Freedom and Unfreedom with a Top Historian

Timothy Snyder is a historian of the Holocaust, Eastern Europe, and yet other matters. He is a professor at Yale and has many other affiliations. Among his books are “Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin” and “The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America.” Jay picks his brain on democracy, dictatorship, and other concerns of today (and always). An education.

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  1. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat

    Interesting podcast. The guest and author is right about Putin in that his success is based on others failing, namely the West and the Middle East, where he stirs the pot to turn around and pretend to rescue it.  However, Timothy Snyder doesn’t mention something regarding the 2016 election. Ask any American, even in Ohio (!) if they remember anything they read on Facebook or news about Podesta emails or pro-Trump, anti-Hilary sentiment – probably not. The author fails to grasp that American social media was all in for Hilary and trashed Trump during the campaign and after.

    The author fails to grasp the trashing of traditional adherence to the Constitution by the Obama administration, nationalizing healthcare (ruining it), being anti-business and over regulating, pushing too much gender fluidity and safe space mentality, encouraging the silencing of free speech on campus by conservative groups, and the open borders – come on in and get your free cell phone that has lead to an overwhelming situation onto our borders.  Then there is the rampant increase in illegal drugs consuming out country’s youth, coming in on our borders also – soft on Mexico and China – thank you Obama.  This is why the country went for Trump – not because of the Russians, DNC emails or his charming personality.  Hilary would have been a continuation of all of the above.

    Add now what we know about what was initiated behind the scenes even at the highest levels of our government to ensure a Hilary win and a Trump failure.  We’re old enough to remember when values, tradition and decency, the rule of law and common sense ruled this country – while not perfect, but it was under siege by the last administration, not Putin. Then there’s Obama’s give Putin a pass, and every other thug leader – his great foreign policy strategies – that elected a Trump. I suspect that similar sentiment is going on in Europe – enough is enough – the post-modern socialist experiment is the problem and Putin saw it as an advantage and took it.  Both Obama and Hilary did not take cyber-security that seriously or we wouldn’t be here with the constant investigations and Russia’s attempts to influence elections.

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  2. colleenb Member

    Generally agree with @frontseatcat.  I agree with the Professor that perhaps the Republicans/conservatives should be taking Russian interference more seriously but its hard to take seriously when its only used to bash Trump and said Republicans/conservatives. How about H Clinton (in particular) taking the threat of cyberespionage much more seriously than she obviously did?  I have enjoyed Anne Applebaum’s books about Russia/Soviet Union/Communism.  I think I take Putin’s threat pretty seriously.  I like to read about Russian history BUT I think that thinking all protest against the EU and mostly leftist leadership in Europe and the US is coming from Putin is too simplistic.  I do agree most hardily with the Professor that we need to have more people trained to study our enemies.  However I would ask him if the atmosphere on campus – and indeed among the leaders of Europe and the US – makes it difficult to really seek truth and factual history.  If you have to worry more about the diversity of your students and their theses including gay rights, etc, then you are more of the problem then the answer.

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  3. Daniel Sterman Inactive
    Daniel Sterman

    Jay’s suspicion of Germany is backed by a history far longer than he probably suspects. The Talmud, written almost two thousand years ago, warns of the German province inside the Roman Empire, stating that it is made of multiple warring groups who, if they were ever to be united, would destroy the world.

    colleenb (View Comment):
    How about H Clinton (in particular) taking the threat of cyberespionage much more seriously than she obviously did?

    Clinton is no longer a political entity of importance. Yes, it’s clear that she and Obama didn’t take Russia seriously (and that Romney did). But that can’t be continually used by Republicans now as an excuse to continue not doing so – especially as the rest of the Democrats seem to have learned the lesson.

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