Embarrassingly Incompetent Politicians

Some politicians are incompetent. A few are so terrible, that it’s painful to watch. As of right now, Trump is among the worst.

Today in a Latvian news site I spotted an interview with Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, a former President of Latvia, who said the following words about Donald Trump: “This human is unimaginably, unimaginably incompetent! He doesn’t consult any experts, he doesn’t think, he opens his mouth before the brain has started to work! He is catastrophic.”* Note: This is my translation, the original statement was in Latvian. In this interview she expressed her opinions about how various politicians are dealing with the current coronavirus pandemic. Trump was the only politician who got such harsh words, her statements about everybody else were much more cautiously worded and diplomatic.

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga was the President of Latvia from 1999 to 2007. She is among the most competent Latvian politicians we have had. During her presidency she didn’t do anything stupid, and she is also well educated (before her political career she used to work as a university professor).

No matter how much I despise most Latvian politicians, I have to admit that no one of them is as terrible as Trump. It’s incredible that we now live in times when “it could be worse” is a statement that’s true for pretty much every politician out there who isn’t Trump. He has set a bar so low that being better Trump is possible for pretty much every human being out there.

If you feel like laughing about the incompetence of some politicians, here’s a fun video to watch.

The guy in this video is Atis Slakteris, a former Latvian politician. He is a former Minister of Finance.

From Wikipedia:

In late 2008, Slakteris gave an interview with Bloomberg about Latvia’s economic crisis, during which he answered a question regarding the causes of Latvia having come to borrow money from the International Monetary Fund as “nothing special”. The phrases “nasing spešal” (mocking Slakteris’ poor English and heavy accent during the interview), “we will be taupīgi (Latvian for “frugal”)” and “my answer will be, but I will not say” became popular memes in Latvia.

After this interview Slakteris lost his job. Latvian citizens were horrified about his display of incompetence and refused to tolerate him any longer. Here being a polyglot is pretty much a job requirement for every politician (even waiters are expected to be fluent in at least three languages, monolingual people are pretty rare in this part of the world). But do keep in mind that this guy looked pretty miserable while speaking in a foreign language. Trump looks about as incompetent while speaking in his native language.

* Original quote in Latvian: “Tas cilvēks ir neiedomājami, neiedomājami nekompetents! Viņš nekonsultējas, viņš nedomā, viņš muti ver, pirms smadzenes ir sākušas darboties! Viņš ir katastrofāls.”


  1. StevoR says

    At least this Latvian one lost his job if only we could say the same. Our current mob here in Oz are also appalling – incompetent, sadistic and corrupt. Our equivalent of the Republicans and trending in much the same direction. Morrison, Dutton, Hanson, Joyce and so many more.. Shades of Trump who seems to have “inspired” (if that’s the right word) so many deplorable near copies from BJ in Britain to Duerte and Bolsonaro. Truly we appear to be living in the era of Kakistocrats. (Rule by the worst.)

  2. says

    StevoR @#1

    At least this Latvian one lost his job if only we could say the same.

    Yeah. This Latvian guy was mostly criticized for his decision not to use a translator rather than for his less than perfect English knowledge. If politicians who clearly don’t sufficiently understand some topic (or language) just relied on expert advice, things would be so much better, for example, our current COVID-19 crisis wouldn’t be as terrible.

  3. says

    I just remembered one more “funny” example of an uneducated Latvian politician saying something stupid. The guy said that “beauty comes from the innards.” In Latvian there is a saying that “beauty comes from the inside,” which means that whether some person is beautiful depends on their personality rather their visual looks. The politician ended up using the word “innards” instead of “inside.”

  4. jrkrideau says

    I don’t remember if French is one of your languages but here in a Canadian politician, Peter McKay announcing in something resembling French that he would be a candidate for his party’s leadership.

    J’ai sera candidate.

    I saw it on the cover of a Montreal tabloid and thought it was a joke, a play on the song “Que sera sera”. No, he really said it.

    I am not sure how to translate it but possibly “I have will be a candidate (feminine)”.

    This may not have done him much damage in the leadership race but in an election, oh boy!

  5. says

    jrkrideau @#13

    I don’t remember if French is one of your languages

    Yep, it is.

    J’ai sera candidate.

    Now that’s funny.

    I try to be cautious when making fun about people who make mistakes in foreign languages. I prefer to learn languages by actually using them, thus I have made a lot of mistakes. For example, in Russian verbs “to urinate” and “to write” are similar, and once I accidentally said “I urinated a text.” But in my case those were private conversations with friends who were willing to help me learn their languages. When you are a public figure speaking in front of TV cameras, you should be careful and hire a translator when necessary.

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