Graphic: Adapted From Chattanooga Times Free-Press
After John Tenniel By @tibettruth
There are a number of characteristics by which we may recognize a politician, the majority of which are less than flattering, those who present themselves as champions of the people often find themselves criticized for corruption, indifference and of course double-standards. Curious how political parties are returned to office by an electorate that has previously suffered as a result of the policies and failed assurances given by politicians. Is it a masochism? A delusion that sees hope spring forth from the cynical rhetoric of those who promise so much, if only we grant them the keys to power!
The ability to sway public opinion is a critical necessity demanded of politicians, playing to a gallery, dropping words, concepts and emotions into a crucible of dreams, xenophobia, greed, prejudice, ignorance, bias and desperation. Like a conjurer it is all about distraction, timing and presentation, suspending the critical and replacing it with a belief in the illusory. Politics is surface and appearance,
No wonder then that principle finds it difficult to survive across the political landscape, at best it is allowed to bloom fleetingly, like everything in politics an ethical stand-point is disposable, a tool for the great game that has its moment only.Yet how we cheer and applaud when hearing a politician speak with conviction, now here’s someone who really cares, right?
Back in 2008 Tibetans gathered outside the United Nations to hear an address from Doctor Lobsang Sangay in which he moved people with his determination, sense of committment and assured dedication to the cause of Tibetan freedom. Here’s an extract:
Now let’s fast forward to 2013, an interview in which those former affirmations of Tibetan nationhood were replaced with a narrative of surrender, compromise and appeasement. In this short extract Doctor Sangay insists that he is not seeking democratic rights for Tibetan in Tibet but only the application of Chinese national and regional laws on autonomy!
Shall we add ‘flexibility’ as another term into the lexicon of characteristics that identifies a politician, perhaps ‘realism’ could also explain the volte-face from Doctor Sangay? However from the perspective of Tibetans suffering under China’s tyranny, who are sacrificing their lives and well-being to assert Tibetan national freedom, very different words would apply!