By Celia Medrano
Many reasons have already been given to try to understand and explain the election results of last Sunday. Explanations very similar to those that will have circulated for when an ultra-right force overthrows the so-called “green steamroller” of the Christian Democratic Party in the 1980s., and that in the 2009 a political party still smelling of guerrilla gunpowder will leave behind 20 years of government of the ruling party Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA).
No political party has bet on civic education and political training of the people, this due to a simple reason: a trained citizen, an educated citizen is not easily manipulated. These are long-term processes that transcend short-term electoral agendas and managements and are very far from indoctrination with which some initiatives often confuse educating to exercise citizenship.
On the other hand, Few Salvadorans will consider that their political training is one of their priorities to live and survive day to day. Frequently, education is not understood beyond a ladder to a better economic condition. Dedicate time for knowledge and analysis of political proposals, profiles of candidates and evaluation of options is not the characteristic of the average voter in the country.
Nothing different can be expected then when old actors appear with new faces promising what their predecessors were not able to guarantee., and that they achieved and maintained power, using the same populist and demagogic recipes. If it is to be expected, but nevertheless, that those who substitute begin their wear and tear by continuing with the already tradition of turning political work into a game of merely partisan interests and negotiations.
The spectrum of the presidential electoral map has changed from green to tricolor, then red and now light blue cyan. Voters prefer to vote for a flag and its leader. The powers that be and electoral leaders know it, towards there they lead proselytizing strategies loaded with hatred, fallacies and lies.
The shift leader has always had the invaluable opportunity to make a decision between two options: the first, Going down in history as an actor rather than from the power that has been delegated to him, I use it only to accumulate more power and enter the long list of presidents and political parties that have defrauded their electors., what will also be charged to them. The second, channel that bestowed power toward building bridges, not of its destruction, opening spaces for necessary dialogue focused on collective efforts based on understandings, not in promoting polarization as an electoral strategy.
No one who has been close to power is unaware of the illusion of infallibility and impunity that it causes. Resisting the temptation of absolute and permanent power is typical of true leaderships that are understood as part of living and changing collectives, not reducing these to subordinates forced to blind obedience.
A political subject is committed to constant political training as a guarantee and sustainability of democratic frameworks towards his own structure as towards others.
This implies making questioning and debate, the very dynamics of your decisions and actions. The community and collective roots of partisan political initiatives oxygenates their very validity. Don't do it like that, allowing itself to be marked by the narrow purely electoral rhythms causes blindness and intolerance, that in the long run lead to extinction and give way to new offers that are also merely electoral.
Yes. Much work remains to be done before those who elect have sufficient capabilities to withstand bombardments of manipulation and deception..
New forces will have to emerge that bet on long-term changes, that happens first by betting on politically trained citizens to exercise the right and duty to choose.