After important events, people often rush to look up unfamiliar words in news coverage. As a public service, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Twitter account often publicizes the top searches. Last Monday, after the two-party summit and press conference in Helsinki, the top look-ups were, in order, treason, abase, traitor, collusion, and presser. The last word is jargon for “press conference”; the other words reflect opinions about the behavior of the American president toward his Russian counterpart.
If the list had been a little longer, another, more exotic word might have been included: quisling.
What do you call politicians who betray their country for transitory political and financial advantage by working for a corrupt regime?— Bob Garfield (@Bobosphere) July 16, 2018
You call them quislings. And neither history nor irate citizens treat them well.