FOOTBALL WILL FIX IT
It’s quite clear that most people like me know nothing about leadership, trust building, or long term national development. Only recently have I realized my views on democracy are terribly naive. Until now I always thought that you just choose the best man or woman for the job from the 220 million people that populate this archipelago, then he or she gets on with managing the country. Now I know it’s really about holding on to that office for dear life. And for some befuddled reason I had this idea that democracy had more to do with the ethic of caring for the greater good of the people, whereas it’s really simply just a system for getting into that office.
It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but as far as politics go, I just listen to what everyone else is talking about and assume that that must be the most important issue of the day. For example, in the last few months we have had hours of TV coverage on what I thought was a major corruption scandal, which is all tangled up with a high profile murder case involving someone who should be above corruption, and a major bailout (involving a minor bank) which for some reason is only being questioned now (and not before it happened).
All of this supposedly goes back to the previous administration; but some of the people from that time have come up to the microphone and told their story and explained how they aren’t responsible. I’m so out of the loop that I didn’t know that once you are out of office you aren’t responsible for what was part of your job back when you were. Boy do I have to brush up. What you do is lynch people who are in office now for what happened then because they are here now. I know it sounds complicated, but apparently philosophically it makes sense.
You see, I found out this is all happening now not because it really did happen then, but because some bad people don’t like the President (then and) now. It turns out that even the Jakarta hotel bombers just wanted to hurt the President personally (he said so himself), and plain mistook the hotel for the palace.
Now that I have understood this reality, my trust in the leadership is fully restored. When the President says nothing, I’ve come to learn it means he is saying something he really means because he is not saying anything at all. And when he does actually say something, not only does he also mean it, but it is the core of the matter, the most relevant of the moment. That’s what leadership is all about. We citizens should know exactly when to take something on, um, face value.
So, when on Tuesday the President vowed publicly (well, on a train full of press people) to restore vitality to Indonesia’s football, I realized how important this was. What a fool I was, focusing on trying to get to the bottom of all these made up corruption stories, when what we really need to do is win the World Cup (or at least the Asian bit of it). That’ll fix everything, and we will finally be a developed nation.