Miss Nepotism

Her name was Maria. She didn’t know she was destined to be president one day. But at her short age, as a first step, all that mattered to her parents was winning the little Miss Nepotism beauty pageant contest. Why not everybody can see how beautiful and charming our daughter is? The encouraging parents said.

The parents knocked at each door in the neighborhood, called all distant relatives—those email addresses included in the Merry Christmas e-cards, but not in the Christmas Eve’s prayers—, and recalled every favor made to friends since elementary school. Everybody had to buy a ticket, and everybody did. Not because Maria was the prettiest, but because those that flaunt power are feared. And more important, liked.

And now it’s elections time. A time when you can’t watch TV, hear the radio or drive through the city without being harassed with the political ads. People you never knew, that never cared about you but suddenly they are your new best friends and saviors. A situation that for some reason makes me remember the tale of the ant and the grasshopper. Guess who is the grasshopper?

Politics is a necessary evil in order properly operate our complex society. But I believe that there is a factor that corrupts it exceedingly, Nepotism, that Oxford dictionary describes as “The practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs” same that we can simplify in other words to: “Taking something you do not deserve”, why? Because there is someone better suited for that position.

That is the question I make myself each time I see a political ads. Is really he/she the more suited for being president? And being completely honest most of the times the answer is no.

But nepotism is not exclusive of politicians, it’s cultural, and even beyond that it can be traced since tribal behavior or inclusive a matter of human ego. For example, I frequently receive messages or tags from contacts in social network, inviting me, asking me or even ordering me to support their participation—or from a relative or friend—in a determined contest to win a prize.

I never have received an invitation saying “Hi I’m participating for an X contest, here is the link, vote (or like) for the best.” Is so difficult to ask “vote for the best” instead of vote for me? And in the case you are the best, are you in position to state that? Or is the audience (or voters) who have the sole right to say that? Same happens with politicians.

How can an egocentric politician that flaunts himself in ads can act in an uninterested and humble way towards his people?

Politic should change, and politicians should change, but first society needs to change. Because we are the ones that foster that behavior, because we like them, we like people that flaunts power. If we make it right, Maria, one day could be a leader coming from the people for help the people.

It is us who choose to perpetuate the actual system or foster a change in society, nobody else.

M. Ch. Landa

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