Moving from analysis to advocacy

Analysis vs. advocacy [Photo source: Mindanation Blog]

By JoeAm,

Last week, I wrote an article that missed its mark. My headline did not correctly convey the point of the story. The headline talked about Leni Robredo. The point was how to build a strong, unified pro-democracy effort.

Let me try again, because it is that important.

The argument I am making has several important premises:

  1. The goal is to elect people who are pro-democracy, pro-human rights, and pro-civility.
  2. There is no perfect man or woman. The next president will have flaws in his history or his decision-making, or will do things differently than we would do them. That is perfectly okay.
  3. Many, many people can be successful as president. The basic requirements are intelligence (knowledge + critical thinking), character (principled values), perceptiveness (can order priorities well), discipline (can do 50 things at once), and emotional maturity (does not go around weeping or cursing).

Although we can nod our head about this, it is not that easy in practice. President Aquino had all the required qualities but got relentless criticism. Take social security as an example. He studied the numbers his experts gave him, and decided it would be a mistake to increase the outgoing payments before stabilizing the fund with higher incoming payments.

The Chief Executive reiterated that the bill will benefit two million pensioners and their dependents but disrupt the stability of the entire SSS benefit system and negatively affect 31 million other pensioners. [1]

Aquino was criticized as “heartless” in a typically emotionalized debate by leftist organizations whose leaders argued irrationally (and in denial of any accountability for the future):

”There can never be a bankrupt pension system because government will always intervene if necessary.” [1]

The Duterte Administration has since approved higher benefit pay-outs and these proceeded fund inflows. [2] The result is threatening the entire fund:

The SSS’s fund life was slashed by 10 years to 2032 from 2042 when the additional P1,000 a month was granted to pensioners. [Officials] warned that implementing the second tranche of the pension hike next year will further slash the fund’s life to only until 2026. [3]

Two executive decisions, two bad outcomes. We can argue about who made the best bad decision. But that’s not our purpose here. The point is to understand that being President is not easy. In fact, in the amazing cycles of fate, the leftist organizations that claimed President Aquino was “heartless” are today a part of the ‘united opposition’ to President Duterte along with President Aquino’s Liberal Party.

Being president . . . or taking on any leadership position, for that matter . . . is hard. Complex. It involves a lot of intricate details and facts that we do not know about. It’s the same with history. We can see the main events but seldom study in detail what went into causing them. Today, with social media, it is so easy to emotionalize history: isolate events out of context, criticize them, then add insult to the criticism to score more points.

In that setting, how are you going to elect a pro-democracy candidate?

It is my contention that you have to have a conscious and determined change in mindset. You have to let go of objectivity and switch to advocacy.

“But Joe, I pride myself on my knowledge and reasoning!”

Yes, yes, as well you should. But others have set objectivity aside and are running hard, even trollish, advocacies. By objectively citing what you see as weaknesses in pro-democracy candidates, you are making them look flawed and essentially joining with the trolls.

Objective analysis is the work we do to prove we are smart. Advocacy is the work we do to accomplish a goal.

If you analyze the pro-democracy candidates objectively, you will easily find the flaws. Because, as we just read, everyone has them and leadership positions assure that plenty of bad decisions will occur. In fact, that’s what you get from anti-democracy trolls, over and over again. They find the isolated flaws, or invent some. Fake. Made-up. You never get the whole of the man or woman because the whole of the person is not really flawed. It is human. And usually, capable.

If you, yourself, striving for objectivity, also identify the flaws then verbalize them or put them into writing . . . you are joining the trolls. You are helping those who are against democracy, human rights, and freedom.

So you have a simple decision to make, and only you can make it.

  • Insist on proving yourself smart and objective.
  • Elect a pro-democracy candidate for the good of the nation.

If you decide to become an advocate, you must set aside all reservations, including faults that may exist but are insignificant in light of other attributes. Focus on the whole of the person, the strengths, the accomplishments, and the character that is needed to build a prosperous, free, lawful Philippines.

