Saturday, April 21, 2018

The honest speech of a Lebanese candidate

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The election season is upon us. Campaigns and candidates are running wild. All are seeking our votes and trying to seduce us. But if one of these candidates was truly honest, here's what he or she would say.

My fellow Lebanese,

I count on your utter and infinite silliness to vote for me on election day.

You live without 24/7 electricity and water, you pay horrendously expensive bills for everything, you are bled dry by hospitals and schools, you raise your kids in an open garbage dumpster, and yet you don’t utter a word or lift a finger to change any of it.

You are my ideal voters!

It doesn’t matter if the air you breathe is polluted beyond pollution. It doesn’t matter if the water you use to wash everything you eat and wear and sleep in is filthy beyond filth. As long as you can spray yourself with the most exclusive perfumes and wear the latest trendy brands, everything is ok.

You’re more worried about your looks than about your rights. You care more about the photos you post on Facebook and Instagram than about what’s written in our country’s Constitution. Most of you have no clue what’s in it. Most you don’t actually care.

You don’t respect yourself, so why should I respect you? Why should I bother and write a detailed political program you won’t read anyway? I’d rather lie to you and say whatever you want to hear. It’s easier. And much more efficient to get you to love me.

My fellow Lebanese,

During this campaign, I’m going to spit on my opponents, say how corrupt they are, how evil and dangerous their election will be for the future of Lebanon. It doesn’t matter that I’m fundamentally the same, if you’re gullible enough to think I’m a viable alternative, all the better for me.

As soon as I’m elected, I’ll forget you even exist. Why shouldn’t I? You never hold accountable any of your politicians. On the contrary, the more they ignore you, the more you praise them, the more you applaud and cheer them.

If I’m elected, I won't be worried about screwing things up. Because you’ll always find a way to forgive me and blame someone else for my mistakes. As long as I did you a small favor, took a selfie with you or complemented the rosy cheeks of your newborn, you'll always behave as if you are forever in my dept.

For me, you are of no consequence whatsoever. In that regard, I’m exactly like you. You go about your lives as if others don’t exist. That’s another good reason to vote for me. You want someone that resembles you in Parliament, not some sort of hard working and caring individual that's the opposite of who you are.

Obviously, every now and then, I’ll pass by to shake your hand at weddings and funerals. I don’t actually like it, but I understand that it’s important to you. And I would do it as I would pet my cat to keep it happy.

I have nothing to propose. I have no plan and no vision. I just want to be elected so I can take advantage of the system and make money. Being a politician in Lebanon is the best job there is. It’s the juiciest business in the land.

Our economy is heading towards bankruptcy, so there’s not much left to chew on. That’s why I need you, my fellow superficial and shallow citizens, to vote for me on May 6, and not wait until the next elections when all the coffers will be empty.

© Claude El Khal, 2018