it's also true that reporters on the,ground are also suffering for a massive,distortion of perspective and and and,and especially when they come at as we,all do with a set of ideas that we're,trying to interpret the world so I think,that in some ways we have a million,little reporters as opposed to a handful,of experience long term without I think,that what that needs and especially in a,situation like Iran where they've shut,down the reporters I mean what there is,a situation when they've kicked them all,out then you have no option um but I,know we've had a debate about this but,you know someone like Roger Cohen who,goes to Iran and does a report I there,are plenty of arguments that he's he's,right or he's completely completely,wrong because his perspective is skewed,in a certain way by the people he meets,so I think old there is not some golden,reporter objectivity standard neither is,it and what you need at you in this case,is analysis you need people who,understand the history the language the,culture arm and also the broader,regional issues these are these are,complicated difficult you also need that,reporter to go to the site of the murder,of this 26 year old woman and confirm,the details I mean it's vitally,important for the sake of things you do,it well sometimes you can in sometimes,you can but but I I'm arguing for both,yeah bargain for both but is a report,because this gets to it because if you,get let's say the video what happening,so we actually mean you can't get more,you can't get a better reporter than an,actual video of a drawing disagree I,disagree you didn't see where the bullet,came from in the video no but that's a,star it's a start then you have the,testimony of the person who rushed up to,help her,then you have the testimony that comes,out via these issue not through a,reporter but through these new media,that explains what happened in the,hospital then you get the statement of,the government that you also comes out,without a reporter that is actually in,contradiction to the obvious facts like,that they actually said the CIA shot her,in the head one everybody knows this is,how stupid this regime is in so many,ways this shot here

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How to reform Twitter

How to reform Twitter

and will you see what happens people,form tribes instantly,people silo themselves into with a,variety of,people they follow that just tells them,what they want to think they then,treat uh arguments or people making,arguments,with which they don't agree they find,ways to just,discredit or delegitimize the author,not the actual argument so that,the number of times i've heard people,say well you would say that you're white,and that's,it not you're wrong because you got this,wrong and maybe,your own experience is different no it's,like you got that wrong because you're a,white,racist and that's or just leave,out all of that and say,you're a white racist that is,the argument yes that is the argument,and that's what people think is an,argument and certainly i would say,for the under 30s or under 35s at this,point that is,that is the kind of argumentation they,are used to all they do when you present,an argument,is instantly figure a way out how your,identity discret just,removes you from any legitimacy in this,conversation well i've listened to lots,of these podcasts i love this show,i'm so honored to be on it it's one of,my little life goals,but one of the things i've learned is,that andrew will always find a way to be,pessimistic,if he possibly can find a way to be,pessimistic he will so i'm just going to,counter that for fun today,okay the book is hopeful i know it is,it's guardedly optimistic it's,absolutely in that sense,but i'm going to try you anyway doomed,i'm going to try you anyway,that's right cheer me up about to tell,me how we can i'm going to say,it's not automatic that that we the,forces of,organized civil conversation triumph,over the forces of,nihilism and epistemic chaos that are,engulfing us it's not a given but we can,i think,and i'll start making that case by,saying we've been here before,the invention of the printing press as,you know set,off a a chain of fake news that spread,like wildfire,across europe about witchcraft led to,the the killings of tens of thousands of,people mostly women led to wars that,swept across europe,it took 100 years to get that to settle,down but eventually we did develop the,institutions,that channel those disagreements into,productive conflict we now call that,science,we saw this in the united states in the,way the media operated in the 19th,century,fantastically partisan fantastically you,know full of fake news,and that was largely technologically,driven you had the invention of the,penny press which went after eyeballs,it was subscription based so the more,crazy you sounded the more people you,got to sign up and then the invention of,offset printing which allowed these huge,empires like hearst to form,and they loved outrage that was yellow,journalism,how do we deal with that well we built,some institutions and guardrails and,some people,again i always emphasis it's it's,conscious,constitution building institution,building is conscious,so a lot of people said enough of this,this warfare is getting us nowhere,it's just all making us hostile it's,making us demented,so you get the foundation of the,american society of newspaper editors,first thing it does is promulgate ethics,codes the same codes that you and i were,taught in our journalism career you know,double sourcing uh checking back for,comment,the whole editorial structure making,corrections you got journalism schools,and within a couple of generations you,had walter cronkite,you know you had a fantastically by,historical standards good media,structure,so here's the question twitter for,example but also facebook but also,really all of them,were built as advertising vehicles,to collect eyeballs the more outrage the,better they're,they're epistemically nihilistic they're,epistemically negative they don't care,about truth,they just want to grab people's,attention however they can do it,so they were designed without any,thought to truth,or to structuring conversations in civil,ways i argue that that's,not necessary they can be improved maybe,not perfectly but they can be improved,a lot through redesign of the invention,of the,instant retweet button the like button,this was a disaster,the people who invented it say it was a,disaster it can be changed,twitter now if you try to retweet a link,which you haven't read,will put up a banner saying you sure you,want to retreat it it's small but it's,the kind of experiment which over time,can generate changes um in the way these,these platforms function we'll see if it,works,but the bigger thing is i think for,example facebook's,oversight board people are very cynical,about that they see,extremely cynical yeah i'm not because i,see it as the beginning of the,development of a kind of common law,set of standards and values which if,they work and if they catch on can start,to clean up some of this mess,that's how we've done it in the past,create institutions,the international fact checkers network,which has really sprung up in the last,five years and growing by leaps and,boun