To those who insist on undermining the candidate by pointing out what they think are mistakes or flaws, remind them that perfection is an unreasonable standard for anyone, one has to look at the whole of the man or woman, and move back to the strengths.

. . . . . . .

Resources:

[1] http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/01/15/16/pnoy-defends-heartless-veto-on-sss-pension-hike

[2] http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/01/10/17/duterte-approves-sss-pension-increase-with-contribution-hike

[3] http://business.inquirer.net/255792/sss-net-income-falls-55

 

Comments
97 Responses to “Moving from analysis to advocacy”
  1. Ancient Mariner says:

    Tsk, tsk JoeAm. In 2.0 above you write off Leni’s chance of becoming President or any other woman for that matter.
    Could you possibly assess President Duterte using your guidelines. It would be interesting indeed.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Rule 1 precedes Rule 2.
      *****

    • I’ve not written off anybody, I’ve made a statement I believe to be factual. DUterte is not pro-democracy. That is my analysis.

      • Ancient Mariner says:

        Wow! Have you guys got the wrong end of the stick. I am not pro-Duterte. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
        Given that Leni was mentioned in the lead up to your article article I thought a, his/her might have been appropriate. I’m alwaus willing to be wrong, and misunderstood.
        The second part of my comment was a genuine suggestion. It would indeed be interesting if you were to exercise your many skills, in the form of an article and analyse Duterte in the way you suggest. Who knows you might find something good about him.

        • Anyone has a balance sheet of pros and cons. The Duterte cons on human rights are so weighty they are ‘deal killers’ for me. There are other cons as well, inconsistent, belligerent rather than diplomatic, divisive, not supporting people in crisis . . . others. Positive would be he has charm, for the locals, and a sense of humor that I can’t relate to. You are free to run a balance sheet on him if you wish.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          Ah, so.

          The stick is gender neutrality and not gender exclusivity.

          I would say the stick is a mis-categorization error within the context of “Thinking Conundrums.”

          The first sentence of Rule 2 explicitly states that both genders are in scope. Therefore, the use of the pronoun “his” in the second sentence has a clear antecedent.

          Further, the use of “his/her” within the span of five words would be awkward: “…his/her history or his/her decision-making…”.

          Ramon Sta. Cruz comment is on point. The use of male pronouns to refer to both sexes is still acceptable in contemporary writing. Some writers use female pronouns. Others use the singular they.

          The point of gender neutrality is valid, but it is feeble within the context of the first sentence. And it is tangential in the context of the importance of what is being discussed. “Feeble” and “tangential” make the stick a mis-categorization error.
          *****

    • Revisit Joe’s 3 premises for advocacy. Duterte meets #2 and he was given a slack so many times. He does not meet #1 and #3.

      Joe did not write off VP Leni nor any women candidates for Presidency. VP Leni meets all of Joe’s criteria for a Presidential candidate worth advocating for.

      “1. The goal is to elect people who are pro-democracy, pro-human rights, and pro-civility.”

      VP Leni is all that and more on the positive part of advocacy ledger.

      “2. There is no perfect man or woman. The next president will have flaws in his history or his decision-making, or will do things differently than we would do them. That is perfectly okay.”

      VP Leni is not a perfect person. She is human and will have flaws. I can accept her and her misgivings as long as they are borne of good intention and she does/did not break any law to implement them.

      “3. Many, many people can be successful as president. The basic requirements are intelligence (knowledge + critical thinking), character (principled values), perceptiveness (can order priorities well), discipline (can do 50 things at once), and emotional maturity (does not go around weeping or cursing).”

      This shot down your theory about Joe killing the prospect of VP Leni or any woman to be President. It is self-explanatory so I will not belabor an explanation.

      Maybe you should explain your line of thinking. I am lost as to what you are getting at.

    • Ramon Sta Cruz says:

      The use of “he” can mean a man & woman, in context. Fyi.

  2. From a Dutertian: “those who claim to be better should be measured by higher standards”.

    Strange mindset behind that is: “the good are too good to be true, the bad are for real.”

    Nitpicking good people only serves to confirm such people’s own negative mindset.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    I get the point of the previous article, elect your president with total conviction, with no doubts in mind, do not gamble.

