The Philippine Opposition have so far achieved just one thing — make the Philippines look like a failed state to the global community. Is that an achievement? It is — if your sole be-all-end-all goal is to grab back power, that is. To be fair, that is what an Opposition is supposed to be in a democracy — a party or coalition of parties that aims to be an alternative to the incumbent. The Philippine Opposition, in that regard, provides just that and nothing more — an alternative bunch of people to put in power. Beyond that it does not propose anything else.
Given that objective, to serve as a plarform to launch arbitrary sets of people into power, the Opposition led by the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) sets out to do just that — at all cost.
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Taking stock of what the Yellowtards are up to at present, it is evident that they would like to see the Philippines remain in oribit around the influence of old colonial masters. They have invited the foreign media to slander the Philippines and are in the midst of a focused campaign to lock Filipinos into a beholdenness to a foreign “criminal court” in The Hague. All the while they fail at providing a real alternate pathway to the approach the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is taking his country.
Perhaps to the points being made by the Yellowtards, Duterte has been less-than-well-behaved (by Western standards) in the manner by which he had set out to make good on his campaign promises to crush the drug trade, criminality, and corruption in the Philippines. The trouble with the Opposition’s scorched-earth approach to countering that incumbent strategy is to destroy the trail being blazed by the administration and hitch the country back onto the comfy locomotive of Western “visionary” leadership.
Unfortunately, what the Philippines needs is more innovation and more vision — not the fundamentalist cling-on to Western liberal dogma that had proven to be a dud for Philippine society but which the Opposition led by the Yellowtards would like to keep Filipinos addicted to. What the Yellowtards are doing is actually a form of psychological abuse — convincing Filipinos that they are no good outside of the sphere of influence and “guidance” of Western ideological dogma. Rather than encourage Filipinos to spread their wings and experiment, the Yellowtards are gaslighting Filipinos; keeping them emotionally dependent on a dripfeed of Western liberalism.
Filipinos have long aspired to be truly independent. They celebrate “heroes” who, supposedly, led them in fights to liberate them from foreign domination. Perhaps the part of this narrative that Filipinos failed to understand is that once they are free of that foreign influence, they need to start thinking independently as well and learn to chart their own pathways into the future. The Opposition and their Yellowtard leaders are not up to the task of encouraging Filipinos to take that crucial next step to true national adulthood.
It’s time Filipinos form an independent opinion of what it means to be a great nation and a great people. Specially nowadays when the West — and the United States in particular — are proving to be flawed role models, this has become imperative for a people at an ideological crossroads. The Opposition in its current form and thinking is not up to the task of leading Filipinos through this age of rapidly-evolving ideologies. Filipinos need a new type of Opposition — one that is forward looking and unhinged from traditional narratives that have become obsolete. It is time that Filipinos expect more of their Opposition and, for that matter, the political parties they choose from. More importantly, Filipinos need to modernise their notion of what true leadership means. Leaderhip should no longer be a notion based on sad victim narratives be more grounded on a profound courage to look to the future for new ways forward and innovative ways to tread these paths.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.