Donald Trump Vibrations In Croatia

croatia-and-america-flags

The people who put Donald Trump into the Office of the President of the United States want security and solidarity, not creative destruction as the one liberalism is widely credited with; they want four solid walls of abode and a roof over their heads. If anything, in these American presidential elections, a convincing majority of voters have demonstrated that they want deeper solidarity with their own country and a greater order in their country than what liberals, Democrats, have been serving them so far.

 

At this juncture of this article I reflect on Joseph II, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire 1765 to 1790 and ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780 to 1790 (relevant to Croatian historical “belonging”). He is often called a historical liberal hero; he strove to make the traditional society he ruled more liberal through a from-top-to-down revolution. “Everything for the people, nothing by the people” was his motto. Leaders of today’s liberal worlds seem to have similar motto through actions promoting their beliefs that common people should gain their life’s conventions through the trickle-down effect. In America, Trump’s call to people engagement to join in into “making America great again” shows that the “Josephinism” plan has now been rejected, and America’s liberal leaders are reeling with ugly non-acceptance of the American people’s majority vote, almost dismissing anyone who dared defy them as not knowing “diddly- squat” about anything in life.

 

Way back on 9 November 2016, in her concession speech, Hillary Clinton said one of her goals had been “breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams”. This, of course, is a dream of liberalism, which seeks freedom from any social or economic constraint and produces political elites and leaders who appear confident that they can navigate a deregulated society on all major issues. The results so far for the liberal track records across the world has in many ways contributed to widespread unrest of the ordinary citizen and his/her profound struggle to survive, to meet daily expenses and requirements of a decent living.

 

As the world witnessed in November 2016, an overwhelming part of America was simply not confident in the dreams and facets of life Hillary Clinton/Democrats pursued religiously. They voted convincingly for what Donald Trump/Republicans are offering and much of America as well as of the world appear in a state of suspended acceptance of the vote the American people had given.

 

It is no different in Croatia, the political and people camps are divided on Trump issues and, perhaps, for a small Country like Croatia, whose liberal governments or large proportion of liberalised members of non-liberal governments during the past decade and half, especially, had kept on that destructive political tradition from former communist Yugoslavia, which nurtured and pursued dependence on external forces and alliances rather reliance on own strengths and forces as primary benchmark in developing the newfound democracy as an independent country taking care of its own interests and people first. For Croatia, therefore, it stands to understanding that times were easier in many ways when the Democrats ruled from Washington; it’s the beast of communism/socialism that favours liberalism as opposed to patriotism and conservatism. The US Democrats want a stronger European Union and have invested a great deal of political steering, professional effort and financial support into such a Europe. Trump’s Republicans are unlikely to follow Democrats’ footsteps over Europe and he has announced as much. Trump talks of America first.

 

Croatia’s governments have and are investing a great deal of political and life-defining actions into relying on the European Union, as opposed to its own people. We cannot forget that a dismal 28% of Croatia’s voters voted Yes to Croatia’s EU membership in January 2012. Croatia has followed the path of US Democrat political waters as well as being a member of NATO. While there is no official statements regarding unconditional support for Trump, or lack of it, from Croatia’s government or the president that I could find, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic had said last week that Croatia has and will follow (subscribe to ?) US politics. How this outlook and orientation may change should Trump change the rules and paths of US engagement in Europe is anyone’s guess, however, Croatia’s president did visit the US during the week prior to the 20 January inauguration, reportedly seeking to establish some new ties with Trump’s incoming administration.

 

