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A Russian Reporter Goes to a Trump Rally — And Feels at Home

“But I don’t think it’s so much a mistrust of the people who are in the [American] establishment — I think it’s more mistrust of the system of elections, as such. Because in Russia, there’s a syndrome of “learned helplessness.” For decade after decade, our society has seen that its opinions don’t affect anything. Since 1996, for sure. People don’t believe that one can really choose.

[Here in Iowa City], I spent a lot of time with this elderly couple. We’ve done a lot of talking. They went to see a Cruz rally in a neighboring town, and they came back having made a decision to vote for him. And their explanation really shocked me. They said: “We want to vote for him because he’s proposing term limits [in Congress].”

The fact that this was the deciding factor — Cruz’s position on how the political system should be set up in principle — is really a huge difference [from Russia]. It’s very cool — a completely different level of political thinking than what we have.”

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