“If we think of fascism as a wound from the past that had almost healed, putting Trump in the White House was like ripping off the bandage and picking at the scab,”
.. Albright has long been an optimistic exponent of American exceptionalism, a consummate establishment figure not given to alarmist diatribes. It should be shocking that she feels the need to warn us not just about fascism abroad, but also at home.
.. Albright is not accusing Trump of being a full-blown fascist. He has yet to resort to extrajudicial violence — except, of course, for encouraging his acolytes to beat up protesters at rallies — and his efforts to undermine the rule of law have had only mixed success, in part due to his own fecklessness.
.. “The herd mentality is powerful in international affairs. Leaders around the globe observe, learn from, and mimic one another.”
.. “What they do have in common,” she said, “is this assumption, or decision, that they embody the spirit of the nation and that they have the answers and that their instincts are good, that they are smarter than everybody else and can do things by themselves.”
.. I hadn’t realized that Mussolini had promised to “drenare la palude,” or “drain the swamp,” and that his crowds jeered and booed clusters of reporters at his rallies.
.. Mussolini, like Trump, thought it unsanitary to shake hands.
.. Of Chávez, Albright writes, his “communications strategy was to light rhetorical fireworks and toss them in all directions.” He gloried in dominating the media, “boasting about his accomplishments and deriding — in the crudest terms — real and suspected foes.
.. Albright is well known for her collection of brooches, which she uses like shiny emojis to send subtle diplomatic messages and make wry jokes.
.. she found out that Russia had bugged a conference room near her State Department office; at her next meeting with Russian diplomats, she wore an insect pin. When I spoke to her, she was wearing a silver brooch of a winged figure. I asked her what it was. “It is Mercury,” she said. “The messenger.”