Final Word from Monday, December 15, 2014

Some politicians (Havel, Klaus) make their mark by trying to mold society in their own image. Other politicians have no discrete ideology and instead conform to the need of the moment. This is Bohuslav Sobotka, who can act Havelian in Washington and then just days later reject the EU's refugee policy, which just happens to be quite Havelian. Sobotka knows that Czechs aren't ready for an influx of Arabs. This didn't stop two potential presidential candidates on OVM yesterday, Tomáš Halík and Jan Švejnar. They both came down hard in defense of integrating refugees. Halík spoke of it as a Biblical imperative, while Švejnar couched it in terms of needing an overall domestic strategy. Perhaps things will change drastically before the next presidential elections, but as it stands today, they seem to be disqualifying themselves in advance by trying to mold society in a way that only the Prague café crowd can accept as its own. Sobotka, too, knows that Czechs will have to accept more refugees, but he'll be clever enough to blame it on the EU when the moment comes. [Czech Republic Václav Czech TV Havellian Muslim immigration]

Glossary of difficult words

discrete - individually separate and distinct;

influx - an arrival of a large number of people or things;

to come down hard for - to take a firm stance in favor of;

imperative - a thing felt as an obligation;

to couch something - to express something in a specific style or language.

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