Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Tommy Carcetti

(43,155 posts)
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 12:36 PM Feb 2022

I absolutely love it when somebody proves me wrong in a good way.

As some of you might already know, I am of Ukrainian descent, and I have numerous family members living in Ukraine at the moment.

When it comes to Ukrainian politics, I personally haven't gotten much of a dog in that fight--so long as the politician isn't like Viktor Yanukovych, who was stealing billions out of the Ukrainian treasury, cozy with Vladimir Putin and then engaging in a bloody crackdown on public protests in 2013 and 2014 before packing up and flying away to Russia.

But for the rest, I've tried to stay objective and let Ukrainians themselves decide who is best to lead them.

That being said, I did get a lot of input from my Ukrainian relatives and needless to say, when Volodymyr Zelensky was elected in 2019, a lot of them were highly skeptical of his leadership abilities.

He had no elected experience, was just an actor and comedian, didn't have as great a command of the local language as they liked, and his campaign platform seemed to be pursuing a dubious "Peace with honor" style plan where the separatist regions in the East would be given semi-autonomous status and thus could still very well be influenced by Russia even if Putin claims to have backed off. The fear was that because Zelensky was a complete novice, he could be easily manipulated or dominated by the Kremlin, even if that wasn't Zelensky's own intention.

I actually was able to watch the first season of Zelensky's now-prophetic "Servant of the People" show and while it was humorous and entertaining, I doubted fiction could easily be translated into real life.

So needless to say, their skepticism--which I found justified for reasons at the time--became my skepticism about Zelensky's ability to lead as well.

However, I am very happy to say that I have been proven wrong by Volodymyr Zelensky, in the very best of ways.

Zelensky has absolutely grown into his role as Ukrainian President flawlessly and not let anyone--most importantly Putin himself--push him or his people around.

He proved his mettle pretty early on when he resisted Donald Trump's efforts to shake him down for political and personal gain to the detriment of his country's defense.

That proved a good preparation for future tests to come.

Some people you know will be strong leaders from the get-go. Others catch you completely by surprise.

My doubts about Zelensky have turned out to be unfounded.

He has proven himself to my favorite kind of hero--the unexpected hero, the reluctant hero. The type of hero who does not seek out greatness but has greatness thrust upon him.

His unflinching dedication to his people and his country in this time of greatest trial have been phenomenal. And he has done so all while maintaining democratic and peaceful values.

So yes, I have been officially won over by Volodymyr Zelensky, and I couldn't be happier to say that all my initial doubts about him were completely wrong.


