Throwing back to articles written during and after the 2016 Presidential campaign, because I realize these are the words I go back to, this is still why I think we need to get our acts together, beyond the partisan politicking and the moralizing elitism. And I think, three years since, that we’re getting there. We have three weeks to go, and a lot of ground to cover for the five candidates that represent change in the Senate: #22Colmenares, #23DeGuzman, #25Diokno, #36Gutoc, and #59Tanada. We gotta do better than 2016 because no one else — least of all the Liberal Party with all its cash and machinery — is doing better.
May 22 2016
If there’s anything the campaign season and election results might teach us it’s how irrelevant we are to the outcomes of political exercises such as choosing our leaders.
And I mean us, the middle to wealthier classes who are on social media, writing and reading and speaking in English, our minds swirling with foreign books and films and TV. I mean us, the Martial Law babies of the 70’s, who grew up on Marcosian history but also came of age in the years post-EDSA ’86, and the democratic cultural and political space it allowed us. I mean us, who claim freedom, invoke it, live off it, but do not know a life where we fight for it with our blood, do not know to struggle with freedom from hunger, need, want.
I mean us, artists and writers, performers and creatives – cultural workers all – who, in this most divisive and critical of elections could’ve, should’ve, would’ve been the voice of reason, the voice that balances what is good with what is delusion, what is bad with what is worse, never speaking in terms that are white and black, good versus evil, because we know the pitfalls of archetypes and stereotypes, we can read spin from a mile away, we can see every shade and tint of gray.
We are skilled at distance, at seeing bigger pictures, at telling larger narratives. It keeps us sane, above the fray, disengaged even when we are in the midst. Our politics is beyond the elections, we like to believe, because the real work for nation happens after it, in the six years of necessary struggle with new leaders, in this perennial resistance we nurture because we are aware of our systemic dysfunctions, those that are never fixed, because rarely admitted.
Let it be said that during election season 2016, our partisanship and our biases got the better of us. Let it be said that too many fell into the black hole of namecalling and trolling, of taking a moral high ground that is precisely what has won this election for candidates we thought would never get into power. (more…)