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Andrew Sullivan: High-deas | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Andrew Sullivan: High-deas | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

all right we got a great show we have,Max Rose and Jackie Combs here but first,up he is the Blogger of the weekly dish,on sub stack whose new book is out on a,limb selected right against,1989-202-1 Andrew Sullivan,hello sir,I will you know move,right A bit thank you,I don't want to give a bad message that,we're shaking hands but I mean you know,you have HIV we've shared a joint I know,I know it was really nerve-wracking I,mean a marijuana cigarette not a anyway,uh,but we did we've shouted we do we love,we love our weed speaking of that I,heard you on a podcast,say that you have a notebook called high,ideas,okay same idea,um I I of course my whole life is a,notebook called high ideas uh what I,want to know from you is what percentage,of them when you go back and read them,sober still good,about three out of ten,really yeah I mean I know I I'm that's,low it is though I mean I I I I as a,writer I find Smoking Weed really,helpful not before I write I'm always,right sober but when you write something,and you smoke a little joint afterwards,your mind your ego depresses a little,bit and you begin to look at your work,and you say well maybe that's just crap,and some of them you're right I've I've,looked back and it's like open a Ketchup,restaurant,what the does that even mean you,know but I I have a what I call a,bicameral mind like a bicameral,legislation if I have an important,decision I think about it sober I think,about it's hot high if the two bodies,can agree on legislation then I will,sign it into law but they have to they,the two sides have to agree,foreign,your ego can get attached to crap,because it's your crap exactly and what,we does is get you a little bit away,right so you're actually able to look at,this cure objectively you kill your own,children which is what all writers have,to do you have to and and I must say,Andrew you're just killing it lately,you're on this sub stack first of all,this is your 27th time on this show,the best,that is a record,you hold it you have the crown and the,best part of my job really is talking to,the smartest people and of course this,is America they're kind of hard to come,by,although I must say our staff I think,does a brilliant job finding finding,them but there's a reason why you're the,champ because I just find you always the,you know that what this country lacks so,much is common sense and perspective and,being Lucid this place you're at now sub,stack right you were at New York,Magazine,but you kind of quit them because,newsrooms right now have become a place,where,used to be able to fired by the editor,or the owner now you're fired because,the woke in The Newsroom right you have,to conform to the one true opinion or,they don't even want you in the building,it's a complicated thing because uh,actually I was fired I was given four,days notice I was nominated for Pulitzer,one year in the next year fired not for,anything I wrote but because I wasn't,going to completely go along with their,work agenda they knew that they knew,that I don't know what they were,thinking that's who I am anyway I don't,know why it's so terrible to have,someone in a magazine or in a complete a,mix of things to have someone a,dissenter in a magazine he's fun right I,mean that's the whole point I grew up,wanting to debate wanting to argue I had,a big Irish Catholic Family we thought,about everything what was the problem,afterwards we got together we had a nice,drink we were totally cool about it and,it's not even like you're very,conservative,please I mean you wrote the original,article about gay marriage in 1989 Here,Comes the Groom yeah it's in your book,it's brilliant I mean you were so far,ahead of your time on so many of these,things but I mean again it's the common,sense thing I feel like you have,perspective,I think you and I agree on so many,things like who's crazier the left or,the right the right,right there you should be allowed in The,Newsroom,is it the if the editors are responding,to social media social media Twitter,right is what creates these online mobs,that create this pressure right on the,editors to fire individual writers even,if the editors are fine with the writer,and the real problem with this is not so,much the work and the online media,because they are awful and they should,be ignored but they aren't it's the,point of the people running these,institutions liberal institutions,universities magazines newspapers they,don't have the balls to say no we will,we do believe in the plurality of views,we are going to defend unpopular writers,Free Speech means nothing

