ZELENSKY: THE WAY FROM SOMEBODY TO NOBODY
“Promise everything, deliver nothing,” nobody taught him to behave like a cheat when he successfully claimed the job of the nation’s Chief Executive Officer.
By Rostislav Ishchenko
Rostislav Ishchenko is a Ukrainian political scientist, publicist, historian, and diplomat. After the 2014 Coup D’Etat in Kiev, he left for Moscow. He had worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, in the office of Deputy Prime Minister and MP Dmytro Tabachnyk, and the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. Since 2009 — President of the Center for System Analysis and Forecasting. He is a columnist for the Rossiya Segodnya news agency and author of books on Ukrainian politics.
Translated from Russian.
ZELENSKY: FROM COMEDIAN TO PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE
© RIA Novosti, Stringer
When they made him an offer, he could not refuse since it was his job. Therefore, the presidential election campaign role was a familiar one in terms of technicality to run as a candidate for the presidency in the race: Vladimir A. Zelensky was a young and successful actor and producer and it did not take much of an effort to talk him into doing it.
“Promise everything, deliver nothing,” nobody taught him to behave like a cheat when he successfully claimed the job of the nation’s Chief Executive Officer. No wonder that the naive and unsophisticated people making up a large part of any nation took his words for granted when he babbled, “I am your judgment,” and “You just need to stop shooting.”
Sure enough, he thought he would deliver, and so did the constituents. The majority of people would invariably buy into simple solutions, primarily, because the complexity of a problem might be beyond their ability to comprehend the scope of work to be done. That’s why good artists by far outnumber good politicians. One generation may produce a dozen or more talented figures of art touched by genius whereas the supply of political talents is scarcity, just one or two; not every century and not every state will deliver a genius politician
One can be a great singer in Hinterland. More often than not an innate gift would hit the number, although professional training hasn’t stopped anyone from delivering. A professional singing and music career can be successful in Hinterland. However, one can’t make a great politician or diplomat in Hinterland, just as a commanding officer of the guard of honor will never make a great military leader since the scale of responsibility makes the difference. No high professional martial skills will be required to perform. For lack of competition, there is neither exposure nor opportunity to prove oneself when pitted against a competitor in the areas of politics and diplomacy, or on conventional struggle battlefields.
Subsequently, when in High Places, Zelensky understood neither the depth of his personal responsibility nor the complexity of the challenges that he would have to face.
He would commit to addressing problems tantamount to universal scale in one fell swoop consistent with his perception of the presidency at the level of a “politician” from a factory smoking booth with his peers watching in sheer amazement. To this day, Zelensky still qualifies for an average voter; therefore, his vision of the CEO’s job is confined to the functionality of entering the office, taking the seat, and signing off the executive order to make sure that, effectively, everyone feels great and nobody feels bad. Then, he would dial up his orders over the white-color phone so that all bad guys are put in jail or face the music and good guys are rewarded. The follow-up will map out his country-wide offsite visits to hug the people who are happy because their lives are good and he could humbly unveil his own monuments for a good job done.
When sitting comfy in the presidential chair to sign off his executive orders on the life in paradise effective as of the day before yesterday, he suddenly senses that in principle the President of Ukraine is unable to resolve the problems which the Comedian thought he could easily manage from the scene,
With his aides and advisers providing their contradictory counsel, he must make a decision. There are departments that have different views on the same problem; they all sound persuasive and incentivized expressly by national interests. His close friends and peers-in-arms are warfighters for power and positions, etc.
So, the Actor is sitting in his big chair with the undoable issues ghosting him; outside the window, there are increasingly angry people, in their eyes, the beloved savior quickly turns into a hellhound cheater who crooked the gullible average citizen. In the reception room, there are his childhood friends, seasoned bureaucrats, and eternal oligarchs, with each one promising a solution to all problems and loads of money for the solution in his favor of a particular issue.
The lucky winner of public voting is gradually becoming conscious of his incumbent impotence: there is nothing he can do because he does not understand the mechanics of the political and state governance process, nor can he assess the sincerity of his aides due to his inability to size up the immediate effects of the implementation of their suggestions. Subsequently, he has to take at face value everything they say.
Furthermore, there are two options. He can honestly admit that he overestimated his abilities and performance, unwittingly misguided the voters, and resign; though, presidential resignation almost never happens in politics. One can try a manual control mode taking only doable decisions. For example, Akhmetov will promise to resolve the energy sector problems for a sizable sum on a regular basis. The timely receipts of money imply solutions to the problems at hand.
