Things haven’t changed much in Philippine politics despite efforts to impart upon Filipino voters the finer cognitive skills involved in choosing their leaders. Of course, it is really foolish to expect more from candidates like Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada and Jejomar ‘Jojo’ Binay…
[Photo courtesy When in Manila.]
Some people may express “shock” at such spectacular insults on the already meagre collective intellect of the Philippine electorate. But, really, people like us who’ve been so long in the business of understanding the fundamental nature of the Filipino psyche quite simply are just bemused. It will take entire generations to engineer the stupid out of the Filipino mind. Even without the cringe-worthy daddy-groovy dancing on display today, you’d think Filipinos would at least remember how just 12 years ago, millions of their compatriots trooped to Edsa in a second take of their once-revered street “revolutions” to remove then President Estrada, at the time widely-regarded as a plundering womaniser.
Showbiz, indeed, is the opiate of the masses. It is a low-tech version of that contraption Will Smith uses to make casual kibitzers forget they saw aliens in the hit Men in Black Hollywood movie franchise.
The trouble with Filipinos is that even those who claim to be “intelligent” enough to revile the showbiz tactics used by agenda-laden politicians to con their constituents into literally dancing to their drumbeat also latch on to their own personal celebrity idols like barnacles — whether these be charismatic religious figures, self-appointed subject matter “experts” and “practitioners” and, yes, costumed shock “activists”. The predisposition to be dazzled by pomp, circumstance, colour, and costume is simply too deeply-ingrained in the Filipino mind. This psychological condition transcends class, gender, and sexual orientation in the Philippines.
Who needs substance when glitz, glamour, and coÃ±o airs work wonders on the vacuous mental faculties of the Filipino? That is the simple principle at work in the art and science of mass persuasion in Philippine society.
Perhaps, as politician JV Ejercito wistfully suggests to a Makati crowd (so I heard), Filipinos need a “brown president” to parallel the tradition of the journey US President Barack Obama (an African-American person, we are reminded ad nauseum) took to the American throne.
If that, indeed, is the case I say Kris Aquino needs to work on a serious tan to be in the running for the top job. If Erap can do it, so can Kris. The prospect of a Kris Aquino presidency isn’t entirely implausible in a society renowned for a consistent track record of electing bozos to lead and represent them. Indeed;
A highly credible source who serves as consultant of several political personalities says Kris is being groomed by a powerful group within the Liberal Party to be the running mate of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas in the 2016 elections.
â€œBut sheâ€™s too controversial and there are too many issues that would be used against her if and when she runs for vice president,â€ some would say.
Up to now, people apparently donâ€™t realize that Kris is a Teflon public personality whose public career is punctuated by scandals and major controversies. Still, she remains impervious to blame and criticism.
“Impervious to blame and criticism.” In short, Kris is Philippine President material. Why go for the Vice Presidency, Kris? Go for the gold. Run for President in 2016. It’s a sure thing.
Sayaw Pinoy, sayaw…
Gimme a line!