What is it that drives voters, the common people, to cry out and vote for the false messiah to be their president and leader? Some voters are drawn away from more virtuous leadership and favor unrealistic fantastic promises of the bombastic candidate.
Even if such a candidate promotes hatred, racism and violence and approves and practices womanizing, insults religions and church leaders and supports vigilante killings of any suspect without trial, he can arouse a rabble of extremist followers. Can he be trusted to serve and lead a nation?
In the United States and the Philippines, there are candidates that share such positions and attitudes. They are not the ideal leaders of a nation that aspires to be caring, compassionate and that respects the rights and dignity of all.
Good honest Republicans in the USA are outraged and disavow the extreme policies of Donald Trump, now the Republican Party presidential candidate. He will likely run against the democratic candidate Hilary Clinton.
He will ban Muslims from coming into the USA, and all illegal immigrants will be deported. Thousands of Filipinos could be in jeopardy. Trump has insulted women, mocked a disabled person in public and vows to strike the enemies of America with overwhelming force if they don’t agree to his negotiating positions. If elected president, he will tear up every free trade treaty.
For Trump, it is America first and to hell with the rest of the world. For him, corporate America and big business should rule America and the world; not the regulatory agencies of government, not the UN. And yet he has reached a popularity that boggles the mind and troubles the heart.
But it won’t happen. Most American voters are wiser, smarter and more compassionate. They are good people and are generally non-racist, tolerant, caring, compassionate and respect the views of others even if they disagree. All North Americans are descendants of immigrants and so the majority will reject extremist views and racist anti-immigration policies when it comes to a national vote.
We hope it will be the same in the Philippines this 9 May 2016. The vast majority of Filipinos are also good people: intelligent, compassionate, caring, loving and self-sacrificing. They should vote in a responsible manner looking for the candidate that has a positive history of respect for human rights, concern and action for the abused children, compassion for the poor and is a person of unblemished integrity, free from scandal and of faithful family life.
Who among the candidates for president, vice president or for the Senate meets these basic criteria and are competent to lead and inspire a nation of over 100 million people?
Is there anyone with a spiritual faith in the dignity of the human person and a true respect for this beautiful but suffering country and who has not enriched themselves with bulging bank accounts? A candidate who can lift up the downtrodden who has a record of caring and action for justice?
The candidates ought not have a history of corruption or advocating or being linked to death squads anywhere where there have been summary executions over the years. That is the path to power for these men of violence and greed.
Those voters hurt and ignored and left desperately poor and hungry by government will favor the vengeful threats of the gun-slinging candidates. That’s why they lead in the polls. Failure of government officials to serve the public gives the violent extremists popularity. For example, to get a vehicle registration document at the Land Transportation Office in Region 3 takes months of waiting and inaction. Getting a document processed by government takes months. Such lack of service can unfortunately appear to some to be a bribe-seeking delay. To get a permit for a brothel can take just a few days or more.
To get the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Provincial Engineer of Zambales to act on the repair of a short 200 meters of road to a children’s home would take years, if ever they would repair it. Instead a P45 million road is being built with a private housing project as the main beneficiary.
More dissatisfaction is aroused when government elites and officials are part of the children and women abuse and escape justice by the decisions of some corrupt judiciary. They ignore the hardship and abuse of the trafficked and enslaved and incarcerated women and children.
Responsible voting ought to be for the candidates who can be trusted to have the integrity and strength to respect, enforce, serve and protect the rights of every citizen with equality and fairness. Who meets this basic criteria?