“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.” — Ernest Benn, a political publicist
Live! Share! Be powerful!
Are you into politics? If you are, then the staccato lead of this write-up is descriptive of you.
Live. You are a politician if you live as if you were the King.
Share. You are a politician if you share your blessings as if you were the Source of Abundance.
Be powerful. You are a politician if you wield power over others as if you were as omnipotent as God.
Whether you are in your own community, in the school, or in your office, you are inevitably engaged in politics. Politics is a way of life. It is something you cannot live without. In every aspect of your life, you are a politician in your own right. When you do something that influences others to change the way they think, act or behave, or changes their standpoints, perceptions, thoughts or ideas on a certain issue, no matter how significant or trivial it may be to them or no matter how much it matters to them, you are doing what we call as a political act. Politics is an art of influencing others, either on a civic or individual level.
Politics has, in most cases, sinister purposes. So do politicians. A politician wants to lead. His purposes are suspect.
When Corazon C. Aquino was catapulted to Philippine presidency after the successful People Power I, only a few Filipinos, mostly the oligarchs, believed in her capacity to lead a nation that had for more than 20 years been under the leadership of the erstwhile president, the late Ferdinand E. Marcos, whose long stay in power was in question and whose vilified political shenanigans and massive abuses led to public diatribes, ending in a peaceful uprising that led to his ouster.
With the entry of Aquino, a plain housewife, into politics, talks were rife that it was for the Aquinos’ political survival after the death of the late senator Ninoy Aquino, known critics of the late strongman. For being so, her intentions were suspect. She was no political. Her influences to the many Filipinos, hungry for leaders true to their promises, were naught, encouraging members of the armed forces into launching coups d’état against her floundering government. While she was highly popular, there were some questioning her sincerity and good intentions to lead the nation struggling to fix the wreckage left by the Marcos administration. True enough, a few years after, her Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, better known as CARP, was passed into law but never fully implemented as her family, owning Hacienda Luisita, could lose their huge tracts of land to more or less 5500 farm workers.
Politics, yes, is for sinister purposes. Hadn’t Aquino been president, her family would earlier have lost their lands to tillers. Certainly, her leadership was to serve her vested interests. Those of the many were relegated to oblivion, in retrospect to the almost forgotten massacre in Tarlac City, the political bailiwick of the Aquinos and the business empire of the Coquangcos. The glaring disparity of the social status of the people in that city signals the need to look into the leadership of these two landed clans to its downtrodden residents struggling to make both ends meet.
Politicians live like kings considering all, including their people, as their own, putting them under their wings to their advantage. People, under this type of politicians, are perceived to lose the right to live. Their life, seemingly revolving around them, depends on them. They are living dead. And, yes, we are. It is politicians that make our life difficult. The laws and statutes they made serve them better than ordinary mortals like us do.
The Aquino’s CARP has served them than their land tillers. It is as if they own not only the lands but the people tilling them as well. Now, do you think CARP is relevant to the landless toiling hard for the landed? The land workers would die landless when CARP, even under the Duterte administration, is not fully implemented. Or, if the landmark decision by the Corona-led Supreme Court in favor of the land workers is not enforced.
Filipinos, ensnarled in miserable life, discontinued to show trust and confidence in a leader coming into power after a peaceful uprising like People Power. This leader, belonging to the elite, is no different to the rest of the politicians — he is getting into politics to satisfy his selfish interests.
Politics, indeed, is one we cannot live without. Whether we like it or not, we can always be a victim of politics, a game the politicians are highly adept at. Yes, we all are a politician in our own right, but it is politics that “kills our right to live”. We were promised the stars, the moon and the heaven during campaigns, a time when our dreams for a beautiful life connive with theirs. Worse than ever is, we are apt to desensitize ourselves to the neglect that politicians have ever done to keep themselves in power, forgetting our role as their integral support.
We are the ones politicians cannot live without. They live like kings as we regard them like ones.
Politics is risky. Politics is pesky. If there is politics, there is killing. If there is killing, there is a politician. Killing connotes a loss of something. A politician causes us to lose something. Thus, a politician kills us – our ideals, our ambitions, and our life. In community politics, a politician spoils our right of suffrage in vote-buying. In school politics, there is mudslinging to get the votes of fellow students. In office politics, a colleague ingratiates the boss.
Politics induces brazenness. To win, they share us something, something that they want to get back when (they are) elected. I am referring to vote-buying in blatant violation of our right to suffrage.
That something is in different denominations and amount, from a hundred to a thousand, to thousands. They share it to us as if they own a “money manufacturing firm.”
That something is not theirs. That is ours, put in the government coffers and spent for their win.
Vote-buying is unlimited, as if they have unlimited source. We are the source. We are their milking cow.
Politics is a way of life. Politicians are into it and they want to stay in power, no matter what it is in store for them.
A political science professor once said there was only one true “political” politician in the Philippines and that was no other than the erstwhile president Ferdinand E. Marcos. To him, Marcos was political in the sense that he was the only national leader who had always had the inscrutable charisma to galvanize the entire Filipino populace into making it a great nation, eventually turning it into the economic tiger in the South, until his ouster from the presidency through the world-renowned People Power I.
I did not argue with him. I was too young to know then who Marcos and his cronies were, until I enrolled in the university where I was made aware, through a series of seminars conducted by the League of the Filipino Students (LFS), how they contributed to various problems Filipinos have been facing up to now.
For more than 20 years, politics had been the life of the Marcoses, and the Aquinos as well. Both families have been estranged ever since I was born. Rapprochement between two families is unlikely.
There is power in politics. Politics puts politicians into power. Politicians wield power over their constituents, as if they are god. That is the case of Marcos and even Aquino, though in different ways. In an effort to stay in power, he declared Martial Law that sent many oppositionists, including Aquino, to jail and threw some into somewhere, away from the
They literally kill those barriers to their winnability and, yes, they figuratively kill us – our ideals, our ambitions, and our life.
They are powerful, indeed. Powerful in the sense that they play the game of deception, promising the stars, the moon and the heaven, to get votes and make the constituents their victims. They are gods to many adoring them; they are evils to some detesting them.
Politics is a lifestyle. Lifestyle is politics. Politicking is endless. It sacks humaneness from our human system. In politics, you rationalize an absence or a lack of humaneness through humanness. Indeed, politics dehumanizes humans.
Where in the entire universe can you then find humane politicians among humans?
There is politics in the community. There is politics in the school. There is politics in the office. There is politics everywhere. Whether you are an ordinary citizen, a city mayor, a senator or the president of a country; an ordinary student, a student leader or a teacher; or an ordinary employee, a supervisor or a manager, you are into politics.
Influencing others to do either good or bad is a political act. By doing it, you are a politician.
Lying is political. When you lie, you influence the thinking of the non-thinkers to believe your lies. Your lies then become truths. Lying therefore is but natural to politicians.