Home » Opinion » Medium Rare » Cynical


IN a few weeks, it will all be over, but it ain’t over until the fat lady sings. What kind of song will she sing?

So the surveys show a big chunk of the population haven’t made up their minds about their choice for president. Has it occurred to the pollsters and analysts that maybe it’s not so much that the voters are undecided as that they’ve decided not to decide because, to quote a few cynics and skeptics, “they’re promising heaven and earth” and “what change can we expect, they’re all the same”? “The same” goes back many administrations, many presidents, what else is new?

The most cynical of them was certain that the results “are already programmed.” Another, a pastor, has warned of a “revolution” which he will start should it be confirmed that cheating won the day. Numbers crunchers link a drop in the value of the peso to the anti-business stance of a certain candidate, even as the general consensus among moneymen is that elections customarily produce an uptick in the economy, no matter how briefly (like a honeymoon).

Obviously, it’s easier to choose a bride than to choose a new president, the one in whom we repose the hopes and dreams of all the years, to paraphrase a Christmas carol. How valid are those hopes? This is how a friend explained why he backed out of the senatorial race: “I was keen at the start, and so were friends and colleagues. But after a while, as I began to sound more and more like a candidate, the more I realized I was not being myself.” He quit because “I did not like the person I had become.”

How many candidates can afford to be truthful to their own mirror image? Reminds me of that 21st-century addiction whereby women who are not satisfied with their looks keep going back to the cosmetic surgeon for a finer nose, larger eyes, fuller lips, higher cheekbones, smaller waist, rounder hips, etc. Except that in these Barbie Doll cases, the promises (of perfection) are theirs alone to give and fulfill. As for our candidates, they vow to give the people a Utopia of good government, infrastructures, education, jobs, food and water, security, law and order – knowing that by the time the winners are confronted by the reality at ground zero, by the bureaucracy and its snakepit of red tape, the population would have increased, expectations turned to frustration, and hopes evaporated on political compromise, accommodation, and rule-bending.

I want to be wrong, I hope I’m mistaken.