The Demise of Elegant Statesmanship

Elegance in Power ©FrogDiva Photography

Gone are the days of elegant statesmanship of Margaret Thatcher, Winston. Churchill, Michail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, and Barack Obama. They held the national interests in the forefront, built bridges their predecessors burned, but also took the necessary risks to break down dividing barriers in world politics, and initiate trailblazer social reforms with quintessential elegance to their power. They had vision, determination, and were not afraid of sharp criticism, and carried the voice of the people against all odds. Mind you, they were certainly not beloved by all, but their ability to bring their country forward and become unprecedented global players in modern times is undeniable.

It would seem that messy hair and a penchant for political buffoonery has become the new standard for political power. Elegance and calculated diplomacy used to be something the British government used to have absolute claim to, but that changed yesterday. Speak now, think later is something the current American President is a master of, often dispensing of the second part… and the uncanny resemblance between Donald Trump and Boris Johnson in their brash, careless and uncouth natures is unsettling, and does not make me feel particularly safe in the world anymore. Add Rodrigo Duterte, Recep Erdogan, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Jair Bolsonaro to the pot and you have a motley crew of nationalists who have no verbal filters and operate on a steamroller policy, regardless of the common and global good.

As one who is about to renounce Filipino citizenship this year and become an official German citizen, I have my concerns about the current trend of European politics and have wondered more than once whether this is a wise move. Disillusionment lies at the core of my being at the moment, at that includes political as well as social. The reluctance to surrender the one and only citizenship that has defined the legal identity I have carried with me for the last 50+ years troubles me more than I anticipated. This can be attributed to the growing unrest within Germany, a country that faces great political uncertainly and rapidly changing core values and rising dark political forces. But I am here to stay.

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