OPINION

Words and meanings

The art of rhetoric is not a genetic attribute passed down from one generation to the next, and in the event that something does trickle down from the first to the second, the third can certainly not rely on this legacy and must enter the arena of words basically unarmed, particularly in the case of those words that are capable of swaying the masses. Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou was never one of those orators who could sway the masses and it is certain that the fear of being compared to his very eloquent and verbose father and grandfather must have presented a major obstacle. Papandreou’s oratory is not at fault because of grammatical mistakes or the use of the wrong word here and there, rather it is the feeling he conveys when speaking in public that he does not believe in his own words; he is not touched by the message he is sending, he does not see the «vision» he tries to convey in such lackluster terms. Even when he appears angry, he seems untouched by his anger, as though it were not his own but dictated by the director of the show. All politicians know – whether they admit it or not – that they are part of a spectacle and that political competition is subject to show business terms. Papandreou has inside knowledge about what it means to have an abundance of oratory drive and a knack for twisting words and meanings. He knows that the words in his DNA have already been spent and compromised by his ancestors. He knows that his ideas were once those of his forefathers – and we all know how they turned out. So, when he comes out, like he recently did in Ioannina, with statements such as «Stand aside so Greece can come through,» he knows that even when identifying himself with the country, he lags behind his father. However, Greece is not – and we don’t want it to be – a family affair (whether it be the Papandreou, Karamanlis or Mitsotakis family), and no one has the right to present himself as its equal, even when swept away in the euphoria of addressing the masses.