Politicians and messiahs: Know them by their fruits
I agree with columnist Randy David’s very interesting analysis on the appropriation of the messianic motif in Philippine politics (“The messianic motif in Philippine politics,” 12/19/2021). More importantly, it provoked me to ask what must and can be done to address the straightforward challenges we will face in the 2022 elections.
The least we can do when politicians project themselves as would-be messiahs is to examine their previous performance and accomplishments to ascertain their fitness for the public office they seek. “You will know them by their fruits,” as Matthew 7:16 puts it. But without fact-checking, it is most likely that ordinary voters will be mesmerized by the highly questionable messianic narratives that politicians brazenly peddle during election seasons. Economic and moral factors would partly explain why people would gravitate not toward those who are genuinely competent, experienced, and accomplished, but more toward dysfunctional politicians who sound like a broken record.
In light of the ills currently besetting our political landscape, the usual questions “How shall we vote?” and “How can we help?” have gained renewed traction and pertinence. First, as many groups have already been voluntarily doing, let us leave no stone unturned to unmask the false messiahs in our midst. Second, let us actively campaign and fight for those candidates who incarnate our shared dreams for a better future. Third, since there is strength in numbers, let us set aside our parochial divisions by joining groups and communities who share the same advocacies and programs to turn the potentially catastrophic political exercise in May 2022 into an opportunity to liberate our country from its deep-seated economic, social, and political problems. We owe these to our future generations.
NOEL G. ASIONES
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