The Philippine Opposition continues to suffer from a crisis of relevance and, as of late, a crisis of lack of vision. This bankruptcy of vision has become glaringly evident along two fronts: (1) an inability to frame an alternative strategic pathway to serve as a viable challenge the vastly more popular one being executed by the incumbent administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, and (2) a habitual use of manufactured outrage fads in lame attempts to momentarily distract public sentiment.
As such, there is no credible intellectual foundation for Opposition. Key “thought” leaders of this fragmented Opposition keep proposing that Philippine “democracy” is “broken” and that “fascism” is on the rise and gaining traction. They base these assertions on the consecutive loss of ground in the battle for Filipinos’ hearts and minds — first with the catastrophic loss of the Liberal Party (LP, henceforth referred to as the “Yellowtards”) in the national elections in 2016, then the mass defection of LP victors in that election to a new “supermajority” allied with the new incumbent power, then the successful burial of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos at the national “heroes” burial site, then the implementation and subsequent extension of Martial Law in Mindanao.
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In truth, the lazy rhetoric of these so-called “thought leaders” has stretched the notion of “fascism” too far out that it no longer serves an effective place in the sad scare-sloganeering that Philippine “activism” has been reduced to. Indeed, try as hard as they do, an obsession with insisting that the Philippines has become a “fascist state” is proving to be counterproductive for the Opposition. Filipinos have long tired of the old idea that freedom rocks while dictatorship sucks. Thirty years since “freedom” was “won” in 1986 from the “dictator” has merely validated that it really wasn’t a lack of “freedom” that kept Philippine society backward and dysfunctional.
The fact is, traditional “Opposition” in Philippine society has become obsolete.
The goalposts have since moved. Bleeding-heart ballads about “democracy” and “freedom” no longer move Filipinos. Rather, Filipinos’ aspirations are now grounded in more tangible and practical goals — like peace, order, and stability. Remember those? Sadly, “democracy” as narrowly-defined by the Yellowtards has failed to deliver any of these. Thus the colossal loss of an entire national following in 2016. The slogans no longer work, the old Yellowtard faces attract derision and revulsion rather than respect, and the “L” hand gesture no longer stands for “Laban”. The Philippine Opposition amazingly has not recognised these signs. In fact they are no longer signs. They are actual confronting realities of the political landscape staring them squarely in the face. History as it is unfolding for the Opposition is like Weird Al Yankovic’s song “You Don’t Love Me Anymore”.
To become relevant again, the Philippine Opposition needs to get back to basics. And ask the simple question:
What do Filipinos want?
Do they want what the Yellowtards want? It seems the answer to that question has become strikingly obvious. As such, it is the wrong answer.
Answered with an open and fresh mind (unencumbered by 30 years of Yellowtard ideological baggage), the smart Oppositionist will come back to what ordinary Filipinos want. As mentioned earlier, to the ordinary Filipino, perhaps it really is as simple as aspiring for peace, order, and stability. More importantly, it needs to be recognised that “democracy” (as Yellowtards narrowly define the term within their ideological dogma) as prerequisite to achieving all that is now evidently a big assumption that had been tested over the last 30 years.
Evidently, Yellowtard “democracy” has not successfully passed the So What? Test ordinary Filipinos have subjected it to. And this is the reason the Opposition — currently “led” by the Yellowtards — is in a death spiral today. It is sputtering along on one engine (the other three having conked out a long time ago).
In truth, the question of how peace, order, and stability can be achieved can be answered without having to use Yellowtard liberalist jargon. The approach to achieving these just needs to be spelt out in plain practical terms — terms that could be related with by ordinary Filipinos and not just Jesuit-educated demagogues preaching to their echo chambers from their Ivory Towers up in that “Hill”.
This is where a real re-thinking of Opposition begins, where real intelligence in politics begins and the dogmatic blind belief system of the Yellowtards must end.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.