Recently updated on: September 20, 2023
With the presidential elections fast approaching, it is once again time for political discussions and banters among friends, families, acquaintances, and even strangers from social media.
These discussions can even generate heated arguments, giving rise to people who don't actively engage in political discussions or simply believe in being apolitical.
The "apoliticals" would even tell you that as long as you do your part and work hard for your advancement, no matter who gets to win the presidency would be irrelevant.
However, those people who have no interest in political affairs are mostly missing the point.
Whether we like it or not, politics will affect our lives for better or worse. And the apolitical position will only tell that they are coming from a privileged point of view.
There is a wrong connotation to the word "politics."
If we ask everyday people to define politics, they would usually answer something like how corrupt politicians get the money from the people or how politicians argue day-in and day-out regarding their vested interests, especially in the elections.
However, what I've learned from my sociology instructor was that the usual connotation of politics is far from what it should be. Politics is a "set of activities associated with making decisions in groups or other forms of power relations between individuals."
So looking at that definition, politics is everywhere. It is even visible within the family.
And using that context of politics in our society will show that it is simply impossible to be truly apolitical.
Why it is impossible to be apolitical
In the Netflix movie Enola Holmes, a quote answers why some people think they can be apolitical in a political world.
Edith said it to Sherlock Holmes regarding their fight for social reforms, which goes like this:
Edith: Politics doesn't interest you, why?
Sherlock: Because it's fatally boring.
Edith: Politics doesn't interest you because you have no interest in changing a world that suits you so well.
This is true. Being apolitical means maintaining the status quo. Remember that silence, apathy, and neglect are political stands, especially in dangerous and trying times.
People don't care about politics until it affects them directly.
Isn't it sad how many people would care less about what is happening in our society until it hurts them directly and before they complain and seek justice?
Imagine the showbiz personalities of ABS-CBN who didn't bat an eye when so many injustices were happening all around them. They even refused to speak in support of their fellow media men during difficulties, such as Rappler and the now-Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa.
Then when their home station suffered from the non-renewal of their franchise, they went out their way and rallied in the streets to demand justice in the middle of the pandemic.
Another example is the vloggers who were not keen on politics but were angered when a proposal to tax content creators made the rounds in the news and media.
Lastly, the apolitical entrepreneurs who would care less about the rampant corruption in the government then were suddenly complaining about the poor pandemic response when they had to close down their businesses due to the overstretched community quarantines.
The Toxic "Basta okay ako, okay na 'to" Mentality.
Sadly, so many people disregard the importance of politics and leadership for the whole country. They would often say that there will never be a good government and that we should only focus on enriching ourselves because that is the only thing we have control over.
Though that may be true, that is a selfish response, especially if it is within our power to do something about it. We may never have enough influence individually, but collectively, we are powerful. Just as the Constitution says, sovereignty resides in the people, and all government authority emanates from them.
In the years that I attended seminars, conferences, and lectures regarding financial literacy and investing, I learned that foreign investors' perception of our country is essential. It can, directly and indirectly, affect our economy and our country's ability to provide more jobs and opportunities to uplift the lives of Filipinos.
It is never sufficient to have more than enough just for ourselves, but we should also look at our neighbors' needs if they are adequately met.
I once read a quote from Dok Joel that goes something like this, "Oo, Pilipino ka, pero hindi lang ikaw ang Pilipinas." Not everyone is privileged enough to ignore the systemic inequity that keeps the poor poorer.
Our political stance is a reflection of our character.
In politics and in life, whom we support and denounce will reveal how we think, where our values stand, how informed we are, and, importantly, how it will display our character.
We vote for a government that embodies our ideals and aspirations. So, depending on whomever we support, it will reveal what is happening inside our minds and hearts.
Voting is our superpower.
Never think that your vote is only one vote. That one vote can still be the deciding factor between winning and losing.
If a million good people think that their single vote cannot change the nation, one million votes are lost.
Voting is our right, privilege, and responsibility for future generations. Let us use this power of choosing to build a brighter tomorrow for the Philippines.
We must do our due diligence. Research everything that we can to make an informed decision. Look at the bigger picture. Ask ourselves how our vote will affect other people and us because May 9, 2022, is closer than you think.
This election is crucial for the future of our country. Not just for the economy but also for our country to return to the upward trajectory.
May God guide us for the upcoming stressful months leading to the elections. God bless!
I just remembered that pink is an excellent color for a T-shirt. 😉