I was going to write about last Sunday’s Parliamentary elections in Greece, but decided few care.
As I wrote while following the returns come in, the Greek people have spoken by returning the just resigned Prime Minister (Alexis Tsipras) and his party (SYRIZA) back to power with the same coalition partner (Independent Greeks) and virtually the same combined number of seats in Parliament as before.
|(Numbers in parentheses are changes from January election)|
What that election accomplished beyond foisting more trauma upon the country is problematic. Yes, PM Tsipras did purge his party of rebels who’d formed a new party (one that failed to garner enough votes to gain representation in Parliament), but now it will be SYRIZA instituting the harsh measures that Tsipras agreed to in signing the third bailout agreement with the European Union. And though he promised voters during his campaign that he would get all that changed, I doubt many believe him as his record falls woefully short in successes on confronting Greece’s Eurozone creditors.
There will be only SYRIZA to blame or praise for what happens next. And the nation will react accordingly once reality sets in. Frankly, I'm pleased with this result for a very selfish reason--it's precisely the scenario I'd worked out for Kaldis #8 due for 2016! Now I don't have to change the overall story line. :)
Another topic I thought to write about is the current Republican crop of candidates, but that’s been ably covered here this week. The only point I wish to make…and it ties into what I decided to write about…concerns Donald Trump. Did any of you happen to see him standing on the balcony of Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue? He stood waving to the crowds lined up below waiting for Pope Francis to arrive at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. If you didn’t see it you missed quite a vision—and the sound of boos running up from the street below to meet him.
Can you imagine more diametrically opposed human values than those represented by the man on that balcony and the man passing by him?
But I’m not going there. Instead, I’m striving to find the place of Pope Francis. One where every life matters, the values of the human spirit thrive, compassion rules, and we are judged by our acts not our words. To hear him speak, to see him smile, to feel his presence should shame us all for what we have come to accept in those we allow to lead our secular world and drive our daily lives.
Whether or not you are Catholic, and I am not, if you believe in leading an ethical life it is hard not to revere this man.
I only hope that some listen. He spoke to Congress, he addressed the UN, he broke bread with the poor and homeless, he prayed for our 9/11 martyrs, and preached to his faithful. Politicians do those same sorts of things. But this man is different. I just know that he is.
I hope (and pray) he makes a difference. Our world needs that desperately.