After the Color Has Faded from the Revolution

Five years after the Orange Revolution, neither conditions on the ground nor the popular view of those in power has changed in Western Ukraine. Outrage, it seems, has been replaced by apathy, and now the country risks tilting back eastward.

This, too, seems like a predictable but nonetheless saddening outcome:

“One thing I can say with certainty: There will be no repetition ofthat revolution,” Mr. Antypovych said. “People will no longer go outinto the streets for a politician. They simply will not go out. Basedon our surveys, most voters expect there to be mass falsification. Theyare already accustomed to the idea.”

The first two constituencies I thought of upon reading that were the Iranian opposition, and President Barack Obama’s young, first-time-voting supporters. Hope is certainly a mobilizing force, especially in the face of power that has lost its legitimacy. But inherent in the old adage that politics is the art of the possible is the sad truth that what is possible is bound to disappoint those whose hopes are set too high. Nothing defeats revolutions quite like success.

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