Media plebiscite


After two governmental crises in half a year, Liviu Dragnea (photo) has taken safety measures. He has put at the helm of the Government a close person from the intimate circle from his native Teleorman, a woman who will never betray him, and has filled the party’s leadership with people who are more loyal than before. In other words, now nobody can pull a chess move on him from inside the party. In what concerns him, he did not have the courage of the vote, demanding solely a collective answer from a room full of obedient persons. It was a kind of media plebiscite, a sign that from now on he will stake more on the masses and less on leaders. The time has come to show the party and the country that he is not a pushover boss but a feared and followed one.

Unlike his predecessors – Victor Ponta, Mircea Geoana or Adrian Nastase –, Liviu Dragnea is not a great talker. He prefers certain discretion and does not jump into great verbal disputes, nor is he looking for memorable expressions for the pleasure of biting irony. He does not lack retort, but he does so only when constrained and not fully upfront. In order not to lose everything, he is now constrained to change. To forge a discourse for his troops. His PR specialists – Israeli or from other regions – have already prepared a rhetorical strategy that loyal television channels and persons close to him have been promoting for quite some time. But for the time being it is only a sketch, several rather vague elements, and a copying – without a lot of fantasy – of the opponents’ tactics. It is not sufficient to demonise Soros rather than Barna, for instance. A lot more meat is needed on such a scaffolding that is in fashion in other countries too, where it only intensified much more applied discourses. Dragnea’s chance lies precisely in the inspiration of his strategists. Like in other areas too, many are engulfed by the taste of anti-politics – Italy’s electoral example is very fresh. To talk, like the PSD President did on Saturday, about a climate of hatred and suspicion – of course, stoked mainly by the opponents – helps you tie your own fear of mass protests to the widespread fear of occult intrigues. That is why it is worth insisting on the alleged lack of efficient intelligence service oversight, in order to get people’s imagination working and to channel the resentments. Foreigners, corporatists, and spies are presented as the real enemies of the country. Multinational companies, banks and NGOs financed from abroad have become the arms of an occult octopus meant to suffocate our brave nation.

The attack against the alleged enemies of the traditional family will be added to this veritable culture of ‘hatred and suspicion.’ This is an extra opportunity to strengthen the suspicions of those who are not necessarily against homosexuals but are bothered by European pressures and suspect the presence of occult intentions behind the combating of discrimination. The PSD electorate can be schematically divided in two: the interested – in salaries, pensions, higher welfare payments or the expansion of the grey area favouring their own businesses – and the suspicious. The latter are only looking for good opportunities to put stokes in the wheels of alleged enemies. The two categories are just as reactionary, blocking a real reformist policy. After all, the problem of Romanian politics has become a cognitive one: too many people lack a minimal understanding of how society really works. Maybe a new illuminist wave, adapted to the age, would not be bad. Otherwise, Traian Basescu (before), Liviu Dragnea (now) or others (in the future) will continue to rule via deceptive plebiscites.