Several years ago, She radiated her full glory in front of photographers of American Glamour and now She agreed to bare her soul to Spanish Yo Dona magazine, plaining that even though the nation adores Her and ratings are high, but the political elite does not love Her. Her, who is so good – always so efficient, always telling the truth, never ever telling lies to anyone.
In 1937, philosopher Šalkauskis wrote that Lithuanians were a nation of historical paradoxes – being essentially an oriental people, they nevertheless kept choosing to turn to the West whenever they could.
Many things have happened over the last 75 years. Seemingly part of the West now – or, as Šalkauskis would put it, having adorned our national rags with achievements of the Western civilization – we somehow keep turning eastwards.
Lithuanian paradox No. 1 – the incorruptible president
How can it be so: She says She never lies but at the same time claims that the political elite does not love Her? Who, then, brought Her to the Presidential Palace – the highest spot of the country's political elite?
Political elite member Brazauskas pulled Her out of the political void and made Her finance minister of the social democratic government – rather unloved by the people – and later European commissioner. From there she later rose to be the president, with the support of Brazauskas and help of luminaries of the political elite like Landsbergis, Kubilius, Juknevičienė, and other conservatives.
One of the two must be true: either She does not consider Brazauskas, Landsbergis, and Kubilius as members of the political elite, or She uttered a lie. And even if she does indeed believe these respectable politicians are not elite (an outrageous thing to say but what can you do?), can it be that She is not loved by the elite that She herself brought to prominence – prosecutors Valys and Raulušaitis, State Security Department general Grina, Foreign Minister Ažubalis?
Former Minister Ušackas, Ambassador Laurinkus, and General Gailius did not love Her, that is true, but where are they now? They are part of yesterday's elite, while today everyone is eager to show that they love no one but Her.
Can it be that Valys does not love Her but is too afraid to say so? Well, that is something that cannot be helped: finding someone who fears and loves passionately at the same time is mission impossible even to Her.
Lithuanian paradox No. 2 – heating prices
Those who are not directly in charge of heating (President Grybauskaitė, PM Kubilius, Energy Minister Sekmokas) keep saying that it can easily be made cheaper. And those who are directly responsible for it (town mayors), claim it is impossible and the fault lies with those who are not directly responsible for heating, i.e., the President, Prime Minister, and Energy Minister.
Conservative Sekmokas spent a year insisting that if all towns did the same as he did in Panevėžys – run by conservative mayor Statkevičius – heating bills would go down significantly and everywhere. Statkevičius, meanwhile, begs to differ and says the exact opposite.
Town mayors, who are in charge of heating, keep writing letters to the President, the Government, and the Energy Minister, who are not. While they do that, heating prises go up. And it seems it will continue to, since Sekmokas came up with one more Law on Heating and made a nonsensical comment: “The law is not perfect.”
Perfection lies only with helicopters purchased for the money intended to make old buildings more energy-efficient?
Lithuanian paradox No. 3 – land of basketball without a basketball championship
The more we boast about how great our basketball is, the fewer LKL (Lithuanian Basketball League) games our leading teams, Žalgiris Kaunas and Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius, play. They will not be playing in Kaunas and Vilnius any more. The two best clubs in the country have been snubbing the LKL for several seasons now – instead, they have immersed themselves in an imperial championship recreated by Russian security structures. Neptūnas Klaipėda joined the company.
Wait a few more years and the land of basketball will only host the Tavern League.
Lithuanian paradox No. 4 – politics
The more the people hate Parliament and politicians, the more new parties emerge and the more candidates run for Parliament.
Lithuanian paradox No. 5 – demography
The more the population shrinks (we are now 2.988 million) and ages, the more gigantic national construction project we come up with.
Lithuanian paradox No. 6 – radiation
Opposition parties that were ardent opponents of building a nuclear power plant transformed into no less ardent advocates of the idea the moment they made it to the Government – so much so that they even send octogenarian veteran reporters to the front. The opposite is true as well – those same parties turn anti-nuclear once they lose power.
The same goes for presidents and presidential candidates.
Lithuanian paradox No. 7 – nationalism
The more we hear of various nationalists, pagans, and historians of the Samogitian “empire”, the more Poles are blamed of various vices and the better approval ratings for Russian-born Uspaskich.
Lithuanian paradox No. 8 – religion
If a Lithuanian citizen happens to have an opinion diverging from the one held by Landsbergis (Juknevičienė, Ažubalis, and all the other conservatives), it follows by definition that the said citizen is openly serving Russia, Uspaskich, Brazauskas, the Social Democrats, Poles (in rarer cases – Jews, Americans, Freemasons), oligarchs, and Devil himself – is, in short, on a payroll of one or some of the above.
P.S. Judging by open board meetings of the party, the same can be said even about some conservative party members.
Lithuanian paradox No. 9 – civil society
If someone declares him- or herself a civil, non-governmental, or anti-system politician, he or she will invariably set up a party list before general elections in order to get into parliament. Only so they can return the Republic – stolen by systemic politicians – and justice to the people.
Lithuanian paradox No. 10 – nobility
The country, where the army of the unemployed has been above 200 thousand for over four years in a row, has a police force with over 2 thousand vacancies. Besides, people who love pork, fume about the fact that supermarkets sell Polish imports, and could easily grow their own pigs thus reducing unemployment too, will never allow it. Because pig farms stink.
Lithuanian paradox No. 11 – law
Worshippers of a murderer, cunning former nomenclature members, also convicted thieves and hooligans are the loudest callers for justice. In general, those who miss and seek justice are perfectly willing to tolerate their leaders ignore laws and court rulings.
Leading the nation tormented by so many paradoxes requires constant concentration. One cannot admit any mistakes, any wrongdoings in matters of love or during the years of Soviet disintegration. One must minldessly please the crowd. And deny – even more mindlessly – of having anything to do with the political elite. Even while being interviewed by a glamour magazine read by Spanish elite ladies.
God knows – Her life is so tough.