    Everything is a gamble, everything is a risk.
    There would be no success if there would not be risks.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Sorry, but to correct my self, it is not about not gambling and not taking risks, but trusting that with all your candidates strengths he can be a good presdent, the cabinet and the rest can fill in the weaknesses.

      Strengths is the keyword.
      We still must not elect bankrupt people or whose only strength is projection of being a strongman.

  4. andrewlim8 says:

    My take on Joe’s piece and the previous one:

    It’s the principles and behavior/life history, damn it. Not the person.

    Many Filipinos being of small minds talk incessantly about personalities. They cannot grasp abstracts like pro-democracy, anti-corruption, consistency in words and actions, etc.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      To expand, Duterte’s failures in governance lead to many people being anti-Duterte, but stops there. They go on looking for the next messiah. They never reach that state where they can discuss economic policies, foreign policies and whether their candidate measures up on these.

      • Bingo. Spot on. The main driver of the need to be resilient. I tweeted your statement.

      • Even Cory was expected to be a kind a messiah. Even her son to some extent.

        Marcos of course. Wrong, miraculous expectations. The road to disappointment, until the moment people learn that things don’t work that way.. let us PRAAAY for that moment..

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        1. I would like to make two points:

        o Analysis vs. advocacy
        o Concrete vs. abstract thinking

        2. Analysis vs. advocacy

        2.1. I see these two as a continuum rather than as a dichotomy. Analysis is a precondition of advocacy, and advocacy requires continuous analysis.

        2.2. If I may make use of a computer analogy, a computer has basically two levels of software: application software and system software. Application software determines how the computer is used productively; this is advocacy. System software manages how the application software is initiated, how it runs, and how it terminates; this is analysis.

        2.3. It is important to realize that the system software is always managing the application software. In the same manner, analysis should always manage advocacy, running all the time in the background.

        2.3.1. I realize we must be whole-hearted in our advocacy. However, at the same time, we cannot afford to give up analysis.

        2.3.1. Analysis is critical thinking. To stop analysis and to operate exclusively in the realm of advocacy is dangerous. The advocacy, say, the cause of pro-democracy, may be righteous and beneficial but the advocate(s) — whether Self or Other — may not be acting righteously all the time. The wholehearted effort of an internal advocacy may become bigotry while the wholehearted support of an external advocate may become idolatry.

        2.4. In computer processing, results are monitored and fed back into the system in a continuous control loop of improvement. So, too, should the results of advocacy.

        3. Concrete vs. abstract thinking

        3.1. In Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, he distinguishes between concrete thinking vs. abstract thinking.

        3.1.1. Concrete thinking involves “facts and descriptions about everyday, tangible objects.”

        3.1.2. Abstract thinking involves ”objects that do not exist at any particular time or place, but rather exists as a type of thing – i.e., an idea or abstraction.”

        3.2. Concrete thinking predominates before adolescence, roughly before age 11, and abstract thinking comes into play at that stage.

        3.3. Filipino thinking is concrete thinking. We think about politics as people (Vicara’s “trapo scions and showbiz personalities”), things (tanim-bala and drugs), and concrete events (political rallies, rape, and murder).

        3.4. We have not advanced to abstract thinking on democracy, freedom, equality, justice, and human rights. Or on Andrew’s “economic policies, foreign policies, and whether their candidate measures up on these.”

        3.5. Abstract thinking is a precondition of analysis. And as I said analysis is a precondition of advocacy. [2.1]

        3.7. Wala pa tayo sa edad.
        *****

        • Critical thinking applied to advocacy would say “If I undermine a decent candidate by objectively citing his flaws, I’m likely to help elect a candidate who is not decent.”

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            I guess that would be true of a critical thinker who is not sharp enough and not broadminded enough. It depends on the capacity/capability of the thinker. I would say the heart (advocacy) should be balanced by the mind (analysis).

            The mind should not nitpick at faults but see the broad objective. But neither should the mind surrender to tactics that may not be righteous. It’s a hard call to make.
            *****

        • True. Abstraction is not strong in the Philippines. But why?

