Sunday, March 05, 2006

Capturing the Imagination

Most Filipinos believe they can not control the political destiny of the Philippines. how can they when they are jaded? when they believe politicians are all out to screw them? They are apathetic to the issues being raised by both Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's camp and the Anti-Arroyo factions. The same names pop up--- names often associated with those thrown out by previous EDSAs or members of the EDSA groups who, no matter how one spins it, people believe had not really delivered on the promise of EDSA. It is a big reason why people everywhere are tired and just go about their business as livingplanet and Solita Monsod attests to--- the rule of law and the power of elections is the ultimate sanction and weapon of true people power. I think it is the same reason why the Marines chose to stand down.

Randy David is correct in his column, that we can not control the future. who amongst those in EDSA 2 would have believed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to be the tactless brute that she is now? Even Corazon Aquino in a podcast interview with the PCIJ admits that, there was indeed no guarantee. We just have to take a chance. yet there is also something called a calculated risk and the odds likewise do not favor the Anti-Arroyo factions, no matter how much our people seem to dislike Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. I want her out too! but it is as Solita Monsod eloquently put it, "once burned learned, twice burned a fool". Damned we be if fools we be!

The Anti-Arroyo factions should read Professor David's column because that is the receipe for success when he said that when people ask who to replace Gloria with, it is indeed a call to attention on the crop of politicans we have today. And that is really at the heart of the matter.

Where are they? Where are the leaders who can inspire us? Who can capture our imagination. once burned learned, twice burned a fool. And how can we not be cautious when the other camp who wear their personal agendas like a well worn shirt?

this is how i read
MLQ3's point when he cites the trouble he has about reconciling this "let's move on" and "shut up and work challenges". He is jaded because exactly what happened in those dark years of martial law. i quote: "I heard them time [poster's addition: mlq3 referring to the let's move on and shut up and work challenges] and again growing up under Marcos. And the end result, for those ranting “you’re playing into the hands of a Communist-Right conspiracy!” as an argument against opposition, was precisely what they kept insisting was their reason for supporting the “duly-constituted authority”: it strengthened the Communists. Or, as they prefer to be known, the National Democrats. Which means, even as those in opposition experience being a persecuted and scorned minority, another persecuted and scorned minority, the National Democrats, are furious and scornful as well. Except, they’re better organized, and as the Center refuses to budge, they gain strength. Hence their angry triumphalism then, and now. Besides which, they are more committed and organized. I recall that it used to be said that Marcos, for all his reputation for being brilliant, couldn’t have been so smart if, after having enjoyed the support of the people for his dictatorship (”for the economy!” “enough with irresponsibilty!” “end the noise!” “go to work!” “they’re bitter has-beens and we want to secure a good future!”), he became the number one poster boy for Communist recruitment. It seems to me, we are facing a similar situation now. So all it means is, ironically, having to have an attitude very similar to the National Democrats: history will vindicate you; history will bury her."

MLQ3 is right. my position (like so many others) on the matter is indeed best described
"let’s find another way to make things work” mentality. And this has been the theme of my blog all this time. why? because it is so painfully obvious that the past attempts have failed. I'm not satisfied with Government Performance. I'm not satisfied with what the other camp is saying and also not because EDSA is a concept that people have not learned to grasp, no it is because those who led in EDSA have betrayed the people. tried and tested methods have failed and it is time to try something else or we risk being in a perpetual loop. Break the cycle! I have hoped and continue to have hope through writing this blog that indeed there comes a leader who can as Randy David describe, "capture the imagination of our people", to inspire in us such collective resolve, to make us dream and strive.

And yes, everytime we fight amongst ourselves, people like the communists and terrorists grow strong. But I ask these questions: 1) if those factions do become a force to reckon with, is it the fault of the people to believe them now or the fault of those of us who believe in democracy, in liberty who have failed our people? 2) does it not follow that if democracy losses to a communist movement it is because democracy has failed to address the people's concerns? is it not the same as hiring and firing an employee, if the employee fails to live up to his billing? do we not "let him/her go"? and is that not the thing with politicians in an election, right?

