Men Discussing Politics

Men Discussing Politics, by Atanur Dogan, a watercolour artist and sculptor living in Izmir, Turkey, although he spends each summer with his family in Canada. He is a graduate of the Fine Arts program at the Dokuz Eylul University in Buca, Izmir, where he specialised in watercolour and sculpture.

A long time ago, I exerted some influence against a friend’s desire to run for politics. Or at least, I’d like to believe I did (kind of romantic to think of it that way). He had been picked to run as second candidate to their party list; if they gathered enough votes he would be congressman. During that time my annullment was still in process, and I could not be romantically linked to anyone, more so to a congressional candidate. So I told him that while I had no faith in Philippine politics, I had absolute faith in him and what he wanted to accomplish. But if he were to run for congress he and I would have to part ways, as I didn’t want my sons and myself dragged into the mire of publicity, any more than I would want his reputation tarnished by his being associated with a married woman.

He declined the nomination.

When I look at him now, discussing politics with his brothers (political awareness is the one thing they all have in common), I wonder if I had not been too self-righteous at the time when I set my conditions. Maybe if I had stood behind him then, he would be one more guard against the horde, one more voice against this outrage of a presidency.

But then everytime I see snippets in the news on tv or the newspapers and see the mockery that is the politics in this country, I feel that he is better off now, discussing the dynamics of political ascendancy and degeneration over brandy and cigarettes with his blood brothers under the canopy of the alatires in the garden, rather than out there on Batasan Road debating the future of the pork barrel with pseudo-colleagues, some of whom would gladly stick a knife in his back when it is convenient.

But who was it who first said “One man can make a difference?” I’d like a chance to talk to him, find out why he said it, under what circumstances did he think that ONE man can make a difference. There’s more than two hundred men already in office here and I don’t see one semblance of difference from the time this mockery of a leader was put in place by the very mass movement she has declared illegal.

In the meantime I can only hope that the ONE man is somewhere out there. He may be anywhere from the smoking areas of the Batasan or in the smoky streets waving a red flag. Whereever he is I hope he does make a difference, and I hope he makes it soon.

Men Discussing Politics

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