On 2022 national elections; or the World of Fronts

This essay was a requirement for my Creative Writing class prompted on comments about the 2022 national elections. I wrote this on 5 May 2022.

Bryan Krister
4 min readJul 20, 2023

Democracy is an illusion. The right to vote is overly romanticized as if each of us has this

priceless opportunity to install a set of leaders for the government to continue running. True, the importance of voting wisely speaks volumes about the breed of leaders we dare elect on the 9th of May, but true democracy does not work this way. We are merely presented with a certain list of individuals who think they can occupy public offices. We are left with candidates who appear like mushrooms after the thunderstorm. Democracy is not pure as it boasts to be.

We only choose and not raise leaders. Perhaps, the very idea of democracy demands rethinking.

The ancient Greeks were not dumb. They had an Agora, a public place or a plaza of sorts,

where they gather and debate upon matters they deem relevant and crucial for their city. Men participate actively by laying down their notions of what is ideal, right, or good. But Greeks knew that appearance and being are entirely two different things. One may appear pleasing and agreeable but may be a monster to his wife and children; a man may exude intellect, but the Greeks were keen to investigate his deeply seated, if not hidden, character. The Greeks were necessarily intellectuals.

Well-settled is the concept that politics is all about power—what is power, who gets power, the limits of power, and the extent of power. Apparently, there are two ways in which power is best exercised: when one can make himself highly known where he demands no introduction, and when one can never be known despite his greatness. The latter is dangerous because he might make the former glorious by pulling strings. He is masqueraded yet he makes an impact;

he is a shadow that lingers at the back.

We are now living in a world of fronts. Identity can be fabricated. A person vying for public office cannot make it if he were to remain unknown. He needs to build his profile. He must
make a name. Therefore, the world of politics is an investment of identity. A politician should have an identity capital. Surely, it takes years of experience. Let us take Person XYZ as our candidate. XYZ studied in Ateneo de Manila University, a prestigious Jesuit-run university in the country. He took further studies in some relevant courses such as Economics, Ethics, Philosophy, or Governance, to name a few. These are needed for us to assume that XYZ is
indeed capable of leading. Needless to say, he took law, and took it one step further in Yale or Harvard or Oxford or Cambridge. He took some professorships in the Philippines. But XYZ is also a veteran civil service official. He worked in one department in our Executive. He began projects outside the direct influence of the government; let us say he worked with the poor and underprivileged. He also put-up organizations and bodies of like-minded citizens. He is also vocal in his advocacy that he won awards. More importantly, since XYZ ought to be regarded as a masculine person, he married a woman who has a good taste for the Arts and culture, is compassionate for the children or youth, and soft-hearted for the elderly. All of the things that a man is incapable of doing falls on the shoulders of his wife. XYZ also has 3 loving kids. All of these are necessary to inform the public that he is a good husband and a well-profiled man.

But here is the twist: what if XYZ did not study well and all his degrees are fraudulent? What

if one day, we were to find out XYZ is a horrible man behind closed doors? What if all his awards were made possible through bribes? What if we were also to find out that he did not help the poor but assumed he did? What if his students told us that he was an inconsiderate

professor? Surely, appearance and being are entirely two different things. Indeed, we are

living in a world full of fronts.

XYZ boasts a commendable profile. News networks and companies are now in a hurry to paint his person based on these tangible proofs. Quantity over quality. We could rarely see nor hear that he was incompetent or a difficult person to deal with. We are only afforded with mere facts which do not form our true knowledge of him. Consequently, we are either misinformed or uninformed. We viewed him as “this” when he is actually “that.” On the top of this, the opponent of XYZ might have fabricated lies where he can be caught flawed; and this misinformation can grow like a wildfire amidst the fooled masses.

An intelligent voter is armed against misinformation, equipped with knowledge to distinguish appearance and being, and principled enough to know the weight of quality over quantity. An intelligent voter is not misled, is educated enough, and knowledgeable on the distribution of functions of the government. We cannot be quick to cast our votes nor too indolent to think of our bets. We should bear in mind that one vote, once accounted for with the others, can make a difference. Think for our future that is far from bleakness. Let our future be glorious. Let our children thank us for our votes we planted in 2022.

But let us not put all the burden on the few people whom we elected. Our fate is not totally theirs to steer; it is ours and ours alone. After all, these would-be leaders are not the government. You are the government. I, surely, am the government. We are the government.

And everyone is the government. As we await the decisive day where we all convene in our

respective precincts, let us think and rethink who really deserves our votes.



Bryan Krister

Hi, I'm Bryan Krister. I studied BSEd Communication Arts-English and am uploading my compositions here as a hobby. The topics that I write about vary.