Confronting death is very difficult. Death makes us serious. It forces us into a ritual, to say the right thing, stemming from protocols that don’t really work.
Of course, death is not singular. Because there is someone who suffers the end in their own flesh, because doubts remain that people must become used to suffering in the absence of the dead, after having suffered the agony of a loved one.
Fernando de la Rúa has died. Our most respectful condolences to his family and to those who truly loved him. But death also makes us scared, because soon enough it will come to us as well, and because what people will say can leave us unsettled, at a single word or expression that we consider to be misplaced.
Or rather, death can make us hypocritical and cynical too. Go to Twitter and see with your own eyes the waterfall of cynicism that the death of de la Rúa has sparked within our national political leadership. I will highlight as exceptions to the rule Graciela Fernández Meijide and Hernán Lombardi, the only person who accompanied de la Rúa in that fateful helicopter which was so pivotal in that moment of our history.
Statesman do not die; they become history. And history will not leave de la Rúa in good standing. An economic slump, the suspicion of the rule of law, social collapse, a state of siege, repression, deaths. Many deaths.
The good thing about history is that it does not blame individuals. The most important thing for history is its process. And Fernando De la Rúa chose to lead at the most critical stage of a weak, almost empty democracy. If he alone had failed, history would be a little story of good and bad, almost like a fairy tale.
De la Rúa died, may he rest in peace. We still owe ourselves a a vivid and profound democracy with a mission
to move forward.