The uncertainties of Trump’s future moves, the liberal-led fear mongering, when it comes to Europe, do appear at this stage to expose current Croatian political/economic vulnerabilities. It is of no surprise that Croatia is divided on whether Trump is a good or a bad thing the same way every other country depending on previous US international engagement at various levels is. However, on balance, the political sentiments and allegiances as can be detected from the media and more numerous in the “against Trump” camp. That of course is a reflection of the liberalism and communism still pervading throughout Croatian institutions and public administration/customs avenues.
On many fronts Trump has announced a whole new world of possibilities that are in contrast to and on a collision course with liberalism. Without a doubt, while many try to paint him ridiculous and incompetent listening carefully to his inaugural speech one cannot avoid the conclusion that the man knows what he is talking about and is well aware of the rocky road, possibilities and impossibilities of his missions. One must admire his call to the American people to help make “America great again”, after all wanting to join into making a country work is what street rallies and demonstrations on our streets have always been about. And this is where the more conservative and patriotic political camp in Croatia, openly supporting Trump, and just as openly often ridiculed for it in mainstream media, appears to draw a good part of its breath towards the future. While that political force per se may be relatively smaller, the force of the people is much larger than the bigger political players controlling the nations all-inclusive socioeconomic landscape are; knowing how to engage the people seems a way forward not only for America. That part of Croatia which seeks to restore Croatian patriotism and unity that was once in ample supply when independent Croatia was being created, but brutally attacked for it, may have an added bonus to its lease of life because of Trump. For much of the “conservative/patriotic” Croatia Donald Trump’s victory is as legitimate for furthering their cause as Barrack Obama’s was for hindering it.

“…At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice…In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long it is striving. We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining, but never doing anything about it. The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action. Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail…” Trump said (Washington Post/annotated Trump’s inaugural speech). Very potent words for those who listen carefully and have the interests of their own nation at heart first, which (arguably?) is a prerequisite to being able to then look after others.

As shocked as much of the world appears regarding Trump’s directions for America, these however are not news if we carefully consider what’s been going on around the world “lately”, especially Europe where Croatia is. We’ve seen countries turning away from liberal beliefs in open borders, open markets and the resistance to national debates over fundamental national questions. We have seen a number of EU countries either building or considering building border fences to ward off unwanted immigrants or refugees, we have seen the British people vote for Brexit; France’s leading presidential candidate is ultra-conservative (patriotic) Marine Le Pen; 2016 presidential elections in Austria saw the anti-immigrant Freedom Party’s Norbert Hofer enter run-off stage of elections, losing by a margin that could easily swing in that direction at next elections; In Hungary, Viktor Orban’s clearly displayed affinity for illiberalism has moved the country toward Christian nationalism and an alliance of some concerning sorts with Russia; and so on.

 

Speaking in grim terms about the current state of affairs in America (to which many nations including Croatia can clearly relate), Trump pledged to improve the nation by putting America and its people first. “From this day forward,” he said, “it’s going to be only America first.” Nothing wrong with that in my book. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: Root Out the New Left And Its Kin

flag-of-croatia

On approach to Christmas Day – looking back and looking forward with this brief post.

Many would say: deservedly, not a good wrap up for 2016 for the liberalist side of the political field throughout the world and major events and trends of their own making are, hopefully, to cause irreparable damage to key liberal government holds in not so distant a future. Things didn’t go well for the liberals this year: there was the shock of Brexit, there was Germany’s Angela Merkel’s open invitation to all and sundry flocking into Europe in their hundreds of thousands from the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan turning now into a crescendo of her party’s imminent demise, France’s François Hollande’s Socialist government sparked the beginning of the worst political crisis France has had in decades and Donald Trump won presidency in the US. This week’s assassination of Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey by a Turkish policeman outraged by the agony of the siege of Aleppo, the mosque bomb in Zurich, the truck careering into a Christmas market in Berlin killing 12 people…all add up to shaky grounds for the liberals and left oriented political parties.

As far as Croatia is concerned the significantly weakened power-base of Social Democrats during the year has now, in the past week, seen the surprise emergence of a “New Left” party led by the most socially obnoxious, scumbag anti-Croat pro-Yugoslavia communist fodder, masquerading as liberals, a normal person couldn’t even conjure up to his/her worst enemy. I shall steer away from even mentioning here the names of all the leaders of this new left party in Croatia. I am still in shock after hearing its president Dragan Markovina (an arrogant, irritating, self-important historian and a cemented communist) say: “I am still the fiercest Yugoslav than anyone else…Today when I hear the Croatian anthem played I like to watch Croatia losing (sport games) … Croatia represents nothing to me …”

The mind-boggling and absolutely unacceptable thing in this is that there does not seem to be any official initiative to revoke the registration of this “New Left” political party in Croatia. How could it be possible for a political party to be registered and continue being registered when its leader does not recognise or accept his political party’s country itself, when that country represents nothing to him and yet he aspires to compete for parliamentary seats at next elections?

