Desperate or stupid?
Now should we describe ourselves as voters? Desperate or stupid?
Look at the notable people who recently filed their certificates of candidacy. There were the very old led by Juan Ponce Enrile at 94. Alfredo Lim—”Dirty Harry”—follows at 88, who wants to replace slightly younger Joseph Estrada (“Erap para sa mahirap”) at 84, as mayor of Manila.
Is the city of Manila and the whole country so devoid of competent leaders we have to suffer those about to be judged by Saint Peter by the Pearly Gates?
Then there are the other kind of candidates who do not even have any pretension of having enough brains to come up with decent answers when interpellated. So they become members of the body’s committee on silence throughout their terms. It’s only their popularity among the masses, who in many instances don’t know what’s good for them, that enable them to go back again and again to their political positions. Here belong the likes of Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, Manny Pacquiao, et al. There is a lot more of their ilk in the lower house.
Not to be forgotten are those whose main assets are their names, nothing more. These are the sons and daughters of politicians who take advantage of the political roots established by their forebears. They bank on “name recall.”
And then there are others who exploit the fear of the people. These are the gangsters in office. They brook no opposition. They will shoot down anybody who stands in their way to power. They are also the usual operators of illegal businesses like gambling and prostitution. Guns, goons and gold are what they bring to the political table.
Time and again these politicians fail to show any good or competent leadership. They are incompetent in doing or achieving what is good for their constituents—who still vote for them again and again.
The fault lies in our stupidity as voters. For most of us are not educated. By education, we don’t refer only to the formal kind which means having college degrees from reputable institutions. Worth recalling here was what a great philosopher once said to the effect that even those who never went to school can still be called educated if they had learned much, remembered much and be able to apply these in practical life.
The kind of life we have which is the direct result of the kind of people we had been voting into office show what we are. The local word “makapasangit” says it all.**