What House of Cards Taught Me About Politics

If you don’t watch House of Cards, you should. It’s about the Underwoods and their quest for political glory. It’s dirty and it gets extremely violent. If you’re not up to date with the latest happenings in the Philippines, you should. It’s a freak show. People killing people and political propaganda left and right.

* * *

If there’s anything House of Cards has taught me about politics is, it’s dirty. If you don’t have the balls to play the game, stay the hell away. It’s so fucking dirty, it’ll twist you and your principles. If you aren’t ready to give your everything, don’t even dare start. I salute the writers of this show because they give you something to think about after each season. It makes you wonder if it’s all even possible. And if it is, what the actual fuck!

* * *

What’s happening in the Philippines is catastrophic. Every time I listen, read, or watch the news, there’s a new person killed over this massive drug war. It’s gotten to a point wherein I’d rather not look.

I am choosing to not look because I know the truth will never be free. As long as the there is politics, this chess game will never end. Because the real truth is, we’re all just pawns in this game the politicians, drug lords, and rich people play.

You and I, we are nothing.

We are dispensable.

Collateral damage if you’re at the wrong place at the wrong time.

* * *

What we don’t understand is when it comes to politics, it’s never as easy as it looks. It’s never 1 + 1. There will be a million factors that may affect a certain decision. A gazillion consequences once a politician goes against the norm. A gazillion more when people’s businesses are on the line. It’s never like your neighborhood sari-sari store where all you think about is how to grow your money honestly. It’s a web of lies.

* * *

Which brings me to my stand on politics, or lack of it. I don’t like it. It’s fucked up. I don’t care too much or try to even voice out my opinions not because I don’t love the Philippines but because I know it doesn’t matter in the end. It’s one small voice. A voice that won’t be heard by the rich and powerful. I don’t like shouting on social media or in real life about my political stand. I know and recognize the fact that it’s a game I don’t belong in. Most importantly, my noise doesn’t contribute to anything for our country.

What do I do instead? I try to love my country in my small ways. I teach my nephews and niece to not litter as it’ll cause floods. I teach them not to do drugs. I teach them to obey and respect the law. I also travel the Philippines as much as I can. I opt to go explore our beautiful country rather than dream of traveling the US, Europe, Korea, etc. I support our national museums and parks. I won’t leave it even if my future here looks bleak. I won’t abandon it for greener pastures.

* * *

In the end, I know it’s never about the country for these politicians. It’s always about their families or legacies. It’s about painting a picture for us, the mere citizens, and making us believe what they want us to believe. It’s all the same whether in the administration or the opposition. It has always been about turning us into fools.

* * *

This is what House of Cards has taught me.

Published by

Kat

To keep it short and simple: I'm twenty-eight years old. Still plenty young, but not as young as I used to be.

4 thoughts on “What House of Cards Taught Me About Politics”

  1. Hi Kat. I agree with you on so many points: that politics is dirty, that we are all but pawns to the elites’ nasty game, and that sometimes, the most convenient way to subvert this fucked up system is to be a law-abiding, responsible citizen.

    But I wouldn’t completely discount the efforts of the people who choose to do more than just obey the law and support local goods. Many times in history did this “noise” actually made a difference. The recent free tuition law, for example, was lobbied and fought for by many politically-engaged youth. The 13th month pay, the anti-violence against women and children act, even the women’s right to vote — all of these are admittedly small (compared to the ginormous fuckery of the world) but still commendable victories. If our predecessors (and peers) did not speak up and passively just accepted defeat, the world would not be the same as we enjoy it today.

    And I know it’s a steep struggle to get everybody to care and to participate in political discourse, be it in theoretical discussions or in real-life practice. The system is shitty and it will probably remain so until the day we die. But I guess my point is (kung bakit ako napa-comment in the first place, haha) that even if we don’t succeed in destroying the ivory tower of the elites, I genuinely believe it’s still worth giving a try.

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    1. I had a very hard time writing about politics…and what I felt about it.

      This post was written for those online trolls who fight their battles online but do something completely different offline. That’s why this post was scheduled for today – the ‘National Day of Protest’. To hopefully enlighten them that even if we have freedom of speech, don’t spew lies and spread facts just because this or that said so. Ilan nga ba dun sa mga online trolls ang nasa kalsada ngayon fighting for what they say they believe in online? At ilan nga ba dun sa mga nagkakalat ng nakakatakot na info online (classified as noise in this post) ang nagkatotoo?

      Don’t get me wrong. As much as I see that there is no hope for politics, in general, if there is worthwhile cause I will help out. I will stand with them on the streets. I will do more. I just think it’s hard to filter out what’s worth it when there’s so much noise around.

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