The world has gone mad and Croatia is no exception. But it’s wrong, very wrong to shrug ones shoulders and say things cannot be helped, the world is mad, nothing can be done about that. Everyone who loves Croatia needs to say “No, no, no!” Those with clout and leadership among the people, the patriots and the conservatives, must reject this political and moral crisis enveloping Croatia. They must root out these communist agents of despair masquerading as liberals. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A.,M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatian Elections: Don’t Let The Patriotic Fire Go Out

 

Croatian General Elections 2015: 2311 Candidates - 166 Lists!

Croatian General Elections 2015:
2311 Candidates – 166 Lists!

Croatia, like most other democratic countries, is well entrenched in the era of multi-party political coalitions and these have, particularly since early-2000’s become the norm rather than the exception. Long gone are the days when one party or two-party coalition could secure the government or majority seats in the Parliament. The era of multi-party politics, government and coalitions is here and the days of exclusive manifestos, majorities and the domination of the traditional parties is at an end and that, it would seem, is a natural development within a democracy where the right to opinion and view inevitably gives rise to differences unsustainable within a single party or even a multi-party coalition. We are witnessing more and more parties competing for the votes from people concerned about fairness and social justice. 2015 General Elections due on 8 November in Croatia will have 2311 candidates from 161 political party lists and 5 independent – 957 or 41.41% women candidates. This year’s political coalitions indicate that the need to increase the number of political parties in a single coalition has grown since 2011 elections and is painting a scenario of polarising voter body into two almost equally large parts, with trickles of independents or brand new parties trying to win a seat or two. The big surprise in 2014/2015, however, is that the Croatian political environment seemed as if it was entering an era of third options, moving away from its two-party tradition, but rather went to a two-coalition tradition after the bubble of new parties burst.
The road to a minority government seems almost a certain political fate for Croatia in November 2015 as two large political coalitions (each with their own voter support) take to the public arena, unless at least a little bit tectonic shift occurs in the voter corpus of either centre-left/Liberal or centre-right Conservative coalitions towards the other, or, all political parties with similar designs on outcomes have in fact entered the same coalition and there is no cross-contamination of political character between the two coalitions.
In loose terms, generally, the Left oriented political platform believes the role of the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need and Liberal policies generally emphasize the need for the government to solve problems – something that was the back-bone of the failed communism and socialism of former Yugoslavia. The Right oriented political platform believes the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals and Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems.

 

In its election campaigning the Social Democrat led coalition decided to show results that Croatia’s economy is growing; indicators are, albeit flimsily, positive for the second quarter in a row and they are pressing on with the rhetoric: let us finish what we started. With this they continue with their focus on no-holds-barred allegations that there is corruption in the Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ, which leads the Conservative coalition, hence coming up with another slogan or rhetoric “There’s no turning back to the old ways”. The Social Democrats led coalition has huddled around the slogan “Croatia is Growing” – trying, among other trajectories, to portray to the voters that the economy is getting stronger and it will support them without the need for austerity or increase in unemployment and poverty, threat of which hover with stark reality and likelihood over everyone’s heads. Hence, feeding a continuance of certain dependence upon government and its performance, which by the way has been appalling under the Social Democrats’ led government.

 

 

Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ was quick to seriously dampen and dash any high-hopes of a better living standard under a Social Democrats led government. HDZ was quick to point out that what is indeed growing is Croatia’s debt, which has reached 290 billion kuna, the number of indebted people with frozen bank accounts, the number of citizens leaving the country in search of a livelihood, the number of small businesses and family farms that have been shut down, the number of people queuing in front of soup kitchens, the loss of jobs and the drop in living standards during the term of Social Democrat led government.

 