          ——————–

          At some point the bridge is made between concrete and abstract.

          “The Philippines is a just and humane society according to the Constitution”

          Pedro says: “tignan mo iyong mga city jail, mga tirahan ng mahirap, kalupitan ng matataas.”

          “One plus one is two. One epol and one epol is two epol. One galunggong plus more is..”

          Pedro says: “I have never eaten epol in my life. The Chinese Navy took my galunggong”.

          ———————–

          “What is justice?” Pedro answers: “Ampatuan can leave his cell and De Lima cannot”.

          “What is democracy?” Pedro answers: “elections every few years, I get paid for my vote”.

          “And equality?” Pedro answers: “haha, mahirap sagotin iyan, baka madamay pa ako.”

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            We are a young people? No philosophers. No Nobel prize winners.
            *****

            • “Young” in the sense of degree of organization, yes. Francis’ conjecture of the barangay mindset and Nick Joaquin’s heritage of smallness. No need for abstraction yet at that scale.

              Duterte and his followers show how that fails, nationally. Banca principles used for a ship.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            In addition to being young and underdeveloped, here are another 10 reasons:

            o We are anti-intellectual.
            o We do not read [books of 500 pages and over]
            o We do not have the proper thought frameworks [as a result of not reading]
            o We mis-categorize and mis-scope because we do not have the proper frameworks
            o We tend to think in terms of single and simple causation
            o We are not introspective
            o We have the attention span of a gnat
            o Thinking is painful for us [“mahirap sagutin iyan”]
            o We are not aware of thinking fallacies
            o Our primary adaptation is Darwinian [no liberal arts orientation © Francis]
            *****

  5. Vicara says:

    If only people would focus more on local government elections. These are the elections after all that impinge most directly on the life of the community–and because the candidates and their families are from the area, voters are in a better position to look at their track record–as human beings, not just as officials–and assess how they will work out as leaders.

    Even if grassroots voters from the provinces know nothing of foreign policy or economic planning, they are probably more familiar with their local political context, and power dynamics from their grassroots perspective than many, supposedly more educated NCR dwellers focused on jobs and living isolated existences in condominiums.

    There was hardly any news media attention paid to the last barangay elections, even though it is the barangay chairman/captain who helps makes up those “drug lists” from which the PNP selects its “drug war” suspects. Did this affect the way people voted for barangay officials? Even some anecdotal news coverage of that could have provided inputs for analysis.

    • Vicara says:

      Most of our senators and presidents start their political careers from the top: trapo scions and showbiz personalities selected by their backers and by voters on the basis of their connections and visibility.

      We need to elect people who worked their way from the bottom up.

  6. chemrock says:

    Advocacy can mean many things to many people. It very basic terms it means having a specific objective. That means there is a place we start from and a place we want to end up with. It means there is a main end-objective, but it is achieved by succeeding in many short term objectives or goals.

    The main objective is ensuring that democracy in Philippines survives. The short term goals toward this noble objective are varied and many. This last 2 blogs of Joe is about the specific one such short term goal of supporting politicians who are people with democratic souls, but who are, like everybody, not perfect.

    Passive advocacy is hollow and empty. Advocacy requires activisim. We are not here to recommend militant activism for that would be tearing the country down and getting rid of a democratically elected government. That would be the irony of an advocacy for democracy. But there are other means of activism within the bounds of law. Someone should write a blog on this.

    Joe dispenses his wisdom for moving from analysis to advocacy. No doubt this blog, and the preceding blog on imperfections, will draw lots of comments and suggestions. To be serious about an advocacy, separating the wheat from the chaff is most critical. The latter are just noises.

    An advice to those serious on the advocacy. Democracy as the main objective, requires a strategy to get there. The various short term or subsidiary objectives or goals, such as the acceptance of imperfect but good politicians, requires tactics to achieve. With no strategy nor tactics, abject failure is the guaranteed outcome.

    A thousand plus years ago, Sun Tzu said :
    “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.
    Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

  7. Micha says:

    There had been, and seemingly continuing still, a wave of populism from around the world. It’s a time when economically neglected and alienated folks tried to assert their political power.