MLQ3, Cory Aquino, the La Salle Brothers, even FVR (in his own language) and so many others are right: what Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo needs to do, to borrow the proper term, "make the supreme sacrifice" and so too does Noli de Castro if he thinks he is not up to the task of being president. If six out of ten Filipinos believe likewise, we all agree to that in principle. but you know it is in the details of what happens next that we disagree, hence she remains in power. But you know she won't. And the next step is to prepare for elections next year and there has to be elections.

This is where the Anti-Arroyo factions have failed in and that Professor David has already answered for them and I hope they heed his words. He said
"Leaders emerge when they are able to express, by their words and by their actions, the collective yearnings of a whole community. They often capture the imagination of a whole generation."

that is exactly the problem of the last presidential election, and the problem of today. Our people will drink from a well even if the quality of the water found there isn't so great not because they don't know the difference between good water and a dirty one but because they are thirsty! And our people know that our leaders be they in Administration and Opposition do only deeds that have siginificance to their own personal agendas. This is a perception. This is a Public Relations game and must be corrected to win, to capture the hearts and minds of the people.

there is no leader who has stood up to capture our imagination.

in the absence of such leader, more so disenchanted by the failed promises of EDSA, people strive on their own, as livingplanet and as Ms. Monsod attests to.

it is in the same manner, why people have not rallied to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's banner is because she has failed to capture our imagination. if her allegations of a communist coup is real, she had the golden opportunity to rally not just the anti-arroyo factions but the people to her side. if she had intelligence of such an attempt, she ought to had held her cards and let those people out in the open. had she let these people attempt a violent struggle, if people saw with their eyes and heard with their ears of a clear and present danger, had she let the communist oppress our people and she came in a knight in shinning armor, poster girl of freedom and liberty, it would have killed our divisions and moved the battle to the next election. the Americans and the diplomatic community would side with her, as would business and Church. as such it is now, her word against the alledge coup plotters and conspiracy theoriest because right now her word doesn't have any commercial value.

i know that's tough to take down. a bitter pill to take because it would have been bloody and a hell to pay not just in economic terms but greater and more importantly still in terms of lives lost. evil as that may sound, the good it could have made was to make us one people and for her part--- squashed opposition to her government at least until the next election. that would have answered the stability we all sought. now that would have captured our hearts and minds.

the age old fear of communism comes to light. is it because we need an enemy to fight to paint a picture of, to get mad at? or is it just the age old post-cold war thing? times change. And one problem of the Pro-Arroyo and Anti-Arroyo factions is that they are using the same old techniques that people are not buying anymore.

it must be freightening that in a communist country like China, they too have embraced capitalism. in the same token that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo or anyone shouldn't be afraid of the Communists or the Terrorists who want to take over. What if the Communist do capture the immagination of our people, what then? Look at the Militant, left leaning groups who have won party-list seats in Congress. Who is to blame if democarcy's salesman can not close a sale anymore because not only does the salesman suck but the after sales service sucks more?

our people want Capitalism. They want their children to be smart, go to the right schools and want good, comfortable homes for themselves and for their progeny. they sacrifice! they purposely swallow their pride and go where the grass is greener even as maids with college degrees. The Filipino will buy the brand that gives them the greener grass. that's the bottom line.

Here comes the opportunity for the likes of Bayani Fernando, Ping Lacson, Jun Magsaysay, Mar Roxas, Ariel Querubin (should he choose to leave the AFP and enter another public service) and many more good people out there. Capture our Imagination through ideas, though action and in deed and run for the next Election!


Anonymous said...

Amen...and I agree, except for a very tiny bit from your blog...Not Ping Lacson, his dubious actions and deed...more so his ideas cannot (will never) capture my imagination (and I shudder in fear).

cocoy said...


hahaha. i'm sure many people share your sentiment with regard to sen. lacson and maybe sen. lacson can change that someday. well probably not.

anyway the field is not empty as we think it is for future contenders to the throne. lots of excellent choices in the horizon.