Two months after the landslide election and Mayor Duterte’s to become a unifying leader, the country remains as fragmented as ever. One only needs to scan the daily headlines, social media news feeds, and comments sections online to see how polarized the nation remans.
Certainly, two months is hardly a barometer for the proverbial change that has become his slogan. However, I reckon that the biggest reason we could not move forward as one nation is NOT the President (he’s just one person whose sometimes ill-conceived words and actions can still be checked by our social institutions, at least for now) or the President’s critics.
No. The President’s greatest obstacle in becoming a unifying leader is his own supporters, many of whom are collectively consumed by their persecutory delusion while constantly crowing the 16 Million Filipinos (TM)-strong voters at every chance they’ve got.
If it were fiction, the irony would have been delicious. Unfortunately, it’s not.
Generalization is always a dangerous thing. I know many friends and colleagues who continue to actively endorse the President, and they are hardly the EDSA 3 type of people who are easily swayed by propaganda or rally attendance incentives. They just wholly and truly believe in the mayor’s abilities and ideas, but they are ready to call him out whenever Mr. President makes a questionable decision.
Unfortunately, they seem to be the exception to the rule. Most of the Duterte supporters I’ve met online are the hardcore type– the ones who see him as the end-all, be-all redeemer of the nation.That anyone who isn’t for him 100% of the way can only be against him, as if life exists purely in a simplified dichotomous state.
They are the same group of people who speak of “kultong dilawan” (yellow cult), as if there’s a secret conclave of yellow-wearing worshippers who are out to bully their beloved leader.
I hate to break it to you, guys, but there really is no “kultong dilaw”. Most of the critics you accuse as members of such actually don’t think P-Noy is all that, either.
I mean, he couldn’t even get himself a steady girl while being the Alpha Male of the PH for 6 friggin years! How can you look up to someone like that? :p
But I won’t deny that there IS a cult operating right now. And these Duterte fanboys and fangirls don’t need to look too far from where they’re at now.
First up though, what the heck is a cult? And what makes something a “cult”?
Let’s turn to the politically-disinterested scholars Dr. Janja Lalich and Dr. Michael D. Langone, who have devoted a substantial amount of time on studying cults around the world (when they could have spent it on proving Bulbasaur’s true element instead) for help.
Meet The Real Cult
Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups – Revised
Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, Ph.D.
(Note: I am not going to bother hiding their names for these all came from public forums and pages)
1. The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law
Openly defying, wow. Last time we checked, we’re a democratic government that encourages opinions.
The logic and wisdom of the President can only be grasped by the chosen ones, who must pass down the good news to us lowly people in dumbed down language, for we are not worthy. Thank you, Minister Lane, for mediating!
2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
Uh, no. It’s the government’s job to protect us, among other things, hence we pay taxes. What we’re doing about crime fighting when it’s not our job is not the focal issue. At all.
And after a former Duterte supporter expressed his regret for backing him…
And for vocal Duterte critics, here’s how they’re dealt with.
3. The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar, or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
They’re now counting 21M people insted of 16M, because apparently, PCOS and LP connived to cheat them of 5M votes. Still waiting for a breakdown on how this was masterminded, though
“If he can’t do this, who will?” No one can do it all but our Lord and Savior, Duterte, apparently. Everyone else is contra bida.
4. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
Like, do you really think the friggin’ World Bank (which even China is indebted to) would really have the time to dwell on a the silly political affairs of a third-world country that’s less than half the size of Texas and is hell-bent on cutting ties with the US to cozy up with China? For serious?
You need to be a “squater” to appreciate Duterte’s governance, you privileged Forbes-dwelling filthy rich Internet commenter you. (Above post seems like a troll, but I’ve seen lots of versions of this post in the past.)
5. The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
When one does not even understand how a civil democratic government works.
Whoever was this person’s Social Studies teacher has failed her for life.
6. The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary.
The thing is, we can’t prove that all 684 people who died in less than two months were all criminals because they never went through due process.
I’m pretty sure we can make government service faster and more efficient or create a 911 line without having to kill around 10 people per day.
7. The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members.
Found this gem of a post in Carlos Celdran’s Facebook page. This guy’s a survivor, y’all!
So if you don’t agree with Mr. President’s, uh, war against drugs, then you’re automatically an imperfect paid drug addict who is a biased yellowtard that doesn’t want change and just won’t give the poor guy a chance. Also, they wish your sister gets raped or that you’d be beaten within an inch of your life just so they can be proven right in an Internet-based argument.
So, again, I say, “What Kultong Dilaw?”
People who disagree with how your Tatay Digong does things don’t belong to a clandestine group funded by the blood and tears of Hacienda Luisita farmers. It’s not as simple as us being pro or anti <political clan name here>.
We are anti-bullshit. We are anti-logical fallacies. We are anti-spreading of false information.We are anti-senseless killings. We are anti-going above the law.
I liked how Duterte thought of bridging the archipelago with trains (though I don’t agree with his plan to trade our seas for Chinese railways).
I applaud the passage of FOI under Duterte’s administration.
I liked P-Noy’s stabilizing effect on the economy.
I applaud how P-Noy’s administration stood up against China in the matters of our territorial waters.
I liked Marcos’ Bataan Nuclear Plant. But I still find him and his family and cronies as a dark chapter of our nation’s past that you can and should never, ever forget and #MoveOn from.
See how it all works? I owe my loyalty not to any person, but to the country that allowed me to live as a free, independent, and thinking citizen. Can someone who thinks for herself belong to a cult (which is the anti-thesis of individualism?)
There is no Kultong Dilaw. Stop making up imaginary enemies to validate your aggressive bullying on the web, or aversion to fact-checking because memes are easier to understand, or laziness to raise your own damn voice instead of becoming an echo in a chamber.