Nomination hesitancy

CTALK - Cito Beltran - The Philippine Star

The announcement of 1SAMBAYAN of potential presidential and vice presidential candidates for 2022 has apparently been met with “Nomination Hesitancy.” Only former senator Antonio Trillanes seemed to have given a positive response, while the rest of the field were non-committal or vague. Given the fact that one needs to have a lot of money, a real political machinery or strong party and will be up against an incumbent group in control of Congress and the bureaucracy, it would almost seem suicidal to venture into such a contest in 2022.

What makes matters worse is that the “public” or the electorate that the candidates would be wooing and serving doesn’t seem all that interested or deserving of the financial and personal sacrifice that any candidate would be making. On top of that, you can become president but run into opposition with the vested interests of business and local politicians such as members of Congress, you could end up with a presidential family of incompetent Cabinet members or you could end up with an even bigger basket of headaches beyond the COVID-19 virus, which brings us back to the start of maybe’s. The candidates themselves may lack real life qualities and expertise, that they might actually fail at a job interview for senior level managers or directors in large corporations that sifts or filters people’s health, age, mental state, work experience, business network and leadership abilities and track record. Do they have a body of work that speaks of excellence or will they just be another warm body to add to the payroll?

A great number of professional politicians don’t know of anything else except politics or working in government by way of politics. Unlike career government employees and officials, many politicians or appointees would not pass the “PSET” or Private Sector Employment Test. They would not survive in the highly competitive corporate world that is based on you actually getting things done with integrity and competence. I think it was US senator Bob Dole who once expressed shock at how difficult it was to start a business in America after he had retired. When the Marcos dictatorship folded up, I heard of several individuals who could not cope or compete outside their former sphere of influence and fell apart emotionally and financially. This in part explains why many politicians jump ship or crossover to every new and stronger administration; survival instinct kicks in when there are no other talents or competencies to lean on.

I have counseled many young people to stay out of politics or they might get sucked into the flame like moths, as Jose Rizal once wrote. However noble your reasons may be, riding the wild horse of politics will surely bruise or break you. If it is “public service” you seek, you do not need a position, a title or sizeable organizations and office building. One thing that many of us discovered and learned to value was how “WFH” or Working From Home can be just as effective and productive while leaning towards a more relaxed or balanced life with families. Social Media has made ALL of us influencers and no start-up is too small and we can now reach a much larger audience, impact many groups in society, and create ripples, trickles, waves or tsunamis of social justice and benefit.

As a media based group, Team AGENDA and I try our best to support or push for social justice, address inequalities or push for solutions beneficial to the public. I try to do the same in CTALK. I know of health advocates who use their medical background, corporate network and social media savvy to help people stay healthy, stay alive or find remedies and solutions to medical and hospital issues while avoiding politics like the plague. We have all heard about “Community Pantries,” “Books for the Bundoks,” teachers and libraries on wheels and tricycles – all started up by individuals holding no public office or multi-million peso account. Even today’s CEOs in the Philippines have broken the mold and redefined themselves as leaders for Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Generosity. Next time you struggle about not having “The Right Stuff” to do the right thing, read this popular article about the life of Jesus Christ attributed to James Allen Francis:

“He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant. He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30. Then, for three years, he was an itinerant preacher.

“He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a home. He didn’t go to college. He never lived in a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

“He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend.

“Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned –- put together – have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life.”

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