Despite the best efforts of the current crop of social media superstars in the Duterte firmament, the discussions of late have been mired in a clash of whose idol is better or worse and seems devoid of any discussion of policy or strategic direction other than the political death of one idol or the other.
To be fair, there was a bit of discussion about the re-imposition of the death penalty and maybe that’s the sort of grotesquery that the slapstick crowd can grasp. Sadly, the only discussion that has arisen so far is that the death penalty will not curb criminality as quickly and as effectively as crime prevention through stricter law enforcement. And even then, we’ll have to slosh through the morass of anti-Big Brother arguments from our leftist crowd.
As for the vaunted triad solution (shift to parliamentary + federalism + economic liberalization) espoused by some keyboard activists, it hasn’t caught on with the hoi polloi.
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We had hoped that with the self-professed social media clout of the main players in these online skirmishes that the discussions would go beyond palliative issues such as how “shockingly” corrupt one political idol is.
If there is anything that should be killed in this administration, it should be the culture of personality politics.
If you’re among those who believe that shaming political idol A to resign or kill themselves after being shamed online, you’re in for the surprise of your life. Political idols, much like wooden and metal ones that were worshipped in the olden days, couldn’t care less about how they are portrayed in media or social media so long as people get their names right. That sort of attention just feeds their demagoguery and their online minions are assured of steady pay as they are fielded to launch counter attacks.
The best tact, for those whose hearts really bleed for the motherland and raise their fists as they cry #ParaSaBayan — not #ParaSaBAYAD — the answer is simply really: FOCUS ON CLARIFYING THE ISSUES and SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER.
Change is coming, all right… But only after we’ve finally stopped treating politicians like the idols of old.