Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CITIZENS’ POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT




 Specially for citizens of a “democratic and republican” State, political involvement is not only a signal right but also a distinct obligation to be well concerned with politics – matters affecting their country – as an expression of their commitment to be of service to others.  The quest of, care for, and fruition of the common good ultimately means concern for neighbors, protection of public welfare, promotion of justice and development.  Politics is definitely much more than election concerns.  Among other things, it also means watching over those elected, such as what they do, how they render service or instead promote disservice to the people in general.

Such an active concern in terms of political involvement is translated into seeing to it that elected public officials – including those the latter appointed to public offices – are behaving well and doing right as required by law and expected by the citizenry.  The people are not their servants but they are instead the servants of the people.  They are not only expected but also duty-bound to act with rectitude, to render service to the people who are in fact the ones paying for everything they need and want in order to do their jobs well through the payment of taxes of many kinds and in different amounts from birth to death.

It is a big joy and contentment of politicians if the citizens are not concerned by the disservice they render, the thievery they commit, the abuses they make.  It is also heaven for politicians when they remain in office notwithstanding the big lies they say, the gross misdeeds they perpetrate, the marked incompetence they show.  Keep the people ignorant and poor, make them feel unworthy to confront public officials, tell them not to get involved with politics and such is heaven for politicians.

To the people rightfully belongs sovereignty – not to the politicians.  From the people emanates the authority of politicians – not the politicians giving authority to the people.  Politicians should serve the people – not the people serving politicians.  Politicians are  bound to protect the people – not their fellows in the same political party.  Even politicians are bound to tell the truth, accept their mistakes, to make amends.  Even the Chief Executive should be at the service of the common tao.  So is it too that even the Commander-in-Chief should be answerable to his lowest subordinate.

Thus is it that when the highest public official in the country is the obstacle to the emergence of truth, the hindrance to the triumph of justice, the liability to the promotion of peace and wherefore the impediment to socio-economic  development – what should he do?  Smile and walk away?! Stay cool and in peace?!  Do nothing?

Such is precisely the time when people should speak out and accordingly act, when able and commendable individuals should stand and lead, when citizens’ political involvement should earnestly take place.