I intend to be the president of all citizens of Macedonia, regardless of their ethnic or religious background, regardless of their political standing. I shall not allow ethnic hatred and intolerance to undermine Macedonia’s stability.

— Boris Trajkovski, former Macedonian president

I observe with absolute horror the incident at Capitol Hill recently where a group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in a bid to interrupt an election count to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

It is not only despicable, it was also an attack on the spirit of democracy and ideals upheld by the US which had been its source of pride all these years.

The acts of the protestors to infiltrate, vandalise and attack the security workers do not reflect a developed, advanced and world-leading nation — instead it evokes the very idea of a banana republic — a dump in all interpretations of the word.

But then again, as I reel away from the incident, a thought came across my mind and which is that this came to no surprise to just about anyone.

The polarising politics practised by the Americans and which is also mirrored in other parts of the world has been long touted to yield a negative impact, which we came to learn.

There is the left, there is the right — both on the opposing end of the political spectrum — fanning animosity among the people until its boiling point.

Suffice to say, this is expected. It is also not helped by the fact that the nation has a void in moral leadership. In place of such was a bigot who enabled fellow bigots to continually test the waters in pushing their extremist agendas.

These people won’t listen to reason. They won’t understand when we, the rest of the world say, “Folks, you know you are playing with fire?”

They didn’t listen, instead, these extremists, bigots and zealots went on a path of self-gratification, a crusade of which not only undermined the concept of democracy itself, but allowed the state of lawlessness.

Four people were killed — four. That is blood on their hands, but then again, being the idiots that they are, it won’t affect them — all they wanted was to drain the proverbial “swamp”.

But then again, at what cost? I ask them this.

When it will ever be enough? Former president Barack Obama said once — while the Democrats lost the 2016 presidential election to Trump and the Republicans — that the one who’s angry all the time are the Republicans.

The Grand Old Party (GOP), in my view was only a political platform adopted by Trump who then brought his supporters on board.

Trump knows that rallying to this angry, misguided, tempestuous and gullible bunch won’t be good in the long run — they are uncontrollable and may turn rogue.

It is almost as if their misgivings that they had, for whatever silly reason, vindicated them taking matters into their own hands.

In a nutshell, we shouldn’t be playing with fire, otherwise we’ll get burned and we now know that. The question is when will our leaders know?

Back at home, we can see both sides are on this dangerous path, the supremacists and the liberal left.

My leaders, for every word you said about how unfair one race is to the other, in terms of government positions, awarding of contracts or how one race fared better than the others, you are feeding it into the minds of these kind of people.

Of course, they will support you and look to you as their leader but then again they are doing so because another person — that is you — is saying that it is okay to hate people of different colour and creed.

My leaders, for every Facebook post that you or your administrators made talking about how one race is not getting the needed recognition in terms of government funding, development projects , you are stoking the fires of hate.

Whether you knowingly or just sheer irresponsibly did so, shame on you. Shame on identity politics and shame on politics of hate and division.

At all costs, we must never, and I mean never, enable bigots and zealots. We must educate our supporters from both sides about fact and fiction, reality and perception.

Be smart. Speaking up about “injustices” and “misgivings” without substantiating it is not being “transparent” or “democratic”. It is being dumb.

Leveraging on disinformation and distrust of the people among one another is repulsive.

Don’t harp on sensitive issues, keep your mouth shut if you know speaking up will only make things worse. Be accountable, be responsible.

Harmony, prosperity, stability must be protected at all costs.