Allar Jõks: Uniting the disparate or on the president's speech with bias ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Allar Jõks
Allar Jõks Source: ERR

What or who could the president unite, 2016 presidential candidate Allar Jõks asks in reference to President Kersti Kaljulaid's Independence Day speech.

"You should be killed as you've got nothing in that bald head of yours." I was reminded of this message I received a short time ago when reading reviews of the president's Independence Day speech.

The speech was criticized for contributing to the split in society by criticizing the Riigikogu and politicians.

Is it in the president's power to bring me closer to the author of that comment? I doubt it.

Or fellow Estonians for whom the biggest challenge the country faces is the question whether marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman on the level of the constitution or who interpret every critical utterance by the watchdogs of the constitution – Supreme Court, justice chancellor and the president – as meddling in politics. Once again – I doubt it.

But that does not mean we are not moved together when we hear "Ta lendab mesipuu poole" at the Song Festival and squeal in delight whenever Estonian athletes do well. We are joined in our love for Estonia.

Estonia is loved both by those who attend torchlit marches and the guests of the Ugala Independence Day ball. Both those in power and those striving to get there, irrespective of who is president.

To me, the president did not draw the line of political Andreses and Pearus on top of the line separating the majority from the minority. The ruling parties deserve to be commended for reversing past mistakes, such as alcohol excise duty hikes and the political outside display ban. The coalition has created premise for boosting competitive ability through business code amendments aimed at supporting the expansion of startups.

While the opposition deserves criticism for treating every single government bill as of the devil and desperate attempts to devalue no-confidence motions.

What or who could the president unite?

Estonia could be united if all Estonians would find Estonia a good place to live. The key to making that happen cannot be found in Kadriorg but lies instead at Stenbock House and Toompea Castle. Places where power and money reside. That is precisely what Kersti Kaljulaid was talking about. That mainstream political thinking and fear to dream would not turn Estonia into the periphery.

If we equate criticizing those in power with splitting society, Lennart Meri was the greatest divider of all. Meri asked in his 1998 Independence Day speech, pointing to dirty politicians who had lost the trust of the people, "is this the Republic of Estonia?" And answered: "No, my dear people, this is not the Republic of Estonia. This is the scum of the Republic of Estonia we will collect using a ladle and throw out – at the next elections if not sooner."

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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