President’s Residence
01 May, 2015
President’s Residence
Living and working in the United States, I would often hear people judge the lawyers they want to hire by the car they drive and the attire they are wrapped in. This would probably sound true in most of the cases although cars and garments might count for first impressions only. How about a president of a country? Would he be judged by foreign visitors and his own people by the residence he is dwelling and working in? Or by the
knot of his tie which would occasionally go awry? Yes and no! Why yes? Because most of us are ordinary down-to-earth humans, and we are usually getting impressed by the house people possess, especially if that house is not a regular abode of another person but a space where a country is administered from, and by the color and shape of the ties they wear. Why no? Because it is not an architectural unit or the apparel that rules the country but the people who are clustered in it, and the rules they are using to have the country going. Georgia has a president – a real one, elected by people through a direct vote – but nobody in the country knows whether the nation needs his good services or not. In the Georgian system of checks and balances, this strange political figurehead is totally out of step, still trying to seem being in unison with the rest of the performers who do the show. But the trick is not always working though. This time around, the subject of the Georgian president’s controversy with the country’s administration is his posh and stylish presidential palace which, it is thought, makes the president’s image look more important than it actually is according to the current version of our constitution. In a word, his diminished functionality, they say, is in controversy with the pompousness of offices he occupies as a head of state. This could be fair to a certain extent because the presidential desk is not exactly the place where the buck would stop today in Tbilisi. Meanwhile, the palace was inherited by this lame-duck president from the previous fulltime and omnipotent president of Georgia. And here is where the rat is starting smelling real bad! Using the pretext of handling the country more fairly and dexterously, the presidential republic of Georgia was altered into the so called semi-parliamentary republic, which has given us the political system, branched out into four powers, not the usual three. The received cumbersome system of governing the country has so far only hampered the ruling process, not facilitated it. And now this ludicrous dilemma of where the president of Georgia – whoever and whatever he is – should be doing whatever the activity he is poised to embark on! Have we totally run out of our wits, folks? Screw the whole paranoiac debate and give some slack to the relinquished-in-misery people if you have time, money, and desire, so to speak! The endless tailoring of the main law of the land on the whims and quirks of those who have somehow managed to grab the helms of the country only by a weird accident and have only a temporary chance to enjoy the sweetness of power, is not helping us to handle the nation’s problems in an appropriate fashion. We permanently hear that this president, having fallen out of favor, and this prime-minister, still being strongly backed by the powers that be, have been at daggers drawn with each other since the very moment of moving the presidential administration into the condemned palace, which is now perceived by the current government as the bastion of evil, imposed on the Georgian people by the previous management. Aren’t we lucky as a nation that we can afford the controversies of this magnitude and significance? Why can’t we understand once and for all that those kings, queens, tsars, emperors, presidents, prime-ministers and all kinds of other potentates come and go with an awfully accelerated incidence? What would stay forever are the good and bad deeds they leave as legacy after their fortuitous presence in power. So why should we be wasting our time on the minor business of where they rule us from – caves, mansions, huts, palaces, log cabins, castles or tree houses? One might say that symbolism in a leader’s model of behavior has a greater meaning than we might imagine. I can agree with that but I do not want to blow the symbols into the rank of a clout that affects the major decision-making processes in Georgia. Let us once again refresh in our exhausted minds what we could do instead that might be way more beneficial to our people: reinstatement of our almost-gone-forever territorial integrity, return of the runaway national currency to the point where we can again take it seriously, curbing of skyrocketing prices on staples and other commodities, salvaging of education from the track leading nowhere, doing something rational with the rate of unemployment, moving the poverty line a little lower, taking care of our unattended state borders and the resuscitation of almost dead Russian-Georgian relations. Isn’t this extensive slate of issues that are getting hotter and hotter on our national agenda, grave enough for our wonderful leaders to memorize as a biblical excerpt of the day? Meanwhile, their offices and residences will somehow do the job they were built for.
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