“Ayoko na nang matalinong pangulo.” (I don’t want an intelligent president anymore.)
Those were the words that my officemate blurted out as we were talking about the upcoming 2010 elections. I chuckled at her response before asking her why she would say that.
“Well, if the president is too smart, they get away with everything. They’re so good at manipulating people and hiding their faults.”
At that moment, I had to admit that she did have a point, but if there was one flaw with her defense, it would be this: She was assuming that the president is both intelligent and corrupt.
Intelligence and corruption would indeed be a dangerous mix when it comes to people in government positions (as proven by… *lists down the names of several Philippine presidents*). But it is beyond me why the solution would be to vote for someone who is unintelligent (an idiot – bluntly speaking – like… *writes down the name of a former president*).
Shouldn’t the recourse be to vote for someone who is intelligent but not corrupt?
I’ve had worse discussions though. These next ones really blew my mind.
“We cannot place someone who is good as president. He will only be eaten by the wolves or converted into one. We must place in position someone whom the government officials will fear. We cannot have a weakling placed in position.” I could not believe she was saying it with a straight face! My jaw literally dropped open.
So good is equivalent to weak?
Another friend, upon discussing a presidential candidate with good moral values, said, “Granted… he is incorruptible. But the president alone cannot change the system of corruption. Now, if this were a monarchy, he may be able to make a difference.”
It’s as if they’ve accepted a corrupt government as the norm and that we must shape our vote in order to fit the dictates of corruption. That mindset is a mystery to me.
Don’t get me wrong… my head is not wandering off in la-la land. I am well aware of the reality that yes, corruption is deeply rooted into our governmental system. I, however, refuse to accept this as a norm. This may be what it is, but it is definitely NOT what it should be.
My decision for whom to vote as president during the 2010 elections will be shaped according to the following standards:
Has exhibited the ability to be a good leader – whether or not in the political realm.
Has a love for country and is passionate for change.
Is determined to uproot the system of corruption that has been prevalent in our government throughout our entire history as an independent state.
Has the competence and wisdom to lead a country, and is able to come up with a solid platform for change.
Most importantly, has a fear of God and will strive towards righteous ‘servant leadership’.
The list above may be an idealist’s criteria. Does such a person even exist? And if that person does exist, is he even running for president?
Let’s put it this way: I already know whose name will appear on my ballot. Do you?