    Though mostly denigrated, populism in and of itself, is not bad. One could say it is in fact a democratic expression – an awakening – of a mass of people who had been long confined to the sidelines. Where the danger lies is when that democratic collective revolt is being hijacked by demagogues and outright crazy criminals like Duterte.

    What you are proposing here Joe is that in trying to reverse what the current criminal in Malacanang has done, the opposition should all unite and install somebody who is pro-democracy.

    The question is, how democratic are these pro-democracy opposition? Aren’t these forces mostly composed of the same faces that the populist crowd perceived then as representing the establishment, purveyors of the status quo? The very status quo that the populist zeitgeist tried to dislodge?

    The policy example on Social Security is telling.

    • Populism is a scourge of shallow thinking, I think. There are a lot of candidates who have the values democracy requires. Risa Hontiveros is one.

      • Micha says:

        Or, one could say populism = democracy.

        Populists do after all constitute the vast aggregate majority in the 2016 elections.

        Why do you think populism is a scourge?

        • It takes critical thinking down to simple, generally emotional, ideas.

          • Micha says:

            Fighting for and insisting on economic justice is not an emotional idea.

            I have seen a lot of social media posts denigrating Duterte voters as ignorant suckers. This just further cement the division and close possibilities for winning them over which is critical to ensuring electoral victory for your pro-democracy crusade.

        • distant observer says:

          Populists also constituted the majority after the 1933 elections in Germany, if you now what I mean…
          Populism is a scourge because it promises easy solutions for complex problems. Populism does not benefit the ones with the best arguments, but the ones who shout the loudest.

          • Micha says:

            Populism does not promise easy solutions to complex problems.

            Demagogues who hijack the populist energy are the ones who promise easy solutions to complex problems.

            Centrist status quo advocates should be aware of the difference.

            • I think ‘populism’ needs to be defined. There are two different concepts at work. Populism meaning a well-thought-out idea that has common traction, and populism meaning a shallow and easy allegiance to someone who has charisma.

              • Micha says:

                The first is populism as it is. The second is just sheer demagoguery.

              • Micha says:

                “A common framework for interpreting populism is known as the ideational approach: this defines populism as an ideology which posits “the people” as a morally good force against “the elite”, who are perceived as corrupt. Populists differ in how “the people” are defined, but it can be based along class, ethnic, or national lines. Populists typically present “the elite” as comprising the political, economic, cultural, and media establishment, all of which are depicted as a homogenous entity and accused of placing the interests of other groups—such as foreign countries or immigrants—above the interests of “the people”. According to this approach, populism is a thin-ideology which is combined with other, more substantial thick ideologies such as nationalism, liberalism, or socialism. Thus, populists can be found at different locations along the left–right political spectrum and there is both left-wing populism and right-wing populism.”

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populism

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            In current usage, populism is a derogatory term.

            It is, as Micha says, synonymous with demagoguery.

            Populism is governance by catering to the baser instincts of the populace.

            In America and Australia, it’s catering to xenophobia. In the Philippines, it’s catering to the Drug War.

            There should be separate terms for good and bad populism . Demagoguery will not do because the viewpoint is from the political apex and not the base.

            Perhaps populism can be retained for the bad and “popularism” for the good.
            *****

            • I tend to distinguish in term of the audience or the speaker. If the populism is demand driven (by the audience) it is benign or possibly ignorant or emotionally needy, if it is push driven (by the speaker) it is manipulative or and/or talented. Filipino populism is the worst of the beast, with manipulators feeding a hungry audience.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Benign or ignorant. Both are correct. Both are valid because of the ambiguity of the term.

                My conclusion that populism is “ignorant” is based on Google searches — e.g. “populism in america” or “populism in australia,” or “populism in europe.” The results point to a right-leaning bias in politics and It is this mostly pejorative connotation of the term that dominates.

                Micha’s interpretation of the term is “benign” and left-leaning.
                *****

              • Right. I’m totally in sync.