68 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
I absolutely love it when somebody proves me wrong in a good way. (Original Post) Tommy Carcetti Feb 2022 OP
k&r bigtree Feb 2022 #1
He puts supposed leaders to shame. I loved his 'I don't need a ride, I need ammunition. Tadpole Raisin Feb 2022 #2
Yes that one will be in history books housecat Feb 2022 #32
And TFG Mr. Evil Feb 2022 #61
He has a Law Degree that is rarely mentioned Pachamama Feb 2022 #3
And his father is a cybernetics professor and his mother is an engineer. Native Feb 2022 #17
Oh Wow.. TY for More important info on Zelensky, Cha Feb 2022 #56
Yes, I think some people automatically don't give him enough credit because he was once a smirkymonkey Feb 2022 #58
And his wife is a writer and an architect. littlemissmartypants Feb 2022 #62
"He proved his mettle pretty early on when he resisted Donald Trump's efforts to shake him down.." live love laugh Feb 2022 #4
Absolutely! SheltieLover Feb 2022 #6
I agree pandr32 Feb 2022 #9
And IMO the aftermath of that shows just how out gunned and lacking any presidential skills in TFG. usaf-vet Feb 2022 #37
A comparison of the two: COL Mustard Feb 2022 #57
I imagine the population of Ukraine is coming to the same realization. lagomorph777 Feb 2022 #5
One of them quite literally, wnylib Feb 2022 #13
And the next one went from C- actor to F president. lagomorph777 Feb 2022 #15
The Putin Party is just full of them, isn't it? wnylib Feb 2022 #19
The RePutins are all bad actors. lagomorph777 Feb 2022 #21
Wish there were a grade below F. nt leftieNanner Feb 2022 #25
Right? lagomorph777 Feb 2022 #28
Well, there is Q. Especially fits TFG. n/t Whiskeytide Feb 2022 #30
PERFECT! leftieNanner Feb 2022 #31
Good insight! KS Toronado Feb 2022 #42
I remember when he was elected... Ohio Joe Feb 2022 #7
Comedians are interesting people. wnylib Feb 2022 #18
Exhibit A leftieNanner Feb 2022 #27
Yup. wnylib Feb 2022 #29
beat me to it. barbtries Feb 2022 #45
Al Franken comes to mind housecat Feb 2022 #33
+1 orangecrush Feb 2022 #35
A good, successful comedian also has empathy. soldierant Feb 2022 #49
Some of the funniest people I know are also some of the smartest people I know. smirkymonkey Feb 2022 #59
It takes both intelligence and a tough skin to be a comedian localroger Feb 2022 #40
I was impressed by his reaction to drumpf's demands. greatauntoftriplets Feb 2022 #8
K and r. BlackSkimmer Feb 2022 #10
Hear Hear, Sir The Magistrate Feb 2022 #11
Every true hero is reluctant nuxvomica Feb 2022 #12
Yup. You don't know what you're capable of TexasBushwhacker Feb 2022 #43
History has found it's man. Swede Feb 2022 #14
Comedians are (usually) very bright people. onlyadream Feb 2022 #16
And they think so very fast. They do not need script writers to tell them what to say and LiberalArkie Feb 2022 #24
KnR. Love his humanity, integrity, and his braveness. n/t iluvtennis Feb 2022 #20
We are watching a unique moment in history. TygrBright Feb 2022 #22
When people said, "But he's a comedian," I always thought, "So's Senator Al Franken".... Hekate Feb 2022 #23
K & R and thank you. mountain grammy Feb 2022 #26
SLAVA UKRAINI!!! orangecrush Feb 2022 #34
Nice post - congrats on your heritage! And we learn more through mistakes than always being right. erronis Feb 2022 #36
Quote from Twelfth Night seems to capture the moment peggysue2 Feb 2022 #38
People in the arts and philosophy are often taken for lightweights bucolic_frolic Feb 2022 #39
Amen to that. soldierant Feb 2022 #50
That's true insight right there. nt. druidity33 Feb 2022 #60
"I need ammo, not a ride" The Mouth Feb 2022 #41
Simply amazing, isn't it! calimary Feb 2022 #44
And he'll be the former comedian who REALLY had the last laugh. calimary Feb 2022 #46
Wonderfully expressed... thanks !! BUT, when listing his past endeavors, you left out best dancer Karadeniz Feb 2022 #47
Thank you for sharing the translation! LittleGirl Feb 2022 #48
This is a heart-felt description of an astonishing man FakeNoose Feb 2022 #51
Thank you for posting this and I imagine that you are worried about your family members LetMyPeopleVote Feb 2022 #52
I knew he was a comedian but I didn't know the kind of comedy ... electric_blue68 Feb 2022 #53
Wow.. what an amazing story.. TY Cha Feb 2022 #54
One advantage the good comedians have is high intelligence that sees through bullshit easily. Rabrrrrrr Feb 2022 #55
Well said. I too am impressed. He is a very observant and insightful man, with a core of goodness c-rational Feb 2022 #63
Warm words. Dan Feb 2022 #64
Gread read - thank you! Ruby the Liberal Feb 2022 #65
Love this guy, and that last part especially... XacerbatedDem Mar 2022 #66
Good for you! kooth Mar 2022 #67
K&R. And prayers for your relatives back home. ificandream Mar 2022 #68

Tadpole Raisin

(972 posts)
2. He puts supposed leaders to shame. I loved his 'I don't need a ride, I need ammunition.
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 12:45 PM
Feb 2022

Lead by example. He sure is taking that to heart!

Pachamama

(16,886 posts)
3. He has a Law Degree that is rarely mentioned
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 12:45 PM
Feb 2022

But I think that what makes a leader, what makes a person and their character often doesn’t show itself until tested.

Zelensky has shown and demonstrated himself to be a leader and a man of great courage and character, respect and honor.

Unlike many others, TFG and definitely Putin who have none of these characteristics

 

smirkymonkey

(63,221 posts)
58. Yes, I think some people automatically don't give him enough credit because he was once a
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 07:05 PM
Feb 2022

comedian. That's like saying Al Franken isn't qualified because he was also once a comedian.

Zelensky my not have the experience that Franken has in politics/government, but he certainly has the education, intelligence, integrity, gravitas and equanimity that is required for situations such as these.

Both men are admirable, and are head and shoulders above the majority of politicians who occupy office today, particularly those from corrupt nations such as ours or Russia.



usaf-vet

(6,176 posts)
37. And IMO the aftermath of that shows just how out gunned and lacking any presidential skills in TFG.
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 01:57 PM
Feb 2022

Trump looks even smaller to the world today than he did just 10 days ago.

Trump is a small vindictive man with NO real skills to be a leader.

His GQP cult followers have shown even less when compared to the Ukraine common man and woman.
Deep-seated courage in both genders.

Whereas GQP lackeys are gutless when facing a TWEET from the orange man.

COL Mustard

(5,881 posts)
57. A comparison of the two:
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 06:55 PM
Feb 2022

Zelenskyy: I need ammunition, not a ride!