The use of the National Security and Defense Council to crack down on the opposition is often criticized. However, the dream is to issue a decree to make everybody happy so that no one would feel bad. Zelensky does believe that he means good for everyone while the malicious opposition is defamatory thus preventing him from implementing his plans. Defamatory and obstructive they are, All the President’s Men will assure Zelensky. However, there is no standard legal mechanism to effectively manage defamation.
To that extent, there is a simple procedure that every President of Ukraine has used when wishing to go anti-Constitutional.
1. The President is the Guarantor of the Constitution.
2. According to the Constitution, the Power in the country belongs to the people.
3. By electing the President by universal, equal, and secret ballot, by an overwhelming majority in free elections, the people delegated this authority to him.
4. Therefore, all power in the country belongs to the President to make decisions as to what is Constitutional and what is not.
5. Since the president represents the people, and since he a priori wants to do the good, he, therefore, is duly authorized to make any decisions, and whoever is against it, he is an enemy of the people.
Without question, the Ukrainian oligarchs, the Americans, and All the President’s Men will capitalize on the impotence of the CEO so that to force him to make the decisions they are wanting. He is spinning like a hamster in a wheel. The faster he tries to run to jump out of the wheel, the faster the wheel spins, and the less chance he has to get out on the solid ground.
This situation is conducive to a loss of bearings resulting in a chaotic and incohesive decision-making process; the frame of mind goes haywire thus creating an impression of alcohol addiction or dependence on controlled substances even though this is not the case.
Putin’s legacy was to play the Yeltsin team’s game for lack of his own men to fall back on; hence is a habitual benchmark for Zelensky’s performance evaluation. He is also measured up to Poroshenko running similar policies; though, Zelensky has estranged his fellow Ukrainians and foreign vis-à-vises alike within one year of his performance from bad to worse, as they saw it. Moreover, he is likened to Reagan who had been an actor to have made one of the best ever Presidents of the United States. These comparisons are culpable and stupid
Putin earned his Master’s Degree from a department of law; however, he specialized in the field of his choice and his career ladder was consistent with his background. An intelligence officer does not necessarily become a politician; nevertheless, at least a minimum awareness of the workings of the state machinery and the principles of political decision-making is a must.
In addition, since the early 1990s, Putin’s career ladder included all stages including the position of deputy mayor of one of the largest cities, aka Russia’s second capital city, and that of the Prime Minister; he also worked both as a member of the government and presidential administration, gained experience and contacts.
Reagan began his political career in the early 1940s when he worked as the leader of the Screen Actors Guild labor union. Since the early 1950s, he served as an advisor in several presidential campaigns. From the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, he served as governor and finally, in a second run, was elected president in 1980, with a 40-year political career background credited.
Bullied by his mates as a child, all his life Poroshenko has been overly ambitious and striving for higher power as if proving to his abusers how wrong they were. The negative experience exposure has affected him both as an individual and a politician. Nevertheless, he has perfectly mastered the current political mechanisms of Ukraine. He served as an MP, faction and party leader, minister of foreign affairs and economy, and secretary of the National Security and Defense Council. He provided his inputs to the creation of the media and served as one of the leaders of the opposition. Without question, he has worked for himself and not for his country; though at least he knew how the thing of state mechanism in his hands worked, and he had no misguided illusions about the outcomes of his actions.
Zelensky has never been exposed to this sort of experience; all his life he followed the path of least experience and it worked. He wanted to become a diplomat; his father was a professor at a school of higher learning, and he successfully enrolled to study law in the same school of higher education, accordingly. He never worked a day according to his specialty; when joining the competition on the scene of The Club of Cheerful and Sharp-Witted he knew he could make much more money on the scene. He became a fairly popular amateur comedian.
When Zelensky took the office of the President, he was a jack of all trades and master of none in terms of honed professionalism. Somehow, he could successfully work it out, but not this time. So, he was chasing his magic button, which should have provided a very happy life for him without having to work hard and earn his life of pleasures and prosperity without exposure to any risks.
But that will never be the case again. In 2019, he easily used the springboard and speeded down the mountain slope feeling confident that he would have a joyous ride down the valley, and there would be a tavern, punch, and friends with whom they would merrily recall their great and heroic deeds. However, it turned out that there was no valley, there is a precipice ahead, and there is no stopping.