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Andrew Sullivan reacts to the storming of the Capitol

Andrew Sullivan reacts to the storming of the Capitol

i want to apologize a little bit because,i can't disguise the fact that i am,enraged right now,furious at what has just been done,the most sacred citadel of liberal,democracy a symbol,of the peaceful transition of power of,debate,not violence of order,not chaos has been,invaded assaulted and sacked,by a mob that was directly,commanded by the president of the united,states,who told this crowd to go to the capitol,and be wild,who told them that the opposition was so,tough that they couldn't afford to be,weak,and as is often the case was greeted by,the uns,unbelievable incompetence,from those entrusted with the security,of the capitol building i don't think,this could have happened,in any other western democracy,i think if the houses of parliament had,been stormed,by a mob,the united kingdom would be in,complete crisis but i don't think those,liberal democracies are as failed and,as corrupt and as incompetent as the one,we are,unfortunately doomed to live in,i'm angry,because it has been absolutely clear,from the minute this monster came down,that escalator,that this was his intent to undo,american democracy,he has never said he would concede he,did not concede,in advance of the 2016 election in fact,he insisted that he would,not honor the results,if he didn't win we've known this,all the time we have had a wannabe,tyrant vandalizing every institution,in our democracy poisoning our entire,country,and bringing the reputation of the,united states down to the level of the,banana republic,yes i love this country i love the,principles on which it has been built,but this man has destroyed them,and he has done so with the willing,active,enthusiastic support of an entire,political party,he turned it into a cult,he fed them after 60 lawsuits,but perfectly legitimate to question the,results of an election,perfectly legitimate,to take election results to courts,to present evidence of fraud,or other irregularities as they are,euphemistically calling it,not legitimate after that whole process,to,invoke violence and not just on any day,on the day the congress would certify,the results of the election this was an,attempted,attack on the very,core of our democracy,i'm going to read something i wrote,not that long ago but those of you,who've read my stuff for the last few,years know this is what i've been saying,from the beginning,it's what i said as early as february,2016,this man is a tyrant,it doesn't mean that he has effectively,created,a tyranny but he has spent every second,of every day attempting to do so,he was and always has been an absurd,as well as disgusting human being,but that's what tyrants are,and an attempt by a president,to advance his own personal rule,over every other principle in our,constitution,has also been greeted by some hysteria,on,on the far left yes,and with great enthusiasm on so much of,the right,yes but it is those,in the middle those who have been close,to him,those who are around this town and knew,what he was,know what he still is and still,dismissed minimized looked away,an attempt to persuade us that this,emergency,in american democracy which has now been,going on for five years was not an,emergency at all,that everything was fine that our system,was resilient,that it would continue without a hitch,these are absolutely classic phenomena,associated with the rise of tyrants,read aristotle on tyranny read plato on,tyranny read shakespeare on tyranny,i wrote a while back about the parallels,between donald trump and richard iii,and this is what i wrote and forgive me,for repeating it,i did this before the election,when barton gellman's piece came out,that people dismissed at the time as,fantastical and paranoid,every single bit of which has been,proven correct,here's the piece denial,avoidance distraction willful ignorance,these are all essential to enabling a,tyrant's rise,and keeping this pattern going is,richard the third's profound grasp,of the power of shock,he does and says the unexpected and,unthinkable,in order to stun his opponents into a,kind of dazed,passivity it's this capacity to keep you,on your heels to keep disorienting you,with the unacceptable which is then,somehow accepted,that marks a tyrant's relentless drive,he does this by instinct he craves chaos,lies suspense surprises not because he's,a genius but because stability,threatens his psyche he cannot rest he,is not,in control of himself,this is what we've been dealing with in,the figure of donald trump now for five,years and it is absurd to believe,that a duly conducted election is going,to end it,i know i know i'm hysterical and over,the top and a victim of,trump derangement syndrome trump is,simply too incompetent and too lazy to,be an actual tyrant i'm,constantly scolded he's just baiting me,again and so on,but what i think this otherwise salient,critique misses is that tyranny is not,in its essence,about the authoritarian administrative,skills,required to run a country effectively,for a long time,tyrants after all are of

