The era of ideas and programming is over. Social media posts are taking over

Facebook by DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Is there really a necessity for early parliament elections? There is and there is not. The important thing here is what happens after. None of the existing political groups (the word “party” shouldn’t be used any more) is ready for rapid change, which will cause even larger chaos than exists currently, Mečys Laurinkus writes in

It is not yet clear whether the situation will get better after the regular parliament election. None of the political groups or a combination of them will win the majority, and consequently, the political market will begin. However, the main negotiations will be about higher positions, not about better ideas. The times of ideas and programming are over in Lithuania.

The truth is, there is only a slight chance of remembering the “classic way.” It was the renewed social democrats who suddenly recalled the meaning of “the classic way.” Social democrats could stand more solidly during elections if they could just gather up their supporters, invite smaller, close-enough ideology and political gatherings, and shelter them under the flag of social politics.

Of course, they won’t pretend. Unfortunately, the symptoms are already here. The inflexion bacteria is already penetrating G. Paluckas’ speech and behaviour. By the way, this is nothing new. For thirty years I’ve been watching this process in Lithuanian political life.

While a candidate does not yet have a position, they seem to be normal human beings. Speaks like a human being, thinks, understands humour. As soon as the last step towards a political position is crossed, natural behaviour and a sense of humour evaporate.

Why were thousands of voters in Ukraine lured by a group of comedians and their bosses? Without discovering what Americans think, I think people, among other things, are tired of the atmosphere of iron-dusted talk that has begun to damage public health.

What if everyone who’s sheltered under the abbreviation LSDP (Social Democratic Party of Lithuania) shows bad or just mediocre results? Who will lead the political market instead? Perhaps those who belong to TS-LKD (The Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats)? Let’s face it, last year at least they had somewhat of a readable program.

Unfortunately, times are changing. And not only time. Many old-timers of TS-LKD had to withdraw (some no longer on the career ladder in Lithuania, others to the pages of history). It is natural that some leadership conflicts are arising. Some political strategists question the prospect of a successful TS-LKD leader. And what does the next generation have to offer?

This question can be applied to all political affiliations. An attractive appearance and possessing more advanced speaking skills than previous candidates, these are not hard to find. But is this enough?

In my opinion, a real politician whose goal is not to just adopt the name of certain political movement is in need of not only management skills but moreover education in law and political science. The attributes that make the work of a politician meaningful: love for your country, belief in your choices, and dedication.

It may sound solemn and perhaps inadequate for times like this, but without decisions based on ideas, idealism and patriotism, the work of a politician is just a regular job, whether it’s done well or not. A politician is a peculiar priest, sometimes maybe negligent, however, still touched by some higher power. Even the cynic Caligula felt like he was a patriot of Rome.

In interwar Lithuania, there were numbers of politicians sacrificing a lot for the country. The written or oral confession, “I work for Lithuania,” did not sound pathetic. It has acquired a shade of irony in our time. Who is a patriot, who is not, and who is more real is a slippery topic, but people usually intuitively differentiate between what is real, what’s formal or fake?

Even between like-minded supporters and enemies alike, A. Smetona was unanimously seen as a politician who worked and sacrificed for the country.

Patriotism is not just a monopoly of one certain point of view. K. Grinius – is a social democrat to his bones. Who could doubt his patriotism? Partisan resistance without idealism is unimaginable.

I am jumping over Soviet times on purpose because after speaking about patriotism, idealism and sacrifice for Lithuania topics, it would be easy to walk into the thorns and not come out. The most important thing is that you will never please everyone with your ponderings.

Only in the days of Sąjūdis do I remember a short discussion in the Council of the Sąjūdis Seimas – whether or not the Baltic Way was needed. Why would we make a parade ritual out of this? People are rational and they understand what we are trying to achieve without the idealistic waving.

What does the new generation of politicians look like? Patriotic, ironic, career-oriented, pragmatic? A diplomatic answer would be — mixed. One thing is clear – people’s views towards the country have changed and so has politicians’ views of their mission. What changed?

To compare it to Soviet times wouldn’t be correct; it’s like comparing heaven and earth. But there are also significant differences from the interwar period. Interwar politicians were most loyal to their views and beliefs. They could even sacrifice for them, just as for their homeland.

For present-day politicians, attitudes, not to mention ideologies, are increasingly less important. Therefore, we see easy transitions from one fraction to another without any consequence to the political groups. It is no secret that political parties are all about personalities or who has their blessing, rather than views.

There are only two types of parties in the political soup left: centre-right and centre-left. Both lack salt. Their programs are just like perfectly made salads. The mission of a politician is not devotion or work for the homeland, but persuading voters that their salad is better than a competitor’s and healthy for society. Patriotic rhetoric and texts are plentiful but it is very difficult to distinguish what is sincere and what is simply to benefit a career.

So, whether early elections will happen or not, it is a secondary issue.

What is important is how the new generation of politicians change and what kinds of values they choose with which to lead the country into the future.
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