The kind of dialogue that promotes unity
A part of the problem is that the speaker . . . a politician or government official or pundit . . . does not actually welcome dissent because it may undermine his position. He is intolerant, no matter the popular grand ideas about unity.
Another part of the problem is that the audience . . . us . . . is unforgiving. We like our own solutions better. Or we don’t welcome opposition gracefully because we have pride, or face, or esteem, or whatever drives us to defend a view first and seek information later. If at all.
So we argue and defend our view and the Game of Thrones continues . . .
Well, I’m no different than most people, and can be found regularly getting testy with people who are going against my personal grain, especially if they are inclined to use labels or slurs or other condescension aimed at diminishing opponents.
Then along comes outspoken President Elect Rody Duterte, a guy many of us have been working hard to diminish, as a candidate, in favor of a more traditional leader and set of values.
Perhaps because he won, and defeated us, we might want to try to chop him back down to size. The nerve of the guy, eh? Actually winning the election and tossing all our hard work and argument to the four winds.
And for sure he has some personal qualities that test our values.
And yet . . . and yet . . . his personal character is not an issue until it becomes an issue. If he is discreet, his personal life is none of our business. If he is more careful with his words in office, his past statements don’t count. If he made promises, we can try to hold him to them, I suppose. But we ought to reflect on whether or not he was dealing political hyperbole or meant it. We’d have the same issue no matter who won, even the straight and narrow Mar Roxas. Just as President Aquino’s straight path is often ridiculed for winding now and then, even though it has been the principle that has driven much of his good work in office.
Our pool of readers is probably 80% to 90% pro-Aquino. Some have poured their hearts into backing Mar Roxas, and a good many preferred Senator Poe. Now the arch-rival is heading for the presidency and we have to deal with that.
Some of us are wary, skeptical, or working our way out of shock about a Duterte presidency.
But let me state, clearly, that this blog has no partisan stance. The ONLY bias allowed under the editorial principles is to advocate for the well-being of the Philippines.
Well, the shoe is on the other foot. An ardent Roxas backer who arrives to relentlessly undermine President Elect Duterte becomes a troll, eh? An anti, of the GRP ilk.
The editorial position of this blog is that President Elect Duterte has won office in an open and free democratic process. He MUST be accorded the respect that the position warrants.
Issues will emerge from his presidency that we can discuss in a straightforward way. He is dropping names for a cabinet, has put forward an eight point economic program to assure stability in financial markets (an excellent step, I would opine), and has said Leni Robredo will hold a cabinet post. Other acts and deeds are coming forth. They suggest the Duterte presidency recognizes that change must come on top of stability and growth.
How shall we proceed. How shall we proceed.
I would ask that those who choose to comment here work hard to set aside the past political wars and center on building something. That can’t be done in an arena of complaint and negativity or trying to win old battles. It can be done by forthright argument, focus on issues, constructive criticism, and respect for the idea that people who are wholly unlike ourselves may just be the right person for the job.
And . . . just maybe . . . we can find a new, giving part of ourselves that will help President Elect Duterte succeed. For sure, if he fails, the Philippines fails. We ought not be bitter losers helping him to fail. That would be “The vanity of the crabs”.
Two simple principles will drive the editorial policies of the blog as we move through a delicate transition period. I would request help from commenters to:
Build, don’t just complain.
Be respectful, don’t diminish the President of the Philippines.