FAIRNESS has never been a virtue in the political arena. You need always to be ahead of one’s opponent. The ability to throw mud is measured on the ability to win the perception war. Often, politics has been viewed as a bloody sport. Till one is hit badly and blood colors the canvass, it is alright to hit more. And this script is nothing new to us Filipinos. Remember Daang Hari in relation to then Senate President Manny Villar and the magical term, Villaroyo, concocted by the same dirty minds of today? The old script is being played again.
Instead of focusing on a program of governance, we pay so much attention on the personal. Instead of studying what makes a particular candidate better than others, some political operatives (they are not strategists since there is nothing to study and prepare options in a situation where you just throw heaps and mounds of mud) measure their success in ruining others ensuring a better environment (in their favor) when campaign starts. You hit because you know your candidate is not performing well.
One hand deals mud, the other questions why is our politics too personal. And that is the irony of it. We become personal because the attacks are personal. There are no issues discussed there, save to declare to all, I am a saint and the other is devil incarnate (some would say, that is why he is black). One would generalize, supporting candidate A is like nurturing “bobotantes” or stupid voters. The yellow tribe and its cohorts have in fact coined the term and has done a video of candidates supported by “bobotantes,” lumping all names prior to the “saint” as bad ones setting aside what they have done, truly a revisionist view. They promoted that and are making the argument, if voters support the opponent of the yellow tribe, one is lumped in the “bobotantes” tag –part of the worthless class. And they accuse the dark one of a class war, truly a convoluted framing.
Seth Godin, in one of his blogs, wrote that some definitions have been changing but most fields have all three. And I am referring to politician, patriot and statesman.
“The politician used to be what we called a bureaucratic operative, someone who
carefully chose his words and actions so he would offend no one. (Today, it’s more likely to be someone who intentionally slows things down, who works hard to point fingers at the other side and is constantly on the hunt for money).
The patriot used to be someone who put aside his own interests in exchange for the organization he represents. (Today, it’s more likely to be someone who’s merely jingoistic, with a bit of short-term thinking thrown in for good measure). Plenty of blustering tech company CEOs could be put into this category.
And the statesman? The statesman is the person who will speak the truth, take the long-term view and do what’s right, even if it hurts his position in the short-run.
Fortunately, this definition hasn’t changed much over the years. This is the leader who doesn’t want to know which side someone is on before he can tell you if the decisions made were good ones or not. He’s the one who works hard to see the world as it is, as opposed to insisting it must only be the way he expects. And mostly, he’s the one you should work with, vote for or follow as often as you can.”
And as the tribe throws mud, the candidate is presented as being above the fray. The line, the party “is not involved in what is happening to Candidate A” is the best defense they can think of. To question such statement is to question the King. And so the bobotantes join in a chorus line: Hindi kami bobo.” Sadly, that is how 2016 is shaping up to be. Hit candidate A, label his supporters as “bobotantes,” get the thinking ones to be disillusioned so that turn out will be low and be ready to engage the ground in the most sordid buying operation in the history of electoral politics in the country. With a huge war chest reportedly around P22 Billion, the caciques finally want to do so in the most brazen fashion they know of. And they have been doing so with 4Ps, DAP and BUB and such acronyms that they can think of. Even that is reeking with malice.
If candidate A has been organizing the ground for the past five years, candidate C has been dispensing favors via allotment of funds.
Tuwid na Daan is not about fairness, oh hell no. It is about pinning the tail to donkeys who are the poster boys of the campaign. There is no malice there because they are all of one stripe: corrupt. They are not innocent, they are guilty. Saves the court much of their valued time, right? Three senators jailed. Guilty! And the Vice President, after 21 hearings in the Senate, the longest in history, and done in real time, including the filing of resolutions one after another to have a legal basis, has nothing to do with 2016. He is guilty! Tying the loose ends was the AMLC report. The Court ordering a freeze, and a broadsheet releasing the data and conjuring all sorts of conclusions. Guilty! High five!
If all these things have nothing to do with 2016, they should have shot the VP early on. But they were all together in 2005 during the impeachment of PGMA and in 2007, when then Mayor Jojo Binay served as campaign manager of the Genuine Opposition. Oh you easily forget!