The single biggest crisis the Yellowtard camp are dealing with in the final five weeks of the campaign is the perception that they are elitists. Try as they might, the label sticks like a rash. A virtual who’s who had been pointing out this politically-debilitating character of the Yellowtards for years. Unfortunately, it seems it is only now that their foremost “thought leaders” are taking a second look at important lessons about the character of their community that they should have learnt a long time ago
The trouble with the Yellowtards is that they lack self-awareness. This is likely due to most of their “thought leaders” being products of Philippine society’s gated communities and chi chi Catholic private schools. Within these ultra-exclusive communities are ingrained the sense of entitlement that shines through the Yellowtard collective character today. The vibe is easily picked up by ordinary Filipinos. Unfortunately for most Yellowtard insiders, elitism is like water to a fish. It is ingrained in the very fabric of their sub-culture.
Of the way this mental condition manifests itself in their interaction with people “down the hill”, Adrian Gache, a “fourth year Political Science major at the University of the Philippines Diliman” observes in his Rappler piece “Moral politics and the elitism of the Robredo campaign”…
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It is clear that a significant proportion of the Robredo camp is more interested in talking over, or down to, the masses, rather than communicating directly with them. For all we know, Robredo might turn out to be a people’s president after all is said and done. That does not make her campaign a “people’s campaign.” The massive lead that Marcos continues to enjoy over her when it comes to Classes C, D, and E speaks to that, along with the experiences of campaigners on the ground.
He then issues a dire but familiar warning to the Yellowtard campaign…
The “Kakampinks” can continue to turn up in the tens of thousands to Ayala, Ortigas, and other urban centers, drinking their frappuccinos and taking videos on their smartphones all they want. None of that changes the fact that, as long as elements of the Robredo campaign remain distinctly elitist, they will likely cost her the election.
How then can the Yellowtards institute much needed core reforms to their campaign that could possibly still translate to that much-prayed-for miracle over the next 40 days? That’s a tough question considering there is not much in the character or professional profile of Robredo that even a highly seasoned public relations consultant could work with. Robredo simply comes across as too inauthentic to fashion into a people’s crusader. She is also surrounded by shiny happy people who are too closely associated with the elite set — members of the Katipunan Road university crowd, their nuns and the fancy European orders they are members of, those priests who look like they no longer honour their vows of poverty, and, a bevy of social media influencers who tweet and instagram their beach frolics and cocktail breaks in between contributing content to the “KakamPink” cause.
Finally there is all the noise the Yellowtards pump into the Philippines’ political chatter that, quite simply, are irrelevant to most ordinary Filipinos — woke noise like “human rights”, “gender equality”, and “press freedom”. All of these are actually well and truly ingrained in Philippine society. Nonetheless the Yellowtards turned them into campaign fodder just the same. Indeed, the colour pink itself supposedly symbolises this focus on woke issues that are seen to be “concerns” of people who have enough time and money on their hands to trump up such non-essentials as these.
Can the Yellowtards still shake their elitist character and come across as authentic stakeholders in the well-being of ordinary Filipinos? That will be hard for people who routinely retreat into their fortified gated enclaves and summon Consuelo the family cook to whip up their favourite pochero dish for dinner after a day of “house to house” campaigns and selfie-taking at Pook Ricarte. Good luck na lang, right?
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.