Final Word from Monday, April 18, 2016

ČSSD has officially crossed the Rubicon. It has officially gone from being a party that discreetly dodges or flouts the rules to one that admits openly on national television that it has no intention of respecting the law of the land. Until the middle of last week, it was possible to say that ČSSD was merely sending a bad signal to citizens about how they should behave. After the TV appearances on Thur. of Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek and yesterday of PM Bohuslav Sobotka, this is no longer accurate. ČSSD is instead sending the signal to the people that they may not act in this way. It is saying that only it, because of its position of authority, may do so. In his 2003 book, "The Future of Freedom," Fareed Zakaria referred to such behavior as "usurpation" of power and listed Putin, Lukashenko and Chavez as prime examples. In the Czech context, the behavior of the Communist Party starting in 1946 is perhaps a better illustration. While pondering this comparison, keep in mind that ČSSD is behaving this way in times of calm. How will it behave in times of crisis? [Czech Republic Zdeněk Altner Czech TV Prima Vladimir Alexandr Alexander Hugo Chávez]

Glossary of difficult words

a bridge too far - an act of overreaching; an act of going too far and getting into trouble or failing;

to cross the Rubicon - to reach a point of no return;

discreetly - in an intentionally unobtrusive way; carefully and with circumspect;

to dodge - to avoid (something) in a cunning or dishonest way;

to flout - openly to disregard (a rule, law or convention);

usurpation - the taking (of a position of power or importance) illegally or by force;

to ponder - to think about (something) carefully, esp. before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.

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