Politics and stupidity
Let me begin by citing a quotation attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte: “In politics stupidity is not a handicap.”
Our attention was caught by the news item, “Lacson warns aspirants against political insanity” (Inquirer.net, 10/17/18).
The filing of candidacies for the 2019 elections has ignited the simmering heat in the minds of both aspiring candidates and the electorate.
People in this country are so passionate about elections, like children during Christmas, so that campaign seasons have always been festive.
Elective positions in this country have become the most lucrative vocation. Candidates spend during the few weeks of the campaign period much more than they could lawfully earn in their entire term, should they win.
To the uninitiated, the mad rush to run for office is hard to understand given the legal “return on investment” aspirants may later acquire.
But this is the Philippines, where political parties lack ideological grounds to base their advocacy on. Gone are the days when there were only two official parties, Nacionalista and Liberal, patterned after the Republican and Democratic parties in the United States.
Those were the days when candidates were measured by qualifications such as education and advocacies.
But dictator Marcos declared martial law and banned political parties. That was the death of democracy.
He would later allow political parties to be formed. This led to the rise of several parties that were too small to dent the dominant one Marcos created.
With the media under strict government control then, no other parties or political personalities were able to rise to public awareness.
This eventually led to the formation of parties based on popularity and not on qualifications. Thus, we now see popular film and sports personalties being fielded because of their “winnability.”
The stupidity of many voters result in stupid candidates getting elected into office. This is insanity, pure and simple. Napoleon must have foreseen the fate of the Philippines almost 200 years after his time.
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