US President Donald Trump has been dividing American society, mostly on Twitter, since he began his very first presidential campaign. Slovakia had been, similarly, undergoing dark times before electing Zuzana Čaputová as the Slovak president.
Anne Applebaum, a columnist for the Washington Post, has compared the USA and Slovakia in her latest commentary, praising Slovakia’s president.
"Čaputová’s success offers hope that even when politics seem to be at their darkest and most dangerous, a new political project, one that no one imagined before, can still capture the public imagination," the columnist wrote.
Speaking of Slovakia, the columnist points to the 2018 murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, the government intertwining with an organised crime group, and the disruption of trust in the judiciary.
The surprise from Pezinok
Applebaum met with Čaputová in September, when the Slovak president attended the UN General Assembly. It was only a few months after having been sworn into office, in June 2019.
"The surprise answer came from nowhere – or rather, it came from Pezinok, a small city in southwest Slovakia where Zuzana Čaputová, an environmental lawyer and social liberal, had spent many years battling a landfill that would have polluted the air and water of the region," Applebaum wrote.Read alsoRead more
Čaputová talked to Applebaum about Slovak voters’s fatigue from constant political battles and her intent to not respond to opponents’ attacks during the campaign.
She also mentioned how she had tried to suppress her own personality in the campaign, among other things.
Every country needs a Čaputová
Politicians in other countries could learn from Čaputová’s example – paying attention to self-discipline and not lowering themselves to attacks, Applebaum added in her column.
"Of course, not every country has an environmental lawyer waiting in the wings, prepared to take the national stage," the columnist wrote.
16. Oct 2019 at 13:30 | Compiled by Spectator staff