The Outrage Fad on Donald Trump Jr. and the Tubbataha Incident

One thing I and fellow GRP bloggers observed earlier about activists like tour guide Carlos Celdran is that they seem to thrive on Outrage Fads. For example, when someone made a map of the Philippines supposedly being an empire over Asia, Celdran readily endorsed it. It was after all part of the outrage fad against Chinese forces coming into the disputed territory near the Spratlys.

Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves &

Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves &

The running aground of U.S. Navy Mine Countermeasures Ship, the USS MCM-5 Guardian on Tubbataha Reef was another subject of an outrage fad. It seemed that Celdran joined in the issue only after the son of U.S. business tycoon Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., allegedly tweeted that it was stupid to disassemble the Guardian to minimize damage to the reef. He said the ship was more important than the reef. This raised outrage among Filipinos, and Celdran was quick to join in the rage.

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I however believe that joining in the outrage against Trump Jr. is wasted effort. It again reflects the tendency of Filipinos to go on outrage bandwagons when their efforts could be used elsewhere. Why I think it would be wasted is this:

First, Mr. Trump Jr. is a businessman. He is not an environmentalist, and will not care about the conservation or destruction of any reef unless it brings him money. Perhaps his message is this: don’t cry over spilled milk. The reef is already run over, so why try to save it? Just focus on saving the ship, which is more useful.

Second, Mr. Trump is an American. Who will he side with? Not us of course. He may have also been concerned about the minesweeper because it after all is a minesweeper. Its job is to remove a deadly hazard in the water, and this will benefit civilians as well. If he owns a shipping business, or if his business depends on shipping, he would definitely favor saving the minesweeper.

Third, why will he feel sympathetic for a nation whose laws make it difficult for foreigners like him to do business? Maybe he’s getting back for the difficulties he encountered in having his Trump Tower in Makati set up, if he encountered any (He did have to get a local partner, and from what I read, local partners are often the source of corruption in partnerships involving foreign firms; add to that the difficulties in business registration).

And if we ever get Trump Jr. to apologize, what good does it serve? Does it only serve the Filipino’s accursed and misguided pride once again?

Well, in fairness, Trump Jr.’s alleged comments can be considered insensitive and disrespectful of our environmental laws. He may also have been making a presumption that the dismantling of the minesweeper would mean its complete destruction. I believe the Guardian will be reassembled and used again after being dismantled off the reef. But in the end, Trump Jr. was obviously being patriotic – for his own country. And so is Celdran (though I agree patriotic attitudes sometimes lead to stupid comments and actions).

The Man of the Hour

The Man of the Hour

On Tubbataha Reef, since the charge is that that the U.S. broke maritime law and even damaged a protected part of our waters, isn’t it the government’s job to handle that? Also, the reef is damaged but not gone, as Trump Jr. said, so there’s still much of Tubbataha Reef left. Not all is lost. We can probably only save that much left. Besides, a coast guard official said (as of afternoon on Jan. 31, 2013) that the damage to Tubbataha may be less serious than originally thought. If you still have a problem with that, then write the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Filipinos seem to have this tendency to join needless outrage bandwagons. When France started nuclear bomb tests in Mururoa in 1995, Filipinos joined in protest. Perhaps there were enough protests around the world that didn’t need Filipino help?

Another thing: The flagship of the environmentalist group Greenpeace, the Rainbow Warrior, also ran aground on Tubbataha in 2005. It also damaged the reef, which Greenpeace admitted. And for the same reason: using faulty maps. But I never heard of any outrage fad here. Ah, perhaps it’s because Greenpeace was the party here. Different treatment for the US Navy.

Surely, the energy used in the outrage fad against Trump Jr. is better shunted somewhere else. Joining outrage bandwagons is a terrible waste.

12 Replies to “The Outrage Fad on Donald Trump Jr. and the Tubbataha Incident”

  1. I was waiting for GRP’s reaction to this latest FAD, and like always, I was not disappointed.

    I actually read through his twitter timeline and watched it explode from the comments of the obviously emo pinoys.

    He actually has valid concerns, if people would only put their emotion aside and use their comprehension.

  2. Like I always say, we Filipinos are too sensitive for all the wrong reasons. If any country should decide to invade our territories, the only weapon they would have to use is HARSH language. We’d all be raising a ruckus on every social network we could find, that the real invading shock troops will have an easy takeover of every key installation. Sure enough, it has been a bit of a bore, seeing every blog spew it’s own take on an otherwise simple problem.

  3. d trump jr is about as sharp as a bag of hammers.
    d trump sr makes money, but so do high class prostitutes.
    scotland showed trump sr that the nouveau riche have no place trying to destroy heritage for financial gain, or in decent society. blackballed.
    guess they felt at home in makati, but not a good marketing ploy to display their philosophy of greed over heritage.
    idiot sons going into the family business because noone else would employ them. definitely at home in the philippines

    1. After I wrote this article, I heard from someone reliable on these things who agrees with what you said. It seems the best thing to do is just ignore Trump Jr. “Don’t feed the troll.”

  4. Simple solution, destroy every single national treasures in the Philippines – natural and man-made, used every single weapons and methods to kill millions of Filipinos because they are not worthy of life and turn flipland and its waters into an irradiated wasteland that no nations would bother touch this piece of hellish wasteland.

    1. But we don’t go that low and why? Because what you are suggesting is definitely in direct violation of international law. Already I can find one violation being suggested, videlicet, genocide (1948 Genocide Convention).

  5. Before these events I thought Tubbataha was a fusion of Tubthumping and Chumbawam anyway. Surprised no one brought up the Trump boys will have their own Tower in Ayala. Curious how he would risk offending their market unless they intentionally want to stir controversy for publicity.

  6. Just to add a CLARIFICATION to your article; the USS Guardian will be DECOMMISSIONED. It will NOT be reassembled… In any case, I wholeheartedly agree that, once again, Filipinos have lost the plot. JRs’ “business perspective” notwithstanding, he is NOT an Elected official. He is NOT connected to any American “Think Tank” nor does he belong to any group or lobbying organization which may influence US Foreign Policy. He is the son of Donald Trump; a real estate developer who still believes that President Obama is not a US citizen and most likely is not aware that Hawaii is actually a State (in the US). Consider the source… Filipinos need to chill the F*** Out!

    1. Thanks, I was corrected on that. I thought they could reuse the ship, but someone else told me that that dismantling also means the ship may have been damaged beyond repair. So that calls for a last salute to the USS Guardian and its crew. And I agree…. Trump Jr. is chumped way over his head, so why bother with him?

  7. The person who made this blog is an idiot, and just want to stir conflict and want to get in the issue.

    Get real blogger..

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