Bullies at the pulpit

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 11, 2021 13:37

Bullies at the pulpit

In an unprecedented, even for him, show of crass bullying the Prime Minister and leader of the Socialist Party undertook the unethical enterprise of demeaning, mocking and ridiculing the competing candidates of the opposition parties. This was done in online event with their unflattering photos or even worse memes were shown to attendees that watched through their screen.

The arrogance and lack of principles in communication of Rama is well-documented and is worn by him with some sort of pride. What is even more chilling in this occasion is the deafening silence of all the others who stood by his ugly show and did not utter any objection. They did not however laugh along his comments registering in their awkward silence an inevitable internal pain a being forced to listen to these atrocious words.

Photo after photo the Prime Minister said that those who “had eyes to see and minds to think” would be able to make the right choice between the excellent candidates of his party and the “horrendous” alternatives which he variedly named or described as drunkards, irresponsible fortune seekers, enemies of the justice reform or just unfortunate losers. Hence he insulted simultaneously not only the opponents but also their constituents and potential voters.

Some part of the opposition response unfortunately fell into his trap quickly using the same techniques to respond with photos and memes. However for the most part they held on to a calmer attitude denouncing the panic behind the motivation to act so haughtily.  

It is very difficult to understand what Rama was trying to achieve: rallying his loyal voters and followers? Trying to frame the opposition into a chaotic counter-debate? Making an effort to seem a macho pack leader? All of the above? None of the above?

This act of pure and ugly bullying was infused with sexism, discrimination and even elements of gang behavior. It is an inspiration to bullies everywhere, from school corridors to neighborhood corners, from public administration offices to the helm of ministries, to intimidate and verbally attack in order to seem victorious and superior.

As such this act and bullying in general should be swiftly and harshly condemned as was the case with some of the response from civil society did already in the media. However the citizens should also be aware and alert to refute this stance. Bullies do not serve our pulpits. We can take the pulpit away from them but we can chose not to abide by their howls.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 11, 2021 13:37