Dutertismo. Coined by Randy David. Preached by Richard Heydarian. What is it exactly? The proper definition would be Duterte being Duterte. David, in his Inquirer piece “The opposition’s dilemma” today characterizes it as politically dysfunctional decision-making with policy thrown out the window. He writes…
Dutertismo is primarily defined by its open disregard of a society’s institutional guardrails, especially of the checks to executive prerogative. It is impulsive, relying mostly on gut feel, and has no patience for careful study of crucial questions. Its gauge of policy effectiveness is the shock value it creates and the fear it induces in its intended targets. It has no need for periodic assessment of policy outcomes. It is more concerned with impression management than on the production of enduring social change. It does not hide its preference for direct authoritarian means over the slow deliberative procedures of a democratic system.
David stops short of describing it as President Rodrigo Duterte acting like a Mayor in running the country. But isn’t that exactly it?
The Opposition was caught flat-footed in the 2016 election by Duterte. The groundwork had been laid for a Mar Roxas coronation. A Jejomar Binay – Joseph “Erap” Estrada ticket was in the offing for the opposition then but then President Noynoy Aquino and Roxas made sure that that will not happen. A demolition job was launched against Binay. Jinggoy Estrada was detained along with Bong Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile. If Duterte hadn’t run, Roxas would be President.
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Five years hence the Opposition still hasn’t gained any ground against Duterte. They thought COVID-19 was their silver bullet but alas they weren’t successful in pulling a Trump on him. Despite the pandemic, Duterte’s approval and trust numbers have held. The Opposition has been left leaderless as both Aquino and Roxas have shunned the limelight. Roxas’ loss in 2019 was the demise of his political career. Three runs for national office all resulting in a loss. Not one Opposition “thought leader” has dared to point out what is wrong in their camp. They are unworthy of being labeled “The Opposition” because they have done nothing at all in terms of providing the public with an alternative to the administration. Not any one of the “elder statesmen” have risen to the occasion. It’s has been argumentum ad hominem ad infinitum against Duterte since he won on May 9, 2016.
This is why they are the laughingstock of the public. They provide entertainment and nothing more. The 1Sambayan launch last June 12 proved this when four of the six candidates they named for President and Vice-President declined to participate in their selection process. This left them with the Catwoman and Batman tandem of vice president Leni Robredo and former senator Antonio Trillanes.
Interesting then that David now gives this bit of advise to his pals…
The opposition must patiently explain what is wrong with this [government’s] form of governance, how it has brought the country to the dire situation it is in, and why we urgently need a different kind of leader. This is different from merely demonizing a political enemy.
David speaks of policy formulation when the Opposition can’t even present the public with a platform of government. Robredo’s “achievements” are all PR snow jobs which aren’t scaleable enough for them to be institutionalized. She refuses to be part of the government despite her being the second highest official and acts as if she’s in a alternative parallel reality government where she is the President. The Opposition claim that Duterte is a narcissist and guilty of “gas lighting”. Read any material on narcissistic personality disorder and you will find out that narcissists use that defense when in truth and in fact, they are the narcissists. I would go to the extent of labeling them political narcissists because they are all image and no substance. It is all about faking it until making it. Eerily very similar to “it doesn’t necessarily have to be true but just look as if it is true.”
Fakery will not get the opposition anywhere as it has been proven by the early surveys for the Presidency where the top choice is Inday Sara “Daughterte”. It is also typical of narcissists to put the blame on others rather than admit to their shortcomings. This is why every loss they experience is blamed on what they call the bobotantes. Worse, Leni Robredo claimed about three weeks ago that they had the support of the youth but most them weren’t registered to vote.
Narcissists generally have nowhere to go but down. There is no cure for what ails them. They are emotional bullies which explains the love of the Yellowidiots for necropolitics. They prey on the emotions of normal people. They portray themselves as either The Victim or The Good who is out to triumph over The Evil. I leave you with the image of Dinky Soliman as proof that this is exactly what will happen to them sooner than we expect.
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