Perhaps supporters of the Liberal Party (LP, also known as the Yellowtards) know, deep down inside, why their presidential candidate really lost in the 2016 elections. Or not. The point is, instead of taking stock of their candidates’ and their own shortcomings, they have repeatedly, and constantly, sought to externalize the loss, i.e., blame it on external factors.
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Among the excuses they’ve drummed up:
a) Those who supported the victor Rodrigo Duterte were gullible, stupid idiots.
b) Facebook was gamed, and did not live up to its role in stopping the spread of “fake news”;
and, the most recent;
c) A rebranding of Duterte, with the help of a political consulting firm, helped him win.
None of these excuses, of course, has really helped the Yellowtards gain more sympathy from their non-allies. Rather, these have helped in cementing the perception that, not only are they sore losers, but that they will continue to be condescending, and out of touch with, the common tao.
Of particular interest is the most recent one. It alleges that Rodrigo Duterte needed a political consultancy firm to help him adopt a “strongman” image – one that is supposedly different from his “real” kind and honorable persona.
A sampling on social media of Duterte’s constituents in Davao – those who have dealt with him the longest – predictably called bullshit.
If we look at the bigger picture, it doesn’t really matter whether Duterte used an “image” in the elections, or bared his true persona, warts and all. What matters is the follow through. At present, though Duterte’s attempts to clean up the Philippines have hit quite a few snags and wrong turns, and though some of his actions have been disagreeable, he is generally staying on course with things he promised in the campaign. It didn’t hurt him either, that his predecessor set such a LOW standard for fulfilling campaign promises, that anything done in his term will be perceived as a big improvement.
In throwing the spotlight on Duterte’s alleged rebranding, the author of the article, Raissa Robles, has inadvertently put bigger attention on the Yellowtards’ penchant and obsession with rebranding, and manufactured popularity.
We can start with their losing presidential candidate, Mar Roxas. Branded as Mr. Palengke in the 2010 Vice-presidential race, where he lost to Jejomar Binay, his stints in Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino’s cabinet have served to reveal that he isn’t Mr. Palengke, but rather, Mr. Palengkero. Mar was given ample and big opportunities to prove that he could manage crises – The incident at the golf club, Typhoon Haiyan relief operations, the airport laglag-bala (bullet-planting) incidents – and yet he merely showed that he wasn’t above putting partisan politics, and above telling his constituents to go fuck themselves, “bahala kayo sa buhay niyo!”. Oh, and let’s not forget his multiple excruciating attempts at “image management” with his asking-for-ridicule pictures “at work”.
And oh, by the way, the one being referred to in Robles’s article as being rebranded from kind and honorable to a strongman? Some netizens are of the opinion that it actually refers to Mar Roxas. And I don’t think it is actually from “kind and honorable”, but rather from “wussy, condescending, ineffectual, diffident, and unassertive.”
We can also see that the presumptuous vice-president Leni Robredo is also a product of “manufactured popularity”. Rather than highlight her potential at the LGU’s and NGO’s, she is being put up as the current anti-Marcos. And yet her predominant claim to fame is that her husband died. In a plane crash. Her “appearances” have given onlookers and observers the impression that she doesn’t have much substance between her ears.
Which brings us to the ultimate model of manufactured popularity by the Yellowtards, Noynoy Aquino. An accomplish-nothing as a senator, he was catapulted to president – Duterte’s predecessor – only because his mother happened to die at the right time. When he was president, he stayed consistent – being accomplish-nothing, keeping up the do-nothing, and merely mouthing off motherhood statements (some of them actually kept mentioning his dead parents too!). Let’s not to forget that his perceived popularity was the catch-all answer for all the neglect his government showed. That, plus blame things on his predecessor, Gloria Arroyo.
An inordinate focus on manufactured popularity indicates that political entities like the Yellowtards are still stuck at presuming to know what’s good for people, and stuffing it down their throats. There has been little indication that they are moving away from telling people what they should believe, and towards actually listening to their concerns and issues.
As it is right now, the Yellowtards are seemingly working so hard to get rid of Duterte, so that they can do nothing when they’re in power. If that’s all they’re capable of, Filipinos do not deserve such a useless political entity like them.
Image courtesy: [Slogan ni Mar]
А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. – But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.