Kaupo Meiel: Tears of joy always become dust

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Kaupo Meiel. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Millions of people in the world and here in Estonia have shed tears of joy because Donald Trump is gone and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) is also gone. Let us all jump for joy as the winter has passed and spring come. But has it, Kaupo Meiel asks.

A lot of people who are more or less interested in politics were understandably relieved when the United States of America got what they see as a much better president than before. Both actual and imaginary champagne bottles were uncorked also when Prime Minister Jüri Ratas resigned and the [Center-EKRE-Isamaa] government fell apart in Estonia.

Everything was beautiful again and a grand fireworks display to mark the victory was granted approval even though it was considered bad for the well-being of animals and senseless showboating a mere month ago. But we will let that rest.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the dust will settle, streets will be wiped clean and the monotony of everyday life will return along with real life and realpolitik. When Barack Obama became president in 2009, his number one slogan was "Change!" Joe Biden in USA and the Reform-Center coalition in Estonia are also expected to produce change.

Change will come and why shouldn't it, while we would do well to remember that one change the Obama administration introduced was allowing stable genius Donald Trump to win the elections and become president. This suggests that an even more stable genius might follow Joe Biden into office.

That said, anything could happen in the future and [UFO enthusiast] Igor Volke tells us that mankind has little hope without extraterrestrial help as it is.

Trivially speaking, the near future is what matters because it is just around the corner and sports potential for disappointment here and now. Biden's policy might not be to the liking of everyone who cheered on his election, especially if it was mainly aimed at Trump losing. Agreements made between delegations led by Kaja Kallas (Reform) and Mailis Reps (Center) might similarly not rub the right way everyone who wanted to see EKRE given the boot. Confrontation does not go far.

One illusion that is quick to form after events in America and Estonia is that Trump and his supporters in USA and EKRE and the proponents of its policy in Estonia are over and done with. Such a conviction is about as removed from real life as a wheel of cheese is from the moon. As put by Brother Johannes (in Estonian cult film "Viimne reliikvia" – ed.): "This fire is not the end of our holy endeavor."

Trump and his supporters are still there in great numbers and that is also the case for EKRE and their followers. It would be hypocritical to say the least for calls to silence the new opposition to emerge now that the old opposition has become the new coalition.

A situation where the Reform Party's opinion mattered when they were in the opposition, while that of EKRE and Isamaa won't matter now because they are not in power would constitute at best a crooked understanding of free speech. Boarding up the madhouse's windows will not make the loonies disappear.

Vice President of the European Commission Vera Jourova wrote about it on ERR recently: "After Trump was blocked, many of his supporters moved to other online environments and isolated themselves in ever more hermetically sealed bubbles. We must not forget them. We must find a way for them to participate in democratic discussions and restore citizens' trust in democracy and the force of democratic innovation."

Jourova added that while democracy is not perfect, it is our own reflection and its greatest benefit is that it depends on us and mutual trust.

Estonia has a new coalition, while the composition of the Riigikogu is unchanged and continues to be a reflection of our society, complete with all its vices, lies and hatreds but perhaps also serious attempts to make life greener and also bluer, blacker and whiter.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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