Something is wrong in the Republic of Georgia: the political stench is becoming unbearable, the country is in edgy despair, people are being deprived of a normal labor process, the social fever and restlessness are gathering momentum, we are no longer able to get first things done first, the population is getting depleted of creative energy, the nation has turned into a bundle of nerves, the walkout protests and manifestations are constricting the economy, numerous individuals are gradually morphing into dangerous psychopaths, and the youth is losing orientation, placing our future functionality into doubt.
And all this is happening only because the oppositional political force and its frustrated satellites are not willing to put up with defeat in the recent local elections, recognized by the rest of the world as fair and free. Further, and most notably, their once runaway and now comeback spiritual and ideological leader is stirring up the déjà vu social trouble, fervently nursing the idea of a revanche, and tirelessly working on its implementation from the confines of a local penitentiary – his new and befitting abode.
Georgia is currently living under a depressing question mark: Is the entire hullabaloo worth it? Any political device is good and acceptable as long as it brings progress and prosperity to the people, but what we are presently witnessing in this country is exactly the opposite: political actions are bringing disappointment, apprehension, lack of useful labor, despondency, inflation, and as a result of all this, a plummet in the standard of living.
Why are we doing this much wrong to ourselves? Are we out of our minds? Have we completely lost our sense of statehood? Speaking about statehood in Georgia, one might find it relevant to start doubting its strength and effectiveness because the state often refrains from punishing criminal behavior if the unlawful activity comes from a person who is engaged in politics. The impression is that the law enforcement bodies have certain misgivings towards apprehending a crime-doer if the perpetrator is a well or even lesser-known political activist, perhaps for the fear of creating a “political prisoner,” a big no-no for a society trying to construct the image of a democracy-builder and endeavoring to integrate itself into Euro-Atlantic structures. Meaning it might be a bad idea to punish a political leader even if they are breaking the law.
But what kind of a state is a state whose hands are tied when it comes to the rule of law? It is astonishing that our western mentors teach us to keep up the standards of law enforcement in Georgia, but at the same time tell us to wink at a breach of the law if the law is broken by a politically engaged person.
How could this be explained? Where is the line between statehood and tolerance towards unlawfulness on the part of a political activist? I have a straight question to ask: should the state arrest a political leader who is involved in criminal activity, such as offending a law enforcement officer, or acting in contempt of court, or demonstratively refusing to meet the demands of state in maintaining law and order in the country? If the answer is yes, then our Euro-instructors should not stand in our way to keep up the spirit of law here, and if the answer is no, then, again, please don’t ask us to maintain the Western standards of respecting law and order.
This is exactly what we call “selective justice” when, for the same felony, a political leader may escape the severity of the law, and a rank-and-file will be indicted, sentenced and jailed. Nobody is above the law – isn’t this one of the most cherished Western values? And if this true, why should a state feel embarrassed to apprehend a law-breaking political leader who is going beyond the limits of behavior and feeling protected by political status. Any governmental action against a crime perpetrated by an oppositional activist will be described as politically motivated, which means that law enforcement is becoming absurdly constrained even if conviction is 100% lawful. This means that statehood as such becomes irrelevant, and even obsolete. Nursing a sense of impunity and condoning criminal behavior, be it of a political leader or a person in the street, is a flagrant destroyer of our statehood, and we must refrain from it no matter how eager we are to wax western and democratic.