But is anyone listening? They should. For their sake. If the Opposition really want to seize power legally in 2022, they could begin with reading Kat Stuart Santiago’s recent blog, “Duterte’s killing it #Talk2022”. Now that is a blog — the sort of writing the Yellowtards and commies need to be re-learning to do and one that expresses the sort of introspection long overdue the embattled Philippine Opposition at large.
Stuart-Santiago’s call to action is simple…
Duterte’s killing it. And the only way we even have a chance of winning 2022 is if we go back to basics: understand the enemy, battle with propaganda, set aside difference, unite on common issues, and get our shit together.
…but simple as that may be in writing, it is difficult to put in practice when one considers the pompousness, arrogance, and stupidity of the the Opposition’s top “thought leaders”.
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For starters, it would be difficult to understand the enemy if the Opposition’s top “influencers” would rather block and dismiss them. Indeed, Stuart-Santiago laments, “we’re still talking about what we like to dismiss to be nothing more than troll discourse, brought on by a few high-profile propagandists and spread by troll farms” — an unpopular opinion in a sea of clucking amigas who get their kicks bragging amongst themselves about the number of “trolls” that they have so far blocked or muted on Twitter. In such an environment, an article that makes audacious claims such as this gem of mine, “Leni Robredo is the source of all stupidity in the Philippines” is pretty much free to propagate across the Net unchallenged. To my standard call prove me wrong, all I get is crickets.
Interestingly enough, much as how Stuart-Santiago tries her darndest to swallow her pride and admit that her enemies are “killing it”, she remains guilty of the very thing that had done her lot in — dismissing without understanding. Throughout her piece, she works off the underlying assumption that all of the info and messaging coming from The Enemy are mere “lies” and “propaganda”. The fact is, and Stuart-Santiago herself wrote this, all of what they are up against and need to face like men lest they end up “delivering 2022 to Duterte-Marcos-GMA on a silver platter” is “multilayered and complex”. Simply assuming that it is all propaganda and lies is Stuart-Santiago contradicting her own regard for the challenge by oversimplifying her enemy’s arsenal.
Therein that too in regarding her “enemy” and their arsenal is another flawed assumption — that, in her own words, it is all part of some sort of “machinery” that, she suggests, is orchestrated and directed from the top-down by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Again, this is an oversimplification. Much of what constitutes this “machinery” are just ordinary people and agents acting on disparate, individual, and personal motivations. Perhaps the idea that an individualistic community could come together into a collective force that she describes as “well-strategized, hard-at-work, uncompromising, and unstoppable” is alien to minds like hers that are imprisoned by an ideology of extreme collectivism — Communism 101 right there.
The fact is, this “machinery” Stuart-Santiago sees today is an emergent manifestation of a true grassroots community united from the bottom-up not by the directives of any one politician or anointed “thought leader” from the Establishment but by a shared ethic of independent discourse. It only so happens that the hypocrisy, inconsistency, and self-righteousness of the two dominant blocs within the Opposition — the Yellowtards and the communists — have made it easy for this community to align their thinking against the intellectual disease propagated by these two blocs and create what is now perceived to be a “machine” by an Opposition that refuses to really understand what is going on in an intellectually honest manner.
It is because of these oversimplifications that Stuart-Santiago gets her call to action to “get [their] shit together” only half-right. She includes something that is quite revealing of the character of the Opposition today — perhaps the very reason they’ve been losing, will continue to lose, and will likely lose in 2022. Stuart-Santiago calls on her lot to “battle with propaganda” — basically continue living by the very intellectual dishonesty that had cost them an entire nation to begin with. Indeed, Yellowtardism and communism were all narratives propagated on the back of lies — the lie that the Aquinos and Cojuangcos own the 1986 EDSA Revolution and the lie that the communists hold the best interests of the nation foremost as they seek to overthrow legitimately-elected governments all over the world.
Nonetheless, Kat Stuart-Santiago is off to a good start — begin by understanding The Enemy. Only then can a plan to beat them at least make it to the drawing board. That said, perhaps applying a bit more intellectual honesty to their “cause” still remains an area for development for a camp that had long been accustomed with getting away with dishonesty.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.