Once upon a time, I was a political person with a clear politician affiliation. I didn’t hide it. I wasn’t ashamed of it. If anyone had a problem with it, it wasn’t my problem.
I supported a party I had thought out to be the victim of current times. The rhetoric of the person in charge appealed to me. I thought he had a flawless run through a few years. Everyone else, on the other hand, was busy making mistakes all over the place. How could people not see that? I kept asking myself.
It may not be true. But I’d like to think I grew up since then. And it took me a long time to realize that it was okay to feel this betrayed, this deceived.
That same party I supported feels desolate and strange to me today. I’m not sure if the rhetoric that appealed to me back then changed or I developed some form of allergy to having it shoved down my throat. The man I had come to believe wasn’t the figure people had portrayed him to be was suddenly filing libel suits here and there. The people I knew were proud. I was appalled and disappointed. I was also disgusted by the utter bigotry that manifested, for instance, with him telling people they don’t know how to vote for an election that he worked on postponing. I voiced disdain throughout. They started shutting me out. I couldn’t care less – I liked it better on the outside.
That other politician I’m demographically supposed to like changes opinions faster than a weather vane in January changes directions. And his people change directions with him as well and it’s supposed to be completely normal. He wants everyone to believe he’s breaking through the mold of our feudal-like political successorship. But don’t tell that to his son-in-law.
My parliament, whose track record is worth looking into as the least efficient parliament to ever walk the Earth, has been ruled by the same person ever since I can remember. He’s an American citizen who hates America. In theory, my almost-24 years of life have had another speaker. In reality, he’s the only entity I can remember hammering away as session after the next failed to reach quorum.
The other side of that speaker’s coin is a beard that has an affinity to wars. Hold on, let me rephrase. It has an affinity to branding divinity onto wars we theoretically have/had nothing to do with. Eventually, we find ourselves in some deep mess but we can’t not take it because that’s what Allah wants.
There’s also that one who doesn’t even know where he stands regarding things and pretends he knows what he’s doing anyway, dragging an entire community that looks up to him and him alone – they’re getting nauseous from all the spinning, I bet.
And there’s that politician who is defining how it is to have power and rule a country all the way from a distant land which he’s aiming to get naturalized in, I suppose. A baggage of influence, wealth, power and corruption is synonymous with his name. Who said those can’t be put to good use at les Champs-Elysées?
Then there’s that prime minister who comes from a city torn apart by war while he attends Cirque du Soleil. And there’s that who’s supposed to replace him and who said, once upon a time, that we were getting a new government. The only thing we’re getting is news about his gastroenteritis instead. There’s also that president who, on a visit to the country he’s supposedly ruling between his many travels and as part of his country burns to the ground, he attends some honorary event for a random mayor of some random town. And there are those who rule over us without having a brevet certificate. I remember jokingly saying to my 14 year old cousin this past summer that she’d be an ass (in the animal sense of the word) if she didn’t pass that exam.
A friend of mine has been unemployed for the past 6 months in a profession that shouldn’t be this impossible in Lebanon. He thought his unemployment would last only one month. And that friend likes to joke about his situation often but it kills me every time to realize that there’s nothing I can do and that no one of those who can actually do something (refer to the above politicians) cares, for my friend is not a lone case in this country and the utter despair that my age-segment of society feels is due to the policies, or lack thereof, that these politicians enforce. And, apart from the people living on cloud 9, I’m willing to bet this despair isn’t exclusive to my age group. People are tired. People are exhausted. And who’s to blame?
That same friend has also been unable to sleep for the past few nights. It’s not because he has insomnia. It’s because he comes from a city that has been witnessing a Lebanese civil war-esque fights. It’s because each explosion feels like it’s happening inside his house. It’s because those politicians couldn’t care less about that city, as they slept in their fortresses and their beds, absolutely carefree without a single worry to trouble their good night’s sleep.
I’m tired of living in Lebanon and that’s not something I hide. But I’m not tired because of the country per se. I’m tired because our politicians are such a failure at what they do. They can’t come up with policy. They can’t come up with laws. In fact, they work on breaking them. They bicker like hormonal teenage girls in some American high school drama, fully knowing how their bickering reflects on the masses that follow them. They complain of a status quo but do nothing to change it. They couldn’t care less about the people they like to talk for. They don’t know how to rule. They have no idea how to govern. And they’re glad with chaos, believing chaos is what we all want.
They don’t get it. They will never get it. They will never know how it is to try and make ends meet. They will never know how it is to be unemployed and hopeless and feeling useless. They will never understand how it is to see your parents worried all the time about paying your university tuitions. They lack the empathy to try and understand. They will never understand how it is to live in the country that they have given us because their version of it has nothing to do with ours.
Lebanon has many shortcomings. But if there’s one that tops them all, it’s our politicians. All of them. And the sad part is they’re staying there till kingdom come.