THE PITCH I'LL START SENDING OUT TO EDITORS TOMORROW MORNING:
On January 26th 2017, six days after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, I traveled to Moscow, Russia, and interviewed over 20 people on what they think about Russia’s involvement in presidential elections and about Trump’s appointment. The opinions I’ve gathered are those of common folk, not connected to media or politics or government. I’m an immigrant of 18 years, but for Russians I’m still svoya—their own—therefore the stories they told me are nothing like what’s being written about in any American news publication at the moment.
I propose a 4,765-word personal essay that highlights six of those stories, woven into the narrative of my trip back to Russian winter for the first time in years. What’s it like to escape an autocratic, fascist regime and then have it catch up with you in the country you came to regard as a safe home? How is Cold War propaganda making its way back on Russian TV and into Russian minds? Why do Russians love Putin, why do they think Trump is horoshiy muzhik—a great fellow, and why do they believe his election will prevent war?
Thank you for this opportunity.