I don’t know what Indonesia has done to deserve this karma of having a loser of a presidential candidate who just refuses to accept his defeat gracefully, move on with his life and let the country get on with going back to business as usual.
Instead, in the more than two weeks since we all went dutifully to the polling station to make our choice, in a peaceful, democratic and transparent election, we still have to put up with listening to his rhetoric and speeches about how, according to his version of the results, he should have won, about how the General Elections Commission, or KPU, is unfair and undemocratic, about how the whole election process is illegitimate because it is based on a massive and systematic fraud. All because the stars are not in his favor. All because he lost.
Because the result — since the day the quick counts were aired, to the official count made by the KPU under intense scrutiny by the whole of country who made sure that no irregularity went unnoticed — consistently puts him in the losing team.
This, despite his team’s months of relentless efforts in engaging in huge, effective and systematic smear campaigns in every media platform that actually garnered him more votes than he would otherwise deserve. Despite the huge and successful public relations efforts to make him into some sort of savior of the land and the many activities, both obvious and covert, to influence voters to choose him. Not to mention the amount of time, money, professional campaign strategists, energy and high blood pressure expended in order to fulfill his one lifelong ambition: to be the president of this country.
But the fact is, there can only be one winner. And it just so happens, it’s not him. And no amount of bad mouthing of his opponent, no amount of telling the entire world that he’s won the election, no amount of shouting and getting upset, can change that fact. A fact that many losing presidential candidates around the world have had to accept in the end, however bitter, without breaking down into pathetic temper tantrums. This, after all, is the world of politics, not some kindergarten playground.
Instead of quietly and gracefully conceding — which would have been the most honorable thing to do, especially for a man of valor and a patriot as he always claims himself to be — he has stolen much of the media limelight that should have been devoted to congratulating the newly elected president, to focus on his pain, frustrations and immense sense of betrayal.
Is he not the embodiment of heroism and bravery? Is he not the champion of democracy? Is he not the knight in shining armor who is destined to raise the Indonesian people from their stupidity, slave-mentality and oppression by arrogant foreigners?
Is it not obvious that he is the true and legitimate winner of the election, and not some skinny, furniture maker out of nowhere who’s never ridden a horse, wielded a gun or defended the country in battle? A nobody who actually had the audacity to cross path with one born with a silver spoon in his mouth and whose lineage can be traced back centuries.
Surely there must be some mistake. A cruel joke. Or some massive and systematic conspiracy concocted by the supporters of the Dark Force to rob him of his rightful throne and his birthright. The stars cannot be wrong. So the whole election must be wrong. And it is his duty to right that wrong, whatever it takes, lest the heavens be offended if the injustice is not redressed.
Never mind that the whole country is hostage to his rage. Never mind that he treats respected institutions with contempt like some bilious and cantankerous despot, and this when he’s not even the president yet. (God forbid what he would be like if he did become president).
In this, I lay the blame squarely on the KPU for having allowed a delusional megalomaniac to enter the presidential race to begin with.
Desi Anwar is a senior anchor at Metro TV.