Homobono A. Adaza
“Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
“Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.” – A Psalm of Life
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Last weeks from intelligent human beings did their New Year’s resolutions. Today’s essay is a dress rehearsal for lesson learning, especially in this country where leaders and citizens never seem to learn valuable lessons of history to avoid the pitfalls of tomorrow.
Recent American developments are rich opportunities for us to learn many things fundamental which avoided us for more than a century of democratic experiment. Democracy in the Philippines continues to be an experiment as we do things by trial and error – many trials and many errors. As if we are in a Ferris wheel ride or in a Merry-Go-Round. We move in a cycle – without inching forward. We go round and round merrily without an inch of advance. In the process, we get dizzy and we continue to be dizzy for all these years.
It is about time to stop the Ferris wheel and the Merry-Go-Round – pause, think and learn.
2020 elections: The election campaign in the American presidential election is reminiscent of the antics of Filipino traditional politicians. In anticipation of a possible defeat, President Donald J. Trump continuously declared he could only lose the election if cheated. As expected by the objective pollsters and sane sectors of media in America, Trump lost the election – fair and square.
His Department of Homeland Security declared the 2020 elections was the most secured in the history of American elections. Trump’s Attorney General, William “Bill” Barr publicly declared that the Justice Department found no evidence of irregularities in the election which are the obvious hallucinations of Trump.
FOX, the television network that supported even the insanities of Trump, was chastised by Trump declaring earlier than the rest of the television networks in America that Trump lost to former VP Joe Biden and Trump indeed lost to Biden by a considerable majority.
Trump and his mad lawyers like Rudy Guiliani, whose reputation as a former mayor of the New York City has been badly affected by being the lawyer of Trump, filed more than forty baseless and hallucinatory cases claiming Trump was cheated in three swing states – Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania- and in two long time Republican states, Georgia and Arizona.
All these cases were dismissed by federal and states for having no basis. Many of the judges who dismissed the cases are Trump appointed as well as by other Republican Presidents. The American Supreme Court unanimously dismissed two cases also for being groundless – with three Justices appointed by Trump agreeing not dissenting.
And finally, the Electoral College sealed Trump’s last option in the coffin where it belongs. But still hallucinating and defying reality, Trump believes that Congress will reverse the Electoral College vote. That kind of belief belongs to a mental asylum since there is no way it can happen as the House of Representatives is controlled by the Democrats and several Republican senators have already congratulated Biden as the President-elect.
Any rational being would have realized by now the inevitable reality that Joe Biden will be inaugurated as President on January 20, 2021.
This guy Trump and his blind followers are sick – in the head. They need head doctors – psychiatrists. But it needs more than a Trump and his irrational band which number millions to destroy America, democracy and American institutions as current events prove it.
Lessons for the people: Never elect a President who is a narcissist like Donald J. Trump. He loves himself only. His only friends are those who follow him wherever he goes and whatever he wants. Under normal standards, his words and behavior can be described as lunatic. One mental hospital is enough. With millions following him, we will never have enough mental hospitals in this country to contain them.
So people, now is the time to use your heads instead of your feet and your stomach to vote for your President and the rest of your officials. One narcissist is enough another one is too much unless those of you following narcissists want to drown in the Mindanao Deep. That would be good for the country though.
Lessons for those who want to be President: If you are incompetent, stop ambitioning to be President. Stop looking at your self in the mirror. We have had a bagful of Presidents after Ferdinand Marcos. That a lot of fools and incompetents have occupied the presidency is no reason for anyone to join the despicable band at the expense of our country and the people.
These are the qualities of a good President – brilliant, visionary, idealistic, principled, knowledgeable, disciplined, with character and integrity, with focus on the work to be done and undying commitment to values that elevate God, country and people. Only this kind of person can rescue the country from the present dismal and unwanted situation.
Lessons for the COMELEC: The Commission on Elections has always been subject of jokes because, as a rule, it has been serving as an instrument of an incumbent President to falsify the results of the elections in his favor and of his boys and girls who are running for public office. During the time of President Marcos, Senator Ramon “Monching” Mitra called the COMELEC headed by Leonardo Perez as an office that did not know how to count. During the time of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the COMELEC was scandalized by making President Arroyo win over true and genuine winner – the inimitable movie star and principled but underestimated man, Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ) through massive cheating in Mindanao, documented by the infamous “Hello Garci Tape”.
The Commission is an independent constitutional body. But the way it behaves and conducts elections, it is neither independent nor constitutional. On the higher level, it is beholden to Presidents. On the lower level, it is dominated by senators, congressmen, governors and mayors. The COMELEC officials should learn to really be constitutional and independent. It should defy Presidents and other officials – as the federal and state office in-charge of the conduct of the elections defied President Trump and his lawyers who were peddling the idea of baseless fraud and cheating in the elections.
Protests were decided in a few days. In this country, it takes years to resolve election protest. What a shame!
Lessons for Justices and judges: The federal and state judges decided the forty cases filed by President Trump through his lawyers claiming fraud and irregularities in the 2020 elections in a day or a few days after filing.
Justice was not delayed, so it was not denied. Even more outstanding and praiseworthy was the conduct of the American Supreme Court to dismiss two cases within a very few days from date of filing – one praying for issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin Pennsylvania concerned officials from certifying that Joe Biden won the election in that state and other filed by scandalously opportunistic and shameless Senator Ted Cruz of Texas together with seventeen State Attorney Generals and seventy congressmen – all of them Republican.
Our Supreme Court Justices and lower court judges should learn from the examples shown by the American courts.
Lessons for poor losers: No intelligent person loves a loser. Blind followers do. But who cares about the opinion of the insane or the stupid. As the late Speaker of the House of Representatives would tell his friends, “The place of the insane is in the mental hospital because there he has a chance of getting cured. But the stupid needs no hospital because stupidity is incurable.”
This is the case of President Trump who refuses to concede despite overwhelming evidence he was badly beaten by former Vice-President Joe Biden.
When Trump won in the 2016 election by getting 308 electoral votes but losing to Hillary Clinton by more than three million votes, he was jumping all over the place shouting he won by a landslide. Now, Joe Biden got the same 308 electoral votes and winning over Trump by more than eight million of the popular votes, Trump claims he was cheated. What a freak or a prick? Trump is worse than a bedraggled Trump in the streets of New York City as the tramp has more decency and principles than President Donald J. Trump.
I was about to suggest to Trump to read a book or two of the Spanish philosopher, Miguel de Unamuno. But there is no sense doing it as he is the type of a President who will never learn like some Presidents I know. What a poor loser. What a joker and a joker wild – and wilder with every passing day.
Lessons learning: Will we ever learn the lessons from the examples shown by American officials? If I suggest that we will, I am sure even a few of my friends will tell me I must be out of my mind or my mind has deteriorated by reason of age. I don’t mind if they do, after all I’ve been called names by friends and foes alike – from genius, brilliant, patriot, unmatched and inimitable to fool, traitor and criminal. I must confess that, with all immodesty, I agree with them with a lot of gusto on the complimentary names or description but I have never been a fool or a criminal or a traitor like some Presidents and high ranking officials I know.
As Catholic, I believe in miracles, even if they are not easy to come by these days. As St. Thomas Aquinas has said, “For those who believe no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.” I believe because the impossible is only in the mind, in confirmation of what Napoleon Bonaparte said, a very long time ago, “The word impossible appears only in the dictionary of fools.”