Trump: GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!!

lagomorph777

(30,613 posts)
5. I imagine the population of Ukraine is coming to the same realization.
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 12:49 PM
Feb 2022

He's inspiring. The real deal. Unlike the actors we have had acting as "Presidents" in this country.

Ohio Joe

(21,736 posts)
7. I remember when he was elected...
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 12:52 PM
Feb 2022

And I heard he was a comedian... I knew pretty much zero about Ukraine, but I thought, WTF, that won't work. Good to know I was wrong

wnylib

(21,373 posts)
18. Comedians are interesting people.
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 01:18 PM
Feb 2022

A good, successful comedian is an intelligent person. It takes smarts to see the ironies in life and contrast them into humor that makes a point. It takes character and values to have a point to make.

But, I would also have been skeptical about that translating into an effective national - and now international - leader. But it has happened.

soldierant

(6,828 posts)
49. A good, successful comedian also has empathy.
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 06:02 PM
Feb 2022

As well as a thousands-of-years tradition of speaking truth to power.

Just about anyone in theater or movies will tell you that even the best dramatic actors have great difficulty if they attempt to transition to comedy. But great comic actors can almost always transition successfully to drama.

We underrate comedians ... at our peril.

 

smirkymonkey

(63,221 posts)
59. Some of the funniest people I know are also some of the smartest people I know.
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 07:10 PM
Feb 2022

Think about it. How many right-wingers do you know with a geniuinely good sense of humor? Who either make you laugh or can laugh about life's absurdities. Why are all the best comedians raging liberals?

Stupid people just aren't funny. At least not intentionally.

localroger

(3,622 posts)
40. It takes both intelligence and a tough skin to be a comedian
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 02:46 PM
Feb 2022

You have to think on your feet, express yourself well, and deal with it when a joke falls flat or a heckler steps up.

greatauntoftriplets

(175,729 posts)
8. I was impressed by his reaction to drumpf's demands.
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 12:52 PM
Feb 2022

He's proven himself to be a formidable leader in this trial by fire.

nuxvomica

(12,416 posts)
12. Every true hero is reluctant
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 01:09 PM
Feb 2022

They act because their instincts, the instincts of the mature adult human, demand it, not for glory or ego, or even an abundance of confidence. The singular duty of the hero is to make the world safer for the innocent and Zelensky has answered that call.

onlyadream

(2,165 posts)
16. Comedians are (usually) very bright people.
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 01:15 PM
Feb 2022

Look at Jon Steward or Al Franken. That said, Zelensky sure is proving that he's not only smart, but he's got integrity and courage.

LiberalArkie

(15,705 posts)
24. And they think so very fast. They do not need script writers to tell them what to say and
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 01:25 PM
Feb 2022

what to think.

TygrBright

(20,755 posts)
22. We are watching a unique moment in history.
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 01:25 PM
Feb 2022

It is not every day, year, even decade that a leader rises to a challenge in a way that catalyzes nation-building and changes the course of a whole peoples' future.

And inspires worldwide admiration for humankind's best potential.

respectfully,
Bright

Hekate

(90,598 posts)
23. When people said, "But he's a comedian," I always thought, "So's Senator Al Franken"....
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 01:25 PM
Feb 2022

Al Franken turned out to be one of the most intelligent men in the US Senate.

In any case, thank you for this, Tommy (I thought you had Italian roots) Carcetti. Good post.



peggysue2

(10,825 posts)
38. Quote from Twelfth Night seems to capture the moment
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 02:06 PM
Feb 2022
Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Thy fates open their hands; let thy blood and spirit embrace them.

Saw this mentioned elsewhere and thought yup, that about sums it up.

Zelensky has surprised many people throughout the world. In a good way because he's standing up (despite terrible odds) for a democratic Ukraine and, by extension, democratic principles everywhere. I've read that his popularity within Ukraine had dwindled from his initial electoral victory. Until these last few weeks, that is, which has propelled the man into living legend status.

No wonder Putin wants Zelensky's head. Only problem? Then the man becomes a martyr to the cause.

And Putin? He loses either way.

bucolic_frolic

(43,092 posts)
39. People in the arts and philosophy are often taken for lightweights
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 02:13 PM
Feb 2022

But they have a great understanding of people, events, history, and are often extroverts and humanitarians. They are no technocrats. They understand implications. They don't just process, they think.

The Mouth

(3,145 posts)
41. "I need ammo, not a ride"
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 02:55 PM
Feb 2022

Perhaps the best quote ever.

The Biden administration offered him a flight out .


?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1497506134692970499%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffpost.com%2Fentry%2Fukraine-zelenskyy-rejects-us-evacuation_n_621a117ae4b0afc668c0eac4

calimary

(81,165 posts)
44. Simply amazing, isn't it!
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 03:23 PM
Feb 2022

Astounding.

