sexta-feira, 10 de julho de 2020

Version 2.067

My nephew finished 12th grade today. So happy for him. This week we decided that he would get his driver's license this summer, so I committed myself to paying for driving school. I asked for the bank account number to transfer the money and someone from the school sent a text message with an account number, which my nephew forwarded to me. It did not look proper and professional, so I made him ask the school to send an email with the number and the letterhead from the school. Then I told him "Tens de exigir que as pessoas sejam professionals. Portugal tem de ser um país a sério."

I relay this because I am profoundly disgusted with the character of a lot of people in Portugal. I'm not even talking about the driving school personnel. I am talking about politicians and other people in high positions who display no sense of decorum. This week, the newspapers decided that they were going to publish stories about corruption and favoritism. One doesn't know whether to laugh or cry, when such stories are based on public records of more than a year ago, but there are more recent, too.

It is hard to not smell the distinct rottenness that has taken over the Portuguese Republic. Even the President gives speeches that are similar to those of the dictatorship and the Prime Minister's Twitter account makes patriotic exhortations that would have made post-25/4 society cringe, but that now are ignored because -- it appears -- no harm, no foul.

But, of course, I live in the United States, as my Portuguese friends remind me, and the measure of rottenness here is the American people having elected Donald Trump. My friends conveniently forget that the more than half of the electorate that did not vote for him has spent the better part of over three years trying to get rid of Trump and trying to hold him accountable.

I am beginning to have a particular fondness for people like Trump--all they care about is money and themselves; it may not be noble, but it is logical. The ones I don't get are the leaders who remain poor, while covering illicit enrichment around them. That to me makes no sense, especially in country that loses its standing in the world and actively participates in a process of impoverishment.

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