Croatian economy is not much better than the Greek and all know that drastic changes will need to be made to bring the economy to a positive trend, which in turn has an effect in bettering the citizens’ daily existence. Social Democrats have taken a populist approach to elections by injecting an air of enthusiasm for a quick and painless fix of dire economic woes under their government that “Croatia is growing” slogan suggests.
Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ has opted to concentrate on patriotism as the main mind-frame that will win them government and has resoundingly named its coalition “Patriotic Coalition” (or rather Homeland-loving coalition) with the slogan “For a Strong Croatia”. Certainly, while prudently not relying on the current economic trends as any sort of promise for the future HDZ has aptly and ably managed to show the weaknesses and downfalls of the current Social Democrat led government in its handling of the economy and its possible recovery and looks to see this translate into some defection of voters from the left side to theirs. In this HDZ demonstrates sound knowledge and needed skills of perception that could lead Croatia into having a stable government under HDZ’s leadership. Stability is also a very important characteristic of patriotism, which in turn nurtures the sentiments of safety and support.
Indeed, patriotism does not divide (as left-oriented politicians in Croatia have wickedly tried to convince people) – it unifies. Patriotism with all the passions that ignites can bond people together for good purpose or it can be the last refuge of a scoundrel but first and foremost, voting is an act of patriotism.
Elections are the epitome of patriotic expression. You cannot have a republic or a democracy without participants who can freely speak through voting. This election is no exception but it has been dubbed as one of the most crucial elections in Croatia’s relatively young democracy. The disquieting hue in the apparently widespread sentiment is that if Social Democrat led coalition wins Croatia will be lost. The other side of that coin is that Croatia has its only chance of survival if HDZ or Croatian Democratic Union led coalition wins government on 8 November.

croatian independence
Independent Croatia founders (which did not include the Communist League from which Social Democrats sprung) designed democratic Croatia in which people would speak freely through voting. Their objective was to replace Communist Party dictates with representation in parliament. I think anyone who does not vote falls short of being a true patriotic Croat. The Communist League walked out of the Croatian Parliament in 1991 when the Parliament announced its about to vote for Croatia’s secession from communist Yugoslavia and it remains to be seen whether an increased number voters who have been loyal to the left will on 8 November recognise the fact that Social Democrats force-feed themselves with notions of Croatian patriotism while not lifting a finger to denounce and condemn the former Yugoslav communist rule – and vote against them. Will they recognise the reality that Croatia cannot move further into a complete state of well-being unless it completely sheds and shatters the remnants of communist Yugoslavia.

 

Patriotism is defined by the Webster Dictionary as “a zealous love of one’s country”, while the Oxford Dictionary defined it as “devotion to one’s country and concern for its defence”.
The definition of being a patriotic Croat is to show love and loyalty to Croatia and of all the signs and activities that lead to calling oneself patriotic – voting stands alone as the most important civic action citizens can take part in to win the right to call themselves “patriotic.”

 

Political coalitions would do well to remember that it is not merely difference in opinion (or slogans) but strength in opinion that usually characterises party support. Cast-iron promises are not what the voters will be looking at in Croatia – history knows political promises are made to be broken – but, if savvy enough, they will be looking at coalition negotiations, anticipating give and take flows that could affect their own lives. HDZ’s leader Tomislav Karamarko has promised the Croats a passage through the valley of tears, meaning the heavy and painful reforms that a number of consecutive governments have been postponing, hence resulting in comparison between Croatia and Greece. Zoran Milanović on the other hand, who has so far positioned himself as an austerity-oriented, has quickly and loudly untied the purse strings promising Christmas bonuses to pensioners (it cannot afford) and better days ahead, although Croatia is in an excessive deficit and suffocating under debt. Definitely, to my view – Zoran Milanovic reminds us of Yugoslavia’s Josip Broz Tito whose seeming political success thrived on borrowed money, on other people’s money. The difference is, nevertheless, that Zoran Milanovic lives and acts in times when single political parties have no decisive power and the homeland is becoming the ultimate asset worthwhile having – not political parties. In the end, the results of the general elections in Croatia will come down to whether the love for Croatia is a force that wins the elections and sets Croatia on the final leg of its originally desired freedom and prosperity. After 25 years – it’s time! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions:

All content on “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is for informational purposes only. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is not responsible for and expressly disclaims all liability for the interpretations and subsequent reactions of visitors or commenters either to this site or its associate Twitter account, @IVukic or its Facebook account. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The nature of information provided on this website may be transitional and, therefore, accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. This blog may contain hypertext links to other websites or webpages. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information on any other website or webpage. We do not endorse or accept any responsibility for any views expressed or products or services offered on outside sites, or the organisations sponsoring those sites, or the safety of linking to those sites. Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with the subject in posts or other commentators. Personal or other criticism is acceptable as long as it is justified by facts, arguments or discussions of key issues. Comments that include profanity, offensive language and insults will be moderated.
%d bloggers like this: