Extreme division in the public opinion is not new and is not common only to Romania. What is special about our situation is how ludicrous and paranoid their claims are. In this article commenced long ago, we look at how “tunnel vision” and “excessive focus” ruins politics, and implicitly, electorates who fail to censor the politicians who succumb to it.
The current highly divisive politics will only exacerbate the existing problems. “Conspiracy Ponta” (RU happy, Basescu?) does not govern based on sound policy, nor does he select people on merit, but rather decides on whether to change things or bureaucrats based solely on their connection to the ancienne regime. His propaganda is insulting to anyone with at least half a brain.
Does he really believe what he’s saying, or is he downplaying his audience’s critical thinking? Is his belief that “Basescu was fighting his foreign political enemies through the Romanian Cultural Institute, that’s why we destroyed it” genuine or a manifestation of “manelist thinking” (dusmanii)?!
Then again, the regime Victor Ponta takes his cues from is similarly self-centered and oblivious to absurd.
- Presedintele rus Vladimir Putin, care a ajutat la capturarea unui tigru siberian sau a pozat alaturi de un urs polar, va participa la proiectul ''Zborul sperantei'', destinat pastrarii in Peninsula Yamal (Siberia) a cocorilor albi, pe cale de disparitie, informeaza Vocea Rusiei.
- Presedintele va incerca sa joace rolul de lider al cocorilor albi crescuti in captivitate. Ei se pregatesc pentru zborul lung in Asia Centrala, in care vor fi insotiti de deltaplane. Pilotul deltaplanului care va juca rolul de lider al cardului de cocori va arata drumul, relateaza publicatia citata.
- ''Rolul pilotului este de lider al stolului. El arata calea de zbor'', ar fi declarat omul de stiinta Yuri Markin pentru site-ul Vedomosti. [via hn]
Government’s popular support rests on and is enhanced by shameless propaganda and oral slaves.
- aceiași oameni spun despre o altă doamnă că e securistă și turnătoare. O fi fost. Dar Dan Voiculescu? Dar Felix? Dar bășinosul? Dar jegul care și-a turnat rudele? Știu, a zis-o Badea: ăla îi plătește, deci ar fi lipsă de bun-simț să spună ceva rău despre el. Bine atunci.
- Revenind la manipularea de prost-gust (nu e nici măcar subtilă, să fim serioși) a Antena 3, este totuși un act de curaj să fii hoțul care strigă ”hoții!”, nebunul care strigă ”nebunii!”, securistul care strigă ”securiștii!”. Curaj, am zis? Hm! Inconștiență de-a dreptul. Ca să faci asta, în ciuda tuturor probelor care te incriminează, trebuie să-ți desconsideri total și definitiv publicul. Antena 3 crede, așadar, că oamenii care se uită la postul lor sunt complet cretini. Cred că le-au spălat suficient creierul și acum a sosit momentul pentru reeducare, ca-n A Clockwork Orange. Să-i facă să simtă durere fizică atunci când spun adevărul. O fi bine?
- Nu e bine. Antena 3 nu face, în ultima vreme, decât să-și îndepărteze orice oameni cu capacitate de analiză și să-și fidelizeze fanaticii. Genul de ”distrați” care ar arunca autobuze în aer și și-ar arăta genitalele în piețe publice. Nu doar proștii, nu doar nebunii, nici măcar doar proștii nebuni. Ci proștii nebuni și curajoși! Câți sunt dintr-ăștia? Prea puțini. Sunt ăia 200 care ies să protesteze în piață. Pe lângă ei, alte câteva mii din țară și din spatele monitoarelor, poate. Pe care d’alde Badea și Ghișe se pot baza oricând, e drept. Dar restul? (via Mantzy)
One other such oral slave is Andrei Zaharescu, apparently the only journalist ever caught taking bribes.
- Zaharescu e singurul ziarist în viaţă prins în flagrant în timp ce lua şpagă. În 2000, acesta a fost dat afară de la ProTV, sub acuzaţia că pretindea sume de bani de la anumiţi medici cărora le facilita apariţia pe sticlă.
- Andrei Zaharescu lua între 2000 şi 5000 de dolari pentru a facilita unor medici apariţia acestora pe postul ProTV, la rubrica cu tematică medicală în cadrul unei emisiuni matinale de ştiri. (Poate la fel s-a intamplat cu nenea nutritionist si de-asta era asa pornit.)
- Zaharescu a fost deconspirat după ce un cadru medical s-a adresat producătoarei emisiunii, solicitându-i acesteia să-l roage pe Andrei Zaharescu să o mai păsuiască, deoarece nu a strâns toţi banii, dar se rezolvă. După ce i-a pus la cale un flagrant, Adrian Sârbu l-a dat afară din ProTV. Zaharescu a fost înregimentat de Antena 1, doi ani mai târziu. (via pcresoare, zn, zoso)
Even ctp, with his well-known hatred for Basescu sees the flaws in the current government and the divisiveness that has engulfed Romanian politics.
- E simplu şi sumbru să socotim pagubele din paranteza murdară: bani cheltuiţi, bani pierduţi, avarii de imagine în Occident, scăderea încrederii românilor în votul democratic, mai multă ură între oameni. Totuşi, am putea identifica şi nişte câştiguri ale perioadei?
- Crin Antonescu nu e bun de preşedinte al României. Din 2009 şi până acum am tot observat alunecarea spre găunos, spre demagogie politicardă a unui crin tot mai galben. Dar nu credeam că poate ajunge la un adevărat delir de sine, la un autocult al personalităţii – măcar cultul lui Ceauşescu era făcut de alţii. „Ori tu, ori eu!”, „Băsescu nu scapă de mine decât dacă mă omoară!”, „Eu am în spate voturile a 7,5 milioane de români, Băsescu îl are pe ambasadorul SUA şi 900.000 de voturi. Cine e mai puternic?” Mai puternică e paranoia, pentru că Antonescu a ajuns să-i sufle în ceafă Monicăi Macovei, prevestitoarea războiului civil, cu declaraţia „Vor fi tensiuni sociale, dacă Băsescu rămâne la Cotroceni”.
- Victor Ponta nu e premier. E un arivist influenţabil, presat de eminenţele cenuşii ale USL să ia decizii aiurea, să numească nişte eronaţi în guvern, să forţeze legile. În compensaţie, se răzbună puşteşte cu obrăznicii la adresa liderilor occidentali.
The political life in USA is even more divided than in Romania, as the Daily Show interview with a Senator, the God / Jerusalem @ DNC conundrum or even Bill Clinton’s speech at the DNC convention show. Perhaps that is why we’ve had in that country Jon Stewart’s march to restore Sanity and/or Fear.
More pertinently today, this is also what a recent book, 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars seems to convey. As I said before, I was in Venice on 9/11 and I don’t like to jump into conspiracy theories.
It turns out, it wasn’t just security theater that prompted the Bush administration to ignore warnings (which they probably placed somewhere at the same level with global warming warnings), but rather their focus on Saddam Hussein.
On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief — and only that daily brief — in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.
That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it. (..)
[S]ome in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.
Sadly, there are stark similarities with politicians and their supporters who allow their hatred of Basescu (and little understanding or knowledge of his policies and what he stands for) to take up all their time and cloud their evaluation of the consequences the country will face.
Ronnie Smith publishes a quick summary in Romania-Insider (ri-rwe).
Having invested, by his own admission, 70 percent of his time as Prime Minister of the country in the power struggle with Mr Basescu, Mr Ponta failed even to persuade more than 50 percent of the Romanian electorate to come out to vote in the referendum. Looking at the voting figures, only superficially, it appears that the combined forces of Social Democratic Party (PSD) and Liberal Party (PNL) can count only on something slightly above 40 percent support in the country but even that figure is very optimistic. Most of the people I spoke to who voted ‘Yes’ in the referendum did so because of their extreme dislike of Mr Basescu rather than a belief that USL and their leaders offered a clear way forward in a post-Basescu Romania.
This is not good news for the USL going forward to the Parliamentary elections on December 9.
The impeachment referendum was characterized by the political opportunities that were missed by both sides. Apart from offering a wide and interesting range of personal insults aimed at Mr Basescu, including the famous scorpion jibe, Mr Ponta refused to provide a positive narrative for his government, its working relationship with a new Head of State (Mr Antonescu) and the country going forward beyond the coming crucial Parliamentary elections. Mr Ponta’s message was that Mr Basescu is a liar and a dictator and that many of Romania’s civic institutions could not be trusted and should be resisted, period.
Mr Antonescu, during his time as interim President, clearly failed to convince many people that he was, or may ever be, a credible occupant of the Cotroceni Palace. This must be of great concern to him and his supporters as we approach, with some uncertainty, the next presidential elections. It may indeed be that Mr Antonescu does not really want to become President, we shall see. However apart from attacking José Manuel Barosso, President of the European Commission from whom Romania hopes to receive billions of euros in development funding, Mr Antonescu’s message was that Mr Basescu is a liar and a dictator, period.