And in ANY case, Zelenskyy will win in the eyes of history. He's already won, even this early in the crisis. If he survives, he'll be the world's hero. If Putin captures him and imprisons him, he'll become a cause celebre. If Putin has him executed, he becomes a martyr. And if THAT happens, watch for an international appeal to the Pope to canonize him as a saint.

Karadeniz

(22,483 posts)
47. Wonderfully expressed... thanks !! BUT, when listing his past endeavors, you left out best dancer
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 04:41 PM
Feb 2022

in Ukraine !!!! He was fabulous !!!

LittleGirl

(8,282 posts)
48. Thank you for sharing the translation!
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 05:26 PM
Feb 2022

I didn’t know where Ukraine was from my location in Central Europe last week. I’ve gone from furious to distraught to surprised by the resistance! Go Ukrainians Go! Beat Putin.

I’m a boomer, I hate war. I didn’t want my brothers to get drafted to Vietnam. My oldest brother failed the health test. He spent his junior year in the hospital sick with hepatitis. The younger ones became of age after the draft ended, phew.

I respect that man and fear for his life. He is brave and gives me hope.
I hope Putin is defeated!

FakeNoose

(32,604 posts)
51. This is a heart-felt description of an astonishing man
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 06:13 PM
Feb 2022

Prayers and best wishes for your relatives in Ukraine, my friend! Putin will get his day, don't worry. This will all be over soon, when the proud and brave people of Ukraine can hold their heads high.

LetMyPeopleVote

(145,013 posts)
52. Thank you for posting this and I imagine that you are worried about your family members
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 06:21 PM
Feb 2022

I was surprised when Zelenskyy did not give into TFG's blackmail demands and I have been pleased in how he has become a great leader.


electric_blue68

(14,843 posts)
53. I knew he was a comedian but I didn't know the kind of comedy ...
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 06:39 PM
Feb 2022

he was doing until ?2 days ago when someone described his show about Ukrainian corruption.
What an amazing life he's led so far. (of course, I hope he makes it through all this!!!!! )

I hope your relatives, and their friends stay safe and healthy!

I'm half 2Gen Ukrainian American on my dad's side. He was an only child, but his father may have had at least one brother. He was a peasant (what my dad said his father told him) outside of Kyiv.
So I probably have unknown cousins over there.

But as an NYC'r when I was a kid we had 2 different Ukrainian Catholic Churches to go to though we usually went to one over the other. As well as eating in Ukrainian restaurants from time to time in "Little Ukraine" in The East Village. We'd go down there to get our Ukrainian foods for Easter. Saw Ukrainian dancers when I was tween.

Finally my sis and I split up our dad's collection of
💖 pysanka. I might have bought one of my own. I did try to make one with unsatisfying [😄 sigh] results! Ah, well.


SlavaUkraini! 🌻🇺🇦🌻



Cha

(296,960 posts)
54. Wow.. what an amazing story.. TY
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 06:50 PM
Feb 2022

Tommy Carcetti!

Now I know more about Zelensky than I did.. Thank You so much for your OP!

Zelensky has gone against the Evil twins trump and putin.. Here's to Ukraine coming out the Winner of Democracy and Freedom!



💙

Rabrrrrrr

(58,347 posts)
55. One advantage the good comedians have is high intelligence that sees through bullshit easily.
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 06:54 PM
Feb 2022

Colbert, Stewart, Che, Jost, Seth Myers - any of them know far more about the world and politics and how things work and how things OUGHT to work (morally and ethically) than any GOP senator or representative, or any GOp talking head on FOX...

I could imagine Al Franken doing exactly what Zelensky is doing - Franken's insights, wisdom, and crazy smarts when he was senator were absolutely stunning.

The comedian is actually going to read the stuff so that they know what's happening so they can make fun of it; and also so that if need be, they can footnote every joke and comment.

c-rational

(2,590 posts)
63. Well said. I too am impressed. He is a very observant and insightful man, with a core of goodness
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 08:45 PM
Feb 2022

that shines for the world to see.

Ruby the Liberal

(26,219 posts)
65. Gread read - thank you!
Mon Feb 28, 2022, 09:18 PM
Feb 2022

I am awestruck by this man and how he has handled this nightmare. Its like his instincts have been firing on all cylinders for days now. I hope he and his family and team are able to get some rest.

On a lighter note - he is definitely amusing. Have you seen this compliation of clips from when he did the Ukranian version of Dancing with the Stars?




kooth

(218 posts)
67. Good for you!
Tue Mar 1, 2022, 10:38 AM
Mar 2022

I takes an adult to admit when they were wrong. You have an open mind and an open heart. I hope the very best for your relatives and in fact, the entire Ukrainian people as they fight against Putin. Good luck!

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»I absolutely love it when...