Politics for fun-A A +A
By Ver Pacete
As I See It
Thursday, September 20, 2012
I WAS on my way to Negros Occidental from Cebu. My Cebu sortie was important. I was there with other Silaynons to give moral support to our Kabataang Silay Rondalla members who are qualified for a national competition. The one-hour travel on a RO-RO could be boring if I would just count the waves.
A 67 year-old former councilor from a Cebu town engaged me in a meaty political conversation. His oedipal spin in sweaty politics made him a geeky political analyst. He did a lot of talking like John Travolta in Face/Off until I engaged him in a nonchalant yet honorable conversation on little things I know about politics. I found out later that my “man” is a retired high school principal. His words were loaded with the glitz and glow of an educated person.
He quoted Franklin P. Adams, “There are too many politicians who believe, with a conviction based on experience, that you can fool all of the people all of the time.” He was very sarcastic in his views. I told him that voters in our generation have to vote for candidates who are qualified for the position. He insisted that he could still read the minds of the politicians. He is one of them and he could be like them.
I tried to read his mind. I told him what Franklin Dane said, “I never vote for the best candidate, I vote for the one who will do the least harm.” He made his rebuttal. “I am older than you. You are not in politics. I am. The one you thought doing the least harm, in the long run will turn out to be a monster. There is no way to stop him.” I smiled and remained calm. “I believe that there are always men with lesser evils in our politics. These men will somehow deliver the goods,” I replied.
“My friend, thinking and doing are two different things. Even Saddam Hussein is thinking that he is more virtuous than Pres. Kennedy or Pres. Bush, two notorious philanderers.” I kept quiet. I do not have the mind of Saddam. He reminded me of what Winston Churchill said: “Montgomery was in defeat unbeatable; in victory unbreakable.” The discussion was getting deeper. The former councilor knew his history.
I told him that politics is a science of good government. Politicians should understand that and their motives in coming in should be good. I wanted to convince him that there are also good politicians. He really wanted to take what the negative stance. He barked, “Your definition is from a dictionary. Mine is what Larry Handiman said, “The word ‘poly’, meaning ‘many’, and the word, ‘ticks’ meaning ‘blood-sucking parasites’. Now, can you see the difference?”
Of course, I know that he is not following logic but before I could open my mouth, he mentioned another writer. “The more you read and observe about politics, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. Whoever wins in an election will be there in office to solve the problem. But always remember, many problems don’t exist until a government agency is created to solve them.”
I know that the most of what he is saying are not his words. This guy did a lot of reading and having been in politics for several years, he became a political astute. I admit his wit. “I give up. You really know what is next. How did you know all these?” He smiled like an Ong-Bak artifact. “Partner, in my town, my son is the mayor. I am his adviser. I am in this RO-RO because I arrived late at the port for the fast craft.”
He left a message for politicians. “Crime does not pay. Politics does the same. We place small criminals in jail. The great ones choose politics. They are now in office.”
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 20, 2012.