Mr Basescu failed to offer a vision of how he plans to work with a USL government, he could not show the Romanian people how he would renovate his presidency in light of the new political reality in the country. His message was that Mr Ponta and Mr Antonescu are liars who had mounted a coup that could lead to violent unrest. His strategy was to undermine the credibility of the government and in this he worked very closely with his opponents to further reduce the reputation of Romania, its people and its institutions at home and overseas.
Let us consider more examples of partisanship from USA, as published by Ross Douthat in the New York Times in 2010 (partisan-mind). He thinks that “external facts matter less than gut feelings” which is the very definition of truthiness.
- How potent is the psychology of partisanship? Potent enough to influence not only policy views, but our perception of broader realities as well. A majority of Democrats spent the late 1980s convinced that inflation had risen under Ronald Reagan, when it had really dropped precipitously. In 1996, a majority of Republicans claimed that the deficit had increased under Bill Clinton, when it had steadily shrunk instead. Late in the Bush presidency, Republicans were twice as likely as similarly situated Democrats to tell pollsters that the economy was performing well. In every case, the external facts mattered less than how the person being polled felt about the party in power.
- This tendency is vividly illustrated by our national security debates. In the 1990s, many Democrats embraced Bill Clinton’s wars of choice in the Balkans and accepted his encroachments on civil liberties following the Oklahoma City bombing, while many Republicans tilted noninterventionist and libertarian. If Al Gore had been president on 9/11, this pattern might have persisted, with conservatives resisting the Patriot Act the way they’ve rallied against the T.S.A.’s Rapiscan technology, and Vice President Joe Lieberman prodding his fellow Democrats in a more Cheney-esque direction on detainee policy. But because a Republican was president instead, conservative partisans suppressed their libertarian impulses and accepted the logic of an open-ended war on terror, while Democratic partisans took turns accusing the Bush administration of shredding the Constitution.
- Now that a Democrat is in the White House, the pendulum is swinging back. In 2006, Gallup asked the public whether the government posed an “immediate threat” to Americans. Only 21 percent of Republicans agreed, versus 57 percent of Democrats. In 2010, they asked again. This time, 21 percent of Democrats said yes, compared with 66 percent of Republicans. In other words, millions of liberals can live with indefinite detention for accused terrorists and intimate body scans for everyone else, so long as a Democrat is overseeing them. And millions of conservatives find wartime security measures vastly more frightening when they’re pushed by Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano (as the Drudge Report calls her) rather than a Republican like Tom Ridge.
In a more recent article in The Atlantic (2012), Conor Freidersdorf writes about “Your Brain on Partisanship” (ta-part). He quotes an attack on the President’s faith and then proceeds to methodically debunk it.
“He is post-religious: he took his family to a church where the religion seemed to be America-hatred. There are no biblical echoes in his speeches, as there have been in the speeches of so many presidents, left and right, and such other American leaders as Martin Luther King. "Pandering to religious nuts" is the way PORGIs [post-religious, globalist, intellectuals] analyze such references. Another way to describe them is quintessentially American.
We are, after all, a biblical republic. The idea of America -- freedom, equality, democracy, and America as the promised land -- grew straight out of the Bible. Obama is the first American president to put all that stuff behind him.” (Gelerntner)
Obama came to national attention when he gave the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention. A few excerpts:
- "...our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal... that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' That is the true genius of America, a faith..." (..)
Skipping ahead to President Obama's inaugural address:
- ...in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. (..)
Mr Gelerntner responded to Mr Freidersdorf and some semblance of a dialogue ensued. In Romania, when I tried to engage in a dialogue with ZBiM, a local blogger who claims is “number one”, I was told to go fellate. Incidentally, we have similar political views. Can you imagine the insults I’d get if we didn’t?!
Luckily, it’s not only some in the USA rallying against this stark, divisive politics, but even some strong, coherent Romanian voices.
