Essentially, a politician’s job is to convince his constituents to buy into his words. This usually involves convincing the voters that he best has their interests in mind. Or to be blunt about it, that his self-interests most closely align with their concerns.
As I pointed out from the start of president Rodrigo Duterte’s term, his opponents will be so eager to capitalize on any opportunity to distort and take out of context his ramblings, tirades, and his tongue-in-cheek and tell-it-like-it-is pronouncements. He makes it so easy for them to do so. The opposition has also used these same opportunities to sow fears of the return of Marcos-era type martial law, and of threats to the “democracy” of Filipinos.
Actually, what members of the opposition really refer to, and fear losing, is their ability to do anything they want, without scrutiny. But I digress…
When it comes to Duterte’s pronouncements, one recent example that comes to mind was his administration’s initiative to close down and clean up Boracay, the preferred beach getaway of your hippie and high-society crowd. The opposition had a lot of room to denounce it as a “dictatorial move”; some even likened it to a “dry run” for Martial Law. As usual, concern was thrown around the livelihood of those who would be affected by the closure, maybe some of it genuine, but also some of it rather opportunistic and exploitative, and politically-motivated, dare we say.
Boracay was closed sometime April or May 2018, and just recently re-opened. While your opposition was busy wracking their minds looking for “a better way”, Duterte’s administration just went ahead and DID it. His opponents, while pre-occupied with giving feel-good motherhood statements in response to him, were also busy giving everyone who didn’t agree with them pieces of their supposedly “decent and enlightened” minds – whether they could spare them is another matter.
And the opposition – whose voice is currently dominated by the Liberal Party and the Yellowtards, are still wondering why fewer people are listening to them nowadays.
It would have been easy for the opposition to make Filipinos listen to them for alternatives to Duterte’s iron-fisted (from a soft, forgiving Pinoy point of view) way of doing things, if they had them in the first place. And that’s the problem; they don’t have any. Collectively, all the opposition can muster is “not Duterte”, and yet at the same time, this group of people is hobbled by the LP’s and Yellowtards’ lack of results from all the time they were the dominant force.
Those who work in the corporate world are very familiar with the kind of problem-solving mindset that is emphasized in it: “don’t just stop at telling me what I can’t do; tell me what I can!” Employees are expected to bring proposals or solutions to the problems they elevate to their bosses.
If you think about it, to conclude that the opposition’s lack of action is analysis-paralysis is rather inaccurate. It is more fittingly characterized by focus on saying something, with little or no intent to follow through. This is the most important realization that Duterte’s opponents have yet to come to: that words not backed up with action mean absolutely nothing. This applies not only to them, but also to Duterte’s outbursts that they claim “espouse violence, or a culture of rape”. To attribute such cause-and-effect to Duterte, without taking into consideration the bigger context of Filipino culture’s “do what I want” component, is to be intellectually dishonest.
[Photo courtesy: BBC]
- The difference between Duterte’s words and the Opposition’s - October 31, 2018
- Why are Filipinos reluctant to call wrongdoing out? - September 30, 2018
- Going around in circles - August 31, 2018
- Resurgence, relevance, and regard for the future, all in the SONA - July 31, 2018
- Rodrigo Duterte may inspire Filipinos, but he cannot change them - June 30, 2018