A plain, badly-dressed, greasy-haired, inarticulate man was shouting at a mobile phone, which relayed the shouting to a rally of supporters. He spoke as if a winner already, and as if beyond reproof.
Nothing he said was new or innovative or enlightened or inspiring. He shouted much about how he and his supporters love their country. He said it was the best: above all others. He invoked God, and used it like a mantra. The words he chose were limited, inflammatory, blinkered and aggressive – and all deliberately placed. We are the best and we will get what we deserve. Those who don’t agree with us can fit in or leave. Our opponents will rot in jail. There will be a cleansing never seen before.
There could be no doubt of his intentions, beliefs and character. Everyone had seen his anger, his discriminatory posturing, his aggression, his phobias and hates, his behaviour and lack of substance. They knew him. Many liked him, regardless – or worse, because of these?
There was no care in his speech, even though he spoke of loving the “homeland”. It was clear that many groups of citizens would not be at home at all any more, in this future country of his mind.
There was no educated, intelligent vision. No language to inspire or give more than blame and aggressive self-proclamation. He threatened, promised repercussions and cited punitive measures. I felt immeasurably sad.
It lasted ten minutes. Another ignorant man spreading venom. Another populace poised at the edge, about to jump back into the dark.