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Andrew Sullivan: I was right about Donald Trump

Andrew Sullivan: I was right about Donald Trump

a genuine and principled a moderate,defense of conservatism has forever in,this country now been tainted with the,forces of anarchy sedition,and racism i mean that's the truth,they win,hello and welcome this is lockdown tv,from unheard,last wednesday 6th of january we saw,those crazy scenes,on the capitol in washington dc and a,lot of us are still trying to process,what exactly that meant how scared,should we have been,and how profound was it as a historical,event well here to,try and make sense of it with us i'm,delighted to say is andrew sullivan,joining from washington hi andrew hi,freddie how are you,i'm fine thank you so let me just,introduce you to,those of our viewers who don't know you,are a,famous columnist and writer and,commentator you,started life as a sort of catholic,conservative,then managed to upset the catholic,conservatives by campaigning for gay,marriage,um you were then very anti-hillary,clinton which upset the establishment,liberals very pro-obama which upset the,remaining conservatives you hadn't upset,before,and then were very very anti-trump which,upset whoever,was remaining after that so pretty much,you've upset everyone during the,stella last three decades is that a fair,introduction,yes i have been cancelled by every side,many times but um i'm still attempting,to make sense of,things as far as i can let me start by,kind of,giving you the credit here because you,were one of the,commentators who all the way back in,2016 when a lot of people said,well trump will change his behavior if,he were to be elected or even in the,general election campaign,like all these kind of wackos once they,get near the trappings of power they,become more establishment,and you said that's not going to happen,there are features in his,character which you saw early which you,said,would ultimately lead us to something,like what we saw,last wednesday what was it that you saw,back then,well he is instinctually and always has,been,the classical definition of a tyrant,now people don't like that word because,it implies that america is a tyranny,it wasn't my point my point was that,that is who he is he has no capacity,psychologically to live in a world with,equals,or to engage in what i would call a,non-zero sum engagement,he's he's psychologically unwell he's,been this way his whole life,if you read his bargain before he was,elected it was quite clear this is who,he was,no understanding of the constitution uh,and fundamentally no ability to concede,anything to give up to to,bargain in a way that would benefit both,sides so he was,he was almost the antithesis of the,character needed,in a liberal democracy and so i i really,believed that he would,squelch the the the,energy and the the essence of liberal,democracy which requires give and take,reason uh and a certain amount of,restraint and moderation,so i always regarded him and i have,consistently regarded him,as a threat to the constitution in the,united states and indeed to the world,and and i was terrified this was going,to happen at any point,this was always going to happen if he,was ever checked and it was also,clear from the 2016 campaign where he,said he would not,abide by the result if he lost,first time in american history that that,has been said before an election,and clearly this year said that he was,not going to abide,by an election result if he lost uh,and and is still claiming,a president former president united,states that he lost that he won this in,a landslide,so this is a this is a this is an insane,person,someone out of his mind you definitely,get the credit here,on forecasting that he would refuse to,accept,defeat that he would show very little,respect for the institutions around the,democratic system,that he would never stop and would take,it as far as it could possibly go,all of those things happened but what,didn't happen,at least with 10 days left or so of his,presidency what has not happened,is the squelching of liberal democracy,as you put it it looks,touchwood like liberal democracy has,survived,could one maybe say that you were right,in terms of what his character would,lead to and what he would sort of,be motivated towards but actually that,the institutions and the democracy,itself were stronger than you thought,no i don't i i think that um,when 147 members of congress a majority,of your own party,in the house of representatives,votes to decertify the legitimate tested,results of a general election uh then,it's much,deeper when the possibility of even a,discourse in the country that relies,upon the same set of facts,has disappeared which is also part of,liberal democracy,uh i don't retract,a word when i see the public debate for,example of what's happening now,with the constraining of the internet,by the big tech companies i would say,absolutely this is what was going to,happen,because we don't have a liberal,democracy,we haven't maybe i need to explain what,that what i mean by that,which is that it is one in which both,parties accept,

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