As soon as Milos Zeman was elected as the President of the Czech Republic by a clear majority, many began to look forward to his allegedly low chances to be re-elected. In most cases the reason for the distaste has been the undeniably rude and obnoxious nationalist aspects of his election campaign. However, this does not seem to be the real reason for the high level of contempt directed towards Mr. Zeman from commentators in the Czech media. The real question is towards whom is this contempt aimed – Mr. Zeman or his voters?. There have been many who have said that he is not their President, whatever that means. Whose President is he then? That remains unclear. The unacceptably rude aspects of Zeman´s campaign were mostly connected with the considerable number of his lies and the way he succesfully ostracized his opponent candidate, Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg.
Anyhow, to ostracize the Minister, a Swiss citizen with a 1000 year long lineage, was no real effort. Mr. Zeman did not create Czech nationalism, he just did not refuse to profit from it. One could rather say that his nationalist babble gave a certain shape to the hatred which is present in Czech society anyway – hatred towards whom, that is the question. Observing all the different forms of pre-election hysteria, the most probable answer would be – hatred for the voters of the other candidate. Not because of the candidate who symbolizes them, but exactly the other way around. As for his lies, he stood against the very same Minister who assured everybody since March 2012 that he would not sit in a government which refused to sign the European Fiscal Compact. Lies are simply a common aspect of Czech politics. The fact that it is allowed is not really new.
published: 17. 3. 2013