Opinion: Zelensky’s rise shows the power of humor

Who would have thought that an actor with no political experience would become president of Ukraine, a country of more than 44 million people? But he did. And he is.

If Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s political rise sounds like the plot of a TV sitcom, that’s because it was. He became Ukraine’s best-known comedian, then in 2019 he won the presidency with 70% of the vote. This is not a joke.

It was the first time that a professional clown had become president of a country. In this order. In our country, a professional politician became president and has since become a clown.

Some have questioned the idea of ​​a country’s first comedian becoming president and also his ability to lead. These questions ended when Russia invaded Ukraine a few weeks ago.

The power of satire is clear. If done correctly, it holds a mirror to the faces of the mighty. It is such a force that the Taliban, after taking control of Afghanistan, first captured and killed a top comic.

You have to be strong to do comedy. Jack Lemmon, the great actor, said on his deathbed: “Dying is easy, acting is hard.” Zelensky now faces almost certain death, having survived at least three assassination attempts by Putin. In Russia, if you confront Putin, you will die of natural causes, which can include being dragged behind a car for 10 miles, being poisoned or, as KGB reports will say, “20 bullet holes in the head in suicide the most complete we have ever seen.”

Emphasizing irony where there is truth is humorous. Unlike slapstick comedy, political humor makes you think and laugh and is a powerful tool feared by elites. It serves to keep them under control and accountable.

Humor can be used to make people like you or to drive them crazy. I drive the left crazy. I hold American politicians to account, and they are after me. If sanctions are hurting an economy, then why have we shut down US pipelines and not Russia’s? Gasoline prices are rising faster in Atlanta than the number of Democratic votes in downtown neighborhoods after midnight.

Making another point about our Big Tech oligarchs’ comfortable political relationship with the Dems: Putin still has Twitter and Facebook accounts, unlike Trump. I never met Vladimir Putin, but I think he would like me because of this and other jokes, so much that he promised to kill me last.

The left is so angry with Putin that they sent Alec Baldwin to Ukraine with a prop gun to make a war movie.

Zelensky led his fellow Ukrainians to struggle against attempts by Russia and Putin to impose their terrible brand of socialist totalitarianism that would disrupt their way of life. The same thing happens in the South whenever Californians move into our states.

It’s great that a Jewish leader like Zelensky can get support from Germany. He rallied many otherwise pacifist countries to the cause of defeating the Russian invasion.

With Sweden, Switzerland and Germany now ready to help, we shouldn’t ask ourselves many questions. You never ask the Swedes about their ankles, the Swiss about their banking system and the Germans why their grandfathers came from Argentina.

This show of support encouraged other countries to help Ukraine. Germany and the United States are sending Stinger anti-tank weapons, so other countries will send what they have. Colombia sends a bullet of cocaine, Mexico drywall hangers, North Korea fentanyl, Canada knives to cut truck tires and China its latest COVID variant.

Contact Ron Hart, opinion satirist, author and TV/radio commentator, at [email protected] or Twitter @RonaldHart.