Why would you hate President Čaputová?

Ukraine war derangement syndrome continues to ravage some in the intellectual classes.

President Zuzana Čaputová during a press conference on June 7, 2022.President Zuzana Čaputová during a press conference on June 7, 2022. (Source: TASR - Martin Baumann)

President Zuzana Čaputová, I learned recently in these pages, is losing popularity. Really? Aside from her poise and intelligence, the mere fact that she is not a screaming headcase would appear to give her a clear edge over most of the current Slovak political class. But apparently not.

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While pondering, as I often do, “Is it me?” I recalled a recent encounter with a member of the Slovak Academy of Sciences – the country’s premier higher academic research institution.

This was an educated and literate man, a social scientist employed to think about how people interact and how society functions. He told me he was a leftist, although his clear sympathy for Smer, which has lately gone from being the Hotel California of Slovak political parties to something closer to the Bates Motel, rather undercut that claim.

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Somehow this person had convinced himself that the real problem in Ukraine was not Russia’s invasion, but Western “militarism” – and that in Slovakia this hateful trait was embodied by none other than President Čaputová.

Mental gymnastics

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