Rest­less democ­racy

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY NIKOS KONSTANDARAS

ered in a dif­fer­ent world. Don­ald Trump’s vic­tory is proof that the forces of di­vi­sion, of in­equal­ity, the forces that ex­ploit cit­i­zens’ in­se­cu­rity, threaten not only Europe and coun­tries in other re­gions but the United States as well. Now Obama’s call on each cit­i­zen to shoul­der their re­spon­si­bil­ity takes on greater im­por­tance. “Be­cause in the end, it is up to us. It’s not some­body else’s job, it’s not some­body else’s re­spon­si­bil­ity, but it’s the cit­i­zens of our coun­tries and cit­i­zens of the world to bend [the] arc of his­tory to­wards jus­tice,” he said. “And that’s what democ­racy al­lows us to do. That’s why the most im­por­tant of­fice in any coun­try is not pres­i­dent or prime min­is­ter. The most im­por­tant ti­tle is ‘cit­i­zen.’ And in all of our na- tions, it will al­ways be our cit­i­zens who de­cide the kind of coun­tries we will be, the ideals that we will reach for, and the values that will de­fine us.” Be­fore Trump’s elec­tion, these words would have sounded like plat­i­tudes. To­day they are a bat­tle cry, a call for vig­i­lance against those who would turn cit­i­zens against the com­mon good. They are a re­minder that cit­i­zens must not ab­di­cate their re­spon­si­bil­ity to a sys­tem of govern­ment that al­lows them to de­ter­mine their own fate. Let’s imag­ine how these words sound in the United States to­day, what they mean to Turks liv­ing in fear of their au­to­cratic pres­i­dent, to those Hun­gar­i­ans who un­der­mined an anti-im­mi­grant ref­er­en­dum called by their govern­ment by stay­ing away. These words

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