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“OH, COME ON, DUDE”

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

A hall full of experts, laypeople and enthusiasts in social media stood face to face with the “Slovenian king of Instagram”. It was going to be an interesting clash of two worlds.


The former Slovenian president cannot be faulted when it comes to his social media management for the purposes of “one’s own political propaganda”, “expressing one’s own political opinions”, and “realizing one’s own personal interests”, as he put it himself. Politics is the art of communicating, and social media is one of the levers to realize this. Legitimately.


But more than his agile social media management, the former president of the country posed an important open question at this showdown of two worlds on what is or is not appropriate behavior for political figures. “Oh, come on, dude”, and “my girls”, and “Špelca”, and similar jests entertained the gathered audience. Pleasant, relaxed, endearing. But was this the expression of an entertaining personality or an embarrassment of one of the highest state functions? Does making animal sounds over the radio by the second highest politically ranked person in the country constitute his easiness and openness or behaviour unbecoming and inappropriate of the said function?


A series of studies in the United States and Denmark led researchers to determine that people with a higher level of narcissism—traits that combine selfishness, the need for admiration, and the feeling of entitlement—have a higher likelihood of actively participating in politics.


Researchers believe that a higher level of narcissism is linked to behaviours that could be detrimental to democracy: for example, an individual redirecting focus from the jurisdiction and obligations of the state function to which they have been appointed towards their own interest and fulfilling their own personal gain within that function. They also found that individuals who have a high opinion of themselves and believe themselves to be better than others are more likely to go into politics than those with a high sense of self-sufficiency. Sound familiar? “Oh, come on, dude!”


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