Idiot idea

By Teddy Locsin, Jr.

Posted at Jul 17 2015 11:30 PM | Updated as of Jul 18 2015 09:16 AM

The idea is floated that a young and popular candidate for president, the shoo-in in the next election, should wait for the election after next to run and get experience in the meantime.

This idea is: No. 1, stupid and No. 2, presumptuous.

Let 's start with No. 2. It is presumptuous because (a) it assumes that anyone's election can be assured, not to mention 2 elections forward. That happens only in a constitutional monarchy with heirs apparent. No one can predict the next election let alone the one after that—not even in England.

(b) that waiting to replace the president if he dies or goes nuts counts as experience with the electorate. It does not.

And (c), that getting implicated in another bad administration if she takes a job in it will get electoral approval in the succeeding election. What it will do is tarnish her with the brush of another man 's failure.

Let me add No. 3. In the case of Grace Poe, she rose swiftly to prominence in the polls as the only viable answer to the challenge posed by Vice President Jojo Binay.

By the way, Jojo says it was a mistake to declare too early his presidential ambition, thereby inviting his early demolition. It was not prematurity that did him in; it was what he did as mayor. In fact, Jojo Binay 's early declaration catapulted him to the top of the surveys even as Mar Roxas' tenacious timidity kept him at rock bottom.

And no. 1, the presidency requires no experience in anything except in The China Model—the way China picks its leaders before electing them; which only Enrique Zobel had the perspicacity to recommend 30 years ago. I will save that for another time.

In our kind of government, which is modeled after the American, no experience is needed or asked for. Indeed, experience is what screws up your electoral chances unless you can hide it. Hillary Clinton has much to brag about and therefore much to be attacked for. Mar has served in the past 3 administrations—look where he is in the ranking.

As for the presidency, the job is easier than it makes itself out to be. It requires minimal intelligence to get by; though some cunning to get more done. It has an unlimited number of experts on call (and unlimited cash to pay them with) unless you prefer the company of friends. Even then, you’ll get by. And the media—from fear or for favor—will shower you with praises in the first half of your term.

You don't pay for your mistakes; the country pays for them.

In the Philippine experience, nobody learns anything useful and good from serving in any administration, including not repeating the same mistakes. It is the same with any government experience, even on the local level: look at Binay.

The electorate knows all that, which is why it goes for a fresh face.

What I am saying more smartly than that you need experience to be president, is that if you have a big chance of winning, go for it. If you don't, drop out of the race.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.