Politi­cians and their values

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VALUES are al­ways the best in­di­ca­tors whether the (as­pir­ing) leader is a good one or not. And no cover-up can ever hide such truth be­cause it can al­ways be seen at plain view. It’s just most of the time we de­lib­er­ately ignore the signs right in front of us.

If per­sonal values be­come our mea­sure in choos­ing whom to vote then we can never go wrong. Let me give you an ex­am­ple, a politi­cian who wears Louis Vuit­ton from head to foot in the midst of poverty in his or her area is forth­right in­sen­si­tive to the plight of his peo­ple. It is not even a ques­tion of whether he or she can af­ford one, but just whether he or she em­pathizes with our daily strug­gles.

An­other in­di­ca­tor would be the kind of car the politi­cian drives. Pub­lic of­fice is a pub­lic trust. In­deed, when one is in­stalled in an of­fice he has to project power and au­thor­ity to carry out his duty which ex­tends to the kind of car he drives. Ev­ery of­fi­cial should drive a de­cent car. But if he or she chooses the high end lux­ury cars at the ex­pense of peo­ple’s money then that in­di­cates that our wel­fare is not at the top of his or her pri­or­i­ties. I mean what else could bet­ter ex­plain that.

Per­haps we can learn from the values of last three popes we had in the Catholic hi­er­ar­chy, the values that our lead­ers should pos­sess.

Pope John Paul II – Pope John Paul II was shot four times 1981 by Mehmet Ali Aðca at the Vat­i­can

City while he was entering the square. The as­sas­sin was cap­tured and sen­tenced to life in pri­son by an Ital­ian court. But the Pope later for­gave Aðca for the as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt and then he was par­doned by the Ital­ian president at the Pope’s re­quest. It was clear for the Pope what he values, and how­ever in­com­pre­hen­si­ble it is to all of us, he showed mercy and for­give­ness.

Pope Benedict XVI – The pa­pacy is by far the high­est political of­fice any­one could ever hold. Its power and in­flu­ence ex­tends to all Catholics all over the world and im­pacts strongly in politics and eco­nom­ics as well. Yet when he found in his prayer and dis­cern­ment that he will be a bet­ter Chris­tian if he steps down from of­fice and spends his time in soli­tude and prayer, he stepped down with­out flinch­ing an eye. His values surely goes beyond the glare of power and in­flu­ence. In our lo­cal scene, we knew for a fact that even barangay chair­man­ship is so cov­eted that peo­ple would even re­sort to killing just to keep their posts. How much more in our na­tional politics?

Pope Fran­cis – Our cur­rent pope, a Je­suit, is quite un­ortho­dox as he is per­haps the only pope that does not have an image of a states­man. He is sim­ple and quiet and re­served. And yet, if we look closer, he is one great leader pre­cisely be­cause of that- sim­ple.

When he was in­stalled in of­fice, he stripped the Vat­i­can off with its usual flare and grandeur. From its usual glare of gold ac­ces­sories that projects glamor, Pope Fran­cis made ev­ery­thing sim­ple and in­ex­pen­sive. To his end, the church should set an ex­am­ple of sim­plic­ity so that oth­ers may sim­ply live.

This brings me back to my orig­i­nal point. You want a good politi­cian? Look at his values.*

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