The story that Temelkuran tells is similar to that of many other contemporary leaders who use the language of anger and popular claims to ignore not only truthful data or facts that compromise them, but even the most elemental rationality: always resorting to a litany of reproaches (accompanied by sardonic giggles, passive-aggressive comments or gestures of indignant compunction) that does not take charge, does not offer answers or assume responsibilities, that serves not to solve problems but to represent those who repeat it as defenders of the good people against elite abuse.
Said in Mexican vernacular frank, his is a chronicle about the “maromas” through which this type of figures and movements manage to “stir the hornet’s nest” of resentment to “become gourds” in the face of reality and give it “atole with the finger” to the people they proclaim to incarnate.
I remembered Temelkuran’s statement in recent days, especially his metaphor that trying to engage in a sensible discussion with someone who embraces that kind of rhetoric “is like preparing a smoothie without covering the blender”, after hearing the retort from the President to the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on violence against journalists in Mexico.
His disdain not only for civility, but for a minimum logical coherence; his attempt to pass off rudeness and ignorance as expressions of outraged authenticity; in short, everything in it exemplifies, with blatant clarity, the way in which populist authoritarianism undermines public conversation (and, in this case, diplomatic communication as well).
To illustrate it, I allow myself to offer below an abridged and edited version as a conversation between MEPs and AMLO.
MEPs: We condemn the threats, harassment and murder of journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico.
AMLO: It is unfortunate that they join like sheep in the reactionary and coup strategy of the corrupt group that opposes the Fourth Transformation.
MEPs: We convey our deepest solidarity and empathy, our deepest condolences to the victims and their families.
AMLO: Know, European deputies, that Mexico has ceased to be a land of conquest.
MEPs: We observe with concern the harsh and systematic criticism formulated by the highest authorities of the Mexican Government against journalists and their work.
AMLO: Mexico is a pacifist country. We do not send weapons to any country under any circumstances, as you are doing now.
MEPs: We urge the Government of Mexico to adopt measures so that human rights defenders and journalists can continue their activities without fear of reprisals and without restrictions.
AMLO: If we were in the situation that you describe in your pamphlet, I would not be supported by 66 percent of citizens, as published yesterday by the survey by the company Morning Consult, which places me in second place among the main leaders of the world . Incidentally, with more approval than the European rulers.