Whirligig Politics and Incredible Politicians

Manila Bulletin, June 19, 2004 | Go to article overview

Whirligig Politics and Incredible Politicians


Byline: MANUEL Lolong M. LAZARO

POLITICS, in the pithy phrase of Theodore Parker, is the science of exigencies. To Groucho Marx, It is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies. For his part, Napoleon Bonaparte succinctly remarked: In politics, an absurdity is not an impediment.

Politics, Philippine style

Politics, Philippine style, may be described as the art of arts and the science of sciences. It has acquired a notoriety of its own. It beguiles and bewilders. Occasionally, it uplifts and enlightens. Ironically, politics is the only profession where lack of knowledge is often better than knowledge. It is a lucrative job for which no cerebral preparation is necessary.

Philippine politics is odd or unorthodox. It is divisive and conducive to cheating. The expenses are enormous and cannot be recovered legitimately. The notion of "truth" or "false" is unclear and uncertain. It is a democratic exercise turned upside down. The-more-the-merrier, the chances are better. It is a whirligig world, a merry-goround circus where incredible politicians seek to please, grandstand and entertain.

Politics is an oxymoron. Decency in politics is an iridescent dream. It is also an ugly form of gambling that can make or break ones fortunes. At times politics mixed with military adventurism create a highly combustible situation. Our politics trivializes issues and focus on personalities.

Politicians

Our politicians are of infinite variety, a protean coterie of diverse and manifold characters. They are of a dubious breed. Majority are amoral individuals who can make wrong appear right or whose cunning style pass for wisdom. Many are humorless hypocrites or hypocritical humorists. They can dish it out but they cant take it. Some disguise pathological bellicosity as intense patriotism. Others play being God with one hand filled and the other open. Some politicians play dangerous games.

Majority of the politicians rise from ill-defined or incoherent purposes, heightened with murky values or confused priorities. They compose a new blundering generation. Others are in politics to protect their vested interests. Many politicians are addlepated. A few smart politicians render vices serviceable to virtues.

Politics as entertainment

Those in show biz enter politics while those in politics enter show biz. Politics is a new category of show biz. These politicians are a new genre of entertainers or performers. They are crowd-pleasers offering themselves as alternatives to traditional politicians. Though modest in qualifications or credentials, they pride themselves as more sensitive and responsive to the peoples needs.

Politicians talk in circles while standing four squares. The traditional competition of ideas of platform of governance had long been sidelined or deserted. Politicians now vie or compete in promises, hopes, and predictions of the future. They lure votes with alluring blueprints of progress that are nothing more than empty rhetoric or illusory hopes.

Politicians design outlandish programs that clash with the realities of the times. …

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