Political hedonists or political existentialists?
What kind of politicians do we have in our midst? Of course, we want to have the ideal politician who is humble, honest, open or transparent, competent, and who works for the interest of the people.
However, among the many politicians around, we can also categorize them into two: political hedonists and political existentialists.
A political hedonist is a politician who considers pleasure or happiness as the criterion of any of his political decision and action and undermines their consequences. He seeks pleasure for himself and for the people he serves. When he seeks the happiness of the greatest number of people, he, too, is identified as a political utilitarian. A political hedonist always finds a reason to have a party like a special event in his honor or a holiday. He feels good when people respect or admire him or when they say good things about him. He is happy when his hedonic policy brings forth happiness to the people. When he is sad, he engages in activities with short-term rewards to boost his spirit. His pleasure, self-interest, and happiness are his primary motivation while ignoring fair play and values.
A political existentialist is a politician who considers freedom as intrinsically valuable and the foundation of society. He espouses free society and considers people as free—free to choose what is best for them. They make their lives meaningful through their choices. To obey laws, and break or ignore them, is part of their freedom. However, the exercise of freedom does not work in a vacuum. Freedom is accompanied by a sense of responsibility. To make free choices is also to take responsibility for the consequences. A political existentialist designs laws not as absolutes but are subject to change depending on circumstances. He allows people to say their piece on what is true, good, or beautiful. He accepts that there is no finality to political policies and actions.
Ideally, we long for politicians who are visionaries, who stay in touch with the people, who have integrity, who can make decisions whether popular or unpopular, service-oriented, knowledgeable and God-fearing.
REGINALD B. TAMAYO,
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