Arrogance of power

«Moderation, seriousness and humility.» These are the words that New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis used to describe the desired demeanor of conservative members, speaking at a meeting of party cadres yesterday. «Society has had enough of the arrogance, narcissism and the hypocrisy of power,» he pointed out. Karamanlis’s conclusions are accurate as regards the posture and the morality of the current administration. It would indeed be fortunate should the recommendations of the conservative leader to his party officials represent a commitment toward Greek citizens that, if New Democracy wins the elections – which is very likely according to opinion polls – it will govern with seriousness and humility. Unquestionably, government policies determine the course of a nation. PASOK’s almost uninterrupted stay in power has demonstrated in a painful, at times devastating, fashion that style is an essential aspect of governance, while also inevitably reflecting the whole philosophy that lies behind it. Insulting behavior never goes hand-in-hand with elevated political goals. Arrogant nouveau riche displays, provocative cavortings with yacht-owning tycoons borne along on a stream of undisguised corruption, aggressive accumulation of wealth through all kinds of quick-buck schemes were not ephemeral phenomena but permanent features of a grasping attitude toward the State and public wealth. This is why, instead of being on the wane, the frittering away of state funds that has been taking place since the early years of Socialist rule has really taken off as the Socialist doctrine of reform became identified with the unbridled squandering of state money for self-serving purposes. Worse still, none of the responsible officials feel in any way ashamed of their stance or try to disguise it. Falsely deeming that they will always be in power and enjoy the current status of immunity, these officials arrogantly parade their dubious achievements as proof of cleverness, gumption and success. It is the duty of the people to show through their vote whether they tolerate, disapprove or approve of this behavior. Should the majority of people vote against this mentality, it would be a great disappointment and punishment for them to later find themselves faced with a new wave of power-thirsty officials that will behave like the outgoing cadres. In this light, Karamanlis’s call for moderation and humility is more significant than one would think.