- Sorin Cucerai writes about Romanian Cultural Institute “depolitization.” Noua putere declară că vrea să „depolitizeze“ Institutul Cultural Român. Nu există nici o dovadă că Institutul ar fi fost politizat – că ar fi făcut propagandă în favoarea unui partid politic sau a unui politician (Institutul ca atare, nu o persoană în nume propriu), că ar fi angajat sau demis oameni după criterii politice sau că ar fi promovat doctrina unui partid politic –, dar ce mai contează? Oamenii „depolitizează“ pur şi simplu fiindcă pot. Aşa vor muşchii lor. (oc)
- Cristi Dumitru takes look at NGOs and prefers “civism” to apathy. În România există la ora actuală, conform registrului naţional ONG 56 423 de asociaţii, 17 481 de fundaţii, 910 federaţii şi 678 de uniuni. La un calcul simplu există 75 492 de diverse forme de organizare care au într-un fel sau altul legătură cu implicarea civică. Implicare de cele mai multe ori non-partizană care se manifestă în toate modurile posibile şi imposibile. (..) Cei mai activi cetăţeni ai ţării, voluntarii implicaţi în diverse proiecte care de care mai pline de elan creator parca nu există în tot acest timp. Se ascund în spatele nonpartizanatului sau chiar în spatele mincinoasei sintagme “apolitic” pentru a nu îşi exprima punctul de vedere asupra nebuniei care ne înconjoară. Se declară scârbiţi de mizeria morală în care se scaldă clasa politică şi o dată cu ea întrega societate românească dar nu ies în lumina reflectoarelor pentru a da exemple de bună practică. Uită că omul cetăţii, voluntarul implicat în schimbarea în bine a societăţii are nu numai dreptul ci şi obligaţia de a se implica în bunul mers al vieţii sociale. Civismul este singura soluţie care poate scoate România din marasmul în care se scaldă. Iara cei minim 226 476 de mii de cetăţeni activi nu par a face mare lucru în acest sens. (cd)
- Alex Enasescu notices hyperpartisanship taking hold in soccer as well, quoting in turn Brian Phillips. The problem is (and again, I’m not the first person to notice this) that for a lot of people, that rage-tap is getting harder and harder to shut off. Anger is increasingly becoming a default element in how people interact with the games they follow, and that’s true for soccer fans to a much greater extent than most sports fans. It’s becoming a constant.
Hyperpartisanship promises to give everything a clear meaning, because it gives you a single, simple principle to test all meanings against. Your club itself becomes the index of all meaning in the game. But hyperpartisanship is always running up against the limits of its own efficacy, both because the games still have to be played on the pitch and because it’s incapable of triumphing over either other people’s competing hyperpartisanship or the displaced media narratives that hyperpartisanship was an alternative to in the first place. There’s still reality, and there are still other explanations. Reality and other explanations are both irritants to the hyperpartisan worldview, but hyperpartisanship can never admit this without admitting that it’s basically delusional. The result is that mysterious, low-grade rage.
And here’s where I save your life. Because the truth about hyperpartisanship is that it is an absolutely miserable and unpleasant way to be a sports fan. (af)
- Ciprian Siulea scrie in VoxPublica si CriticAtac despre partizanatul PDL-istilor (rar este exprimata o astfel de pozitie coerent si argumentat). Concepţia care stă în spatele acestui atac direct la adresa independenţei justiţiei din partea acestei mari campioane declamative a independenţei justiţiei vine doar să confirme nenumăratele ei declaraţii din ultimii ani. Este o combinaţie de fanatism şi partizanat politic care o face pe Monica Macovei să creadă că, de fapt, ea e deasupra celorlalţi şi deasupra legii, pentru simplul motiv că ea apără cauza Binelui.
Toţi pesediştii pe care i-a acuzat dur că vor să influenţeze justiţia, în frunte cu Cătălin Voicu, sînt nişte corupţi şi infractori pentru că vor să facă asta dinspre tabăra Răului. Or, dacă eşti în tabăra Răului nu ai voie să intervii în justiţie. Însă ea, care e în tabăra Binelui, are voie, pentru exact acest motiv: ea luptă pentru cauza Binelui.
Este o concepţie fanatică şi primitivă care, evident, suspendă orice justiţie posibilă, deoarece aceasta nu se poate baza decît pe universalitatea normelor. Este exact acelaşi voluntarism anacronic care îl face pe preşedinte să creadă că el are voie să procedeze nedemocratic, deoarece luptă pentru democraţie. Aşa ceva nu există, nu poate funcţiona. Chiar dacă intenţia ar fi sinceră, cel puţin parţial şi cel puţin la unii din angrenaj, rezultatul e acelaşi, transformarea marii acţiuni idealiste în pretext pentru dat la oasele adversarului politic. (ca, vp)
Is there anything good to be said about the partisan mindset? On an individual level, no. It corrupts the intellect and poisons the wells of human sympathy. Honor belongs to the people who resist partisanship’s pull, instead of rowing with it.
Aici vei găsi ştiri inedite, articole hazoase, perspective originale in politică, societate, economie şi relaţii interumane. QUESTIONS (Intrebări)? We got Answers (Răspunsuri există)!