New people for new times
It’s far for me to deal with the politics of any party or candidate. I haven’t written about communication in politics and administration in years, as I didn’t feel the need to, but now I think it’s a crucial moment for both sides of the political ladder.
On one side, we have the gang of those who won in the wake of Mr. Johannis, who is currently in power. On the other side, we have the big loser, the PSD (the Social Democratic Party) – not Ms. Dăncilă, nor Mr. Dragnea. The PSD. The PSD has been losing ground since the end of Mr. Năstase’s term culminating in the defeat at the 2019 MEPs and Presidential Elections. A defeat that is not at all unexpected, despite the results of the previous general elections. But I do not intend to talk about the reasons why one party won and the other lost. In principle, I am interested in the future. The past ended. The present is now and must be cherished. The future is uncertain, but theoretically, it has potential if we do the right things.
I believe that these are good times. It is time for the winners to prove to everyone that they deserve the positions they have been invested in, and they must do so quickly, starting with Mr. Johannis and continuing with Mr. Orban and his government. Otherwise, they will enter a path of generalized disappointment after the desperate investment of the population and the diaspora in this vote against the PSD. And it will be crappy. It will be crappy; forgive my colloquial expression; because the essence of this vote was against a certain past and its characters. It was a vote against a way of seeing life and things, and it was not at all a vote for Mr. Johannis or the PNL (the National Liberal Party). To emphasize, it was a decisive and desperate vote against something. The vote of people who felt they had no other alternative or chance to escape. Just like a scared animal caught in the corner, making the last desperate and courageous gestures to escape a trap. Against this background, the winners must quickly prove that they know what they have to do and have results. Clear, palpable, concrete, not political words, without resorting to “heavy inheritance.” As a parenthesis – I wonder if they have anyone to work with, given the extremely narrow pool of competent people willing to mix themselves in the fields of the state apparatus, either in Bucharest or in the general territory. This is also true for the PSD; it has been seen the type of competent people it has paraded in recent years. Closing the parenthesis, even though millions of Romanians have left the country, there are certainly a few who are good at construction – and not politics – and who deserve to be involved in this effort. Back to my previous point, I don’t think that any of the current beneficiaries of the popular vote wants to start getting stoned by the people, as it happened to the PSD, due to the popular disappointment or the perpetuation of some flaws as old as time, to avoid calling them something else.
If we inspect the PSD, it’s practically at ground level. I don’t think anyone could have imagined it below that. Successive defeats, lack of credible people that are currently anchored in the first echelon (on the contrary!), the massive vote of the diaspora against it, the addressability of the party, especially to voters with secondary education, retirees, rural and low-income (including social workers and unemployed) would make the PSD a party without a future, even if Ms. Dăncilă gathered a little over 30% of the votes. Maintaining the party in this area of voters will make it doomed to extinction, as these cumulated segments decrease from year to year. There will be fewer and fewer scared retirees from the old regime, fewer poor people in rural areas, and fewer people without education or secondary education. It is simply the course of the world to which Romania is slowly but surely adhering, partially recovering from its handicaps compared to Europe. There are many other details on this topic, but the basic idea is simple: the PSD will die without reinvention. Every cloud has a silver lining, according to an old saying. If it’s still at ground level, if it finds it increasingly difficult to find addressability and support, it means that it is time to get reinvented. It could start by attracting new party leaders. Suppose I were to use the same language as most of the people around me. In that case, the PSD is a party led with the mentality of bailiffs, composed of former market vendors, waiters, former UTC (Communist Youth Union) members, former leaders of the lower echelons of the PCR (Romanian Communist Party), narcs, and security guards of all kinds – mainly addressing pensioners, the poor, the lazy, the unemployed and the poor in spirit. Please don’t throw stones at me (a pianist). I just reproduced what I heard. Using my specialized terms, the PSD needs rebranding from the ground up by rethinking the product (doctrine), the target (political objectives), consumers (members, supporters, and voters), labor and personnel policy, and last but not least, the story it depicts from now on. It is not at all easy to get rid of the party’s perception of bailiffs and weasels whose only abilities were withstanding the storms, the Ottoman cunning, and the kissing of every hand (or something else) that is needed. Not that these characteristics belong to them exclusively, on the contrary.
New people for new times. We need them, both on the side of the winners and on the side of the losers. To succeed and prove that they deserve their place, the popular investiture, the trust and that the vote for them was not just another collection of empty words. The latter, to be reborn and contribute to society – and even make opposition, because I don’t think anybody wants a single party and a beloved leader again. I have to say it once again – we are going through good times, times when there is a chance that the waters will clear. New people for new times with new, better habits.