Over the weekend, I watched Tucker Carlson’s 127-minute interview with Vladimir Putin from start to finish. The interview has been watched over a hundred million times and offers important, if troubling, windows into our time.
I’m sharing some notes that I took on the discussion as I watched. As always, thank you for stopping and thinking with me.
- Authoritarian Strategy and Psychology
From the start, Putin immediately tries to embarrass Tucker for not understanding history. After checking him, Putin says he’s going to talk for thirty seconds.
He then gives a thirty minute monologue. In fact, the whole first hour and much of the “interview” is a monologue by Putin. When Tucker actually inserts questions, Putin often responds as if he’s merely transitioning to the next point in his lecture.
Putin models authoritarian strategy and psychology 101: intimidate (or ingratiate) your dialogue partner and then dominate what is said with your single story.
- Imperial History and Psychology
Putin then gives a bogus history of Russia that no historian would take seriously... Read More