“We all know cynics. From time to time, we all fall prey to cynicism. But cynicism is corrosive when it saturates a society—as it has long saturated Russia’s, and as it has saturated too much of ours. Cynicism fosters a distrust of reality. It is nothing less than a form of surrender. It provokes a suspicion that hidden malign forces are at play. It instills a sense of victimhood. It may be psychically gratifying in the moment, but it solves nothing.