“A state born in violence, and the society that is its product, (will remain) marked by that experience even when the violence is justified and celebrated as a historic victory…” (Weiss et al., 2010).
In times where advocacy is grossly platformed in social media, it cannot be denied that a lot of self-righteous personages emerged from the flickers and clacks of their computer screens and keyboards.
And the primary victims that are subjected to their pride are the supporters and emergent loyalists of President Rodrigo Duterte, also known as the Digong Duterte Supporters (DDS).
Political divides have always been a part of Filipino history. As Film Director Jerrold Tarog puts it, Filipinos are somehow destined to always be at conflict with each other, thus rendering the possibility of them agreeing with each other unattainable. Yes, there have been a lot of unifying rendezvous points that encouraged collective action. But at the end of it, the by-product of that very unity always goes back to Filipinos being forever divided- to be at constant disagreement with each other.
The current political divide grows worse by the hour.
The intelligentsia furthers the culture of hate and hitherto is guilty of its cultivation. Due to the frustration of lacking the ability to grasp the quality of political discourse, they resort to beat fire with fire. Some professors, teachers, renowned experts, students, and other self-proclaimed political experts ironically uses fallacious and below-the-belt arguments to combat the already flawed reasoning of the DDS community. Albeit the advantage of acquiring better quality of education, much less having the inclination to critically assess societal politics, they contribute to the ostracism of the DDS from social relevance instead of being inclusive.
Moreover, these “intellectuals” insult the DDS’ obvious lack of comprehension and literacy – which is by far the state’s fault. They corner the DDS into situations of advanced debates using the English language in the pathetic attempt to exude intellectual superiority. In a linguistic and pedagogical viewpoint, Nieves (2011) explains that when an individual is “…constantly reminded that the language (use) is wrong and not valued, they are basically (suggesting) that (the) culture and identity are worthless…”
So at the end of the online debate, no unities are formed.
Political divides have only been furthered and fossilized, and that worsens the situation.
What is even more aggravating is the intentional act of misleading the DDS by providing them with poorly-written and pea-brained statements edited alongside pictures of recognized individuals. It can even go as worse as using pictures of already-dead figures like Kobe Bryant, Joseph Stalin, Albert Einstein, and others.
Some even take advantage of the situation and use the debate to low key flex their merits. These intellectuals are the lowest of the low, similar to emperors exalting themselves in isolation and not being deemed worthy by his constituents. This is very much disturbing since the stream of political consciousness is reduced to avenues of narcissism.
Therefore, these intellectuals do not have any interest to advance the quality of discourse. What they seek in reality is validation of their social relevance, to pleasure themselves with praise and agreement from the Facebook likes. And that makes them feeble and weak and sad.
What the public needs to understand is that they share the same ideals with the DDS. If one were to look closely at the DDS’ online content, they basically want to see and aspire for a better future. The only thing that’s wrong with that is the fossilization of traumatic events they experienced during previous presidencies. They grew tired of that.
That’s why when President Duterte and the now-deceased presidential candidate Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago were compared, the marginalized sector sided with Duterte. The justifiable reason surprisingly came from a tricycle driver, saying that he grew tired of smart people taking advantage of them, and cannot see himself entrusting his future to another intellectual representative.
If the intelligentsia were to continue the condescension of the DDS community, then they would only prove to the masses that they were right about them. It shall be forever etched in their memories how the intellectuals insulted them in times when they needed political guidance.
Ultimately, the intellectuals need to tone-down their frustrations and convert it into enlightenment, to actually prove that their diplomas are not only for show. Matters on fake news, fallacies, difference of educated opinion and others need to be compartmentalized and dealt with based on the particularity and the context of the case, not by a single blow of arguments.
Frankly and logically speaking, the people will not give time to read nor listen to something that aggravates them. Therefore it is imperative to convert, reword, and redesign the approaches toward those who need to be enlightened. There are no right or wrong statements, only those which are politically correct and unifying, or fallacious and socially destructive.
As Haymitch Abernathy says in Suzanne Collins’ New York Times’ Best Selling Series, The Hunger Games, “Remember who the real enemy is.”
About the Author
John Thimoty Romero is a licensed professional teacher, a graduate of Philippine Normal University – Manila last 2017 as Bachelor of Secondary Education – Major in English. Upon his graduation, he received the Gawad Graciano Lopez – Jaena Co-Curricular Award for Campus Journalism.
He is the founder of Essays Against Mediocrity, a website dedicated to support independent authors, poets, and other content creators.