  8. caliphman says:

    Its hard to avoid being cynical about what criteria one should use in the analysis and advocacy of candidates for political leadership. Filipinos mostly vote with their hearts and not their minds. If the
    blog and its comments are addressed to those of us in the minority who base their choice from evalyating the leanings and platforms of prospective contenders, then well and good. Unfortunately, if surveys are any indication, the masses do not seem to put democracy, human rights or civility at a premium. If the idea is to replace Duterte or his anointed successor, then perhaps it might make more sense to analyze and advocate prospective candidates that appeal both to our priorities and what most other Filipinos will vote for at the ballot box. Otherwise, elections will continue to be reruns of all the prior ones. But it is what it is.

  9. karlgarcia says:

    Regarding the let Binay give them (birthday)cake Hashtag of Irineo.

    For days there has been a series of how much can your one thousand pesos can buy in the market.

    There are many who don’t even have one thousand, and rely only ftom scraps of restaurants.Hepatitis and Intestinal worms be damned.

    The new triumvurate of Duterte Marcos Villar might promise messianic promises during the 2019 elections maybe sonething like “You will never go hungry again” promises which will be gone with the wind after winning.

    Populism will always be there because there are a thousand and one ways to promise just about everything.
    And if you get disappointed there are keyboard defenders and offenders.

  10. edgar lores says:

    *******
    FOR THE RECORD

    AUGUST 2018

    In the last days of August, evil has triumphed.

    What does this mean?

    It does not mean that there is no good left. It means that the evil ones have captured and dominate the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary. Including the Office of the Ombudsman.

    Let the fact sink in: the immoralists hold sway.

    We have to accept this.

    Acceptance does not mean defeat or surrender. It means we recognize the reality of evil and that, for the moment, evil reigns.

    Where do we go from here?

    It is as Joe Am says, we advocate.

    And what do we advocate?

    On the national level, we advocate the good of democracy, freedom, equality, justice, and human rights.

    On the personal level, we shun causing harm, stealing, lying, drugs, and behavioral misconduct. We practice kindness and compassion.

    The personal level indicates that advocacy is not mere words. It is practice.

    We must become practitioners of the good.

    Only then can we circumscribe the evil that fills our days.
    *****

    • madlanglupa says:

      They haven’t got the Senate, though, but they’re bent on stuffing it with mediocre yes-men if they win next year.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Perhaps not in terms of party lines. But in terms of compliance to the Executive and its policies, the Senate has been co-opted.

        Where the Senate has not been compliant, as in the case of the resolution for the Supreme Court to reconsider Calida’s quo warranto petition, it has been officially silent.

        https://joeam.com/2018/08/03/groupthink-in-the-supreme-court/#comment-257219
        *****

        • madlanglupa says:

          The next few months, if not two years, would be crucial. Nowhere in history we’re seeing a systematic takeover of institutions, and yesterday’s outcome was a sign of things to come, that the way is being paved for a Marcos revival — which may explain for the crooked family being so arrogantly confident for the last few days.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Ah, the Marcoses.

            Like all dynasties, this family is like malignant cancer cells on the body politic.

            Except that this family is extraordinarily malignant for three things – wealth, persistence, and longevity.

            The Marcoses have been planning a comeback since their return from exile in 1991.

            The tactics in their strategy to revive their political fortunes have been systematic, comprehensive, and brilliant… with no stone left unturned. They have co-opted the executive, the judiciary, the military, news media, social media, government positions, and god-knows-what-else.

            Their effective use of social media for their cause preceded Duterte’s by almost a decade. (I remember seeing anti-Aquino YouTube videos in the late years of the first decade of this century. I just checked and there are pro-Marcos videos going back 9 years ago.) I believe the repugnant soc-med creatures are more Marcos than Duterte shills.

            In my estimate, the heirs cannot win back Malacañang by charisma. Imee projects a crocodile smile that cannot conceal her viciousness and Bongbong presents an effete weakness. They have to win it back by money. (But don’t take my word for it. I thought the nation would see Duterte as the ignoble brute that he is, and never believed for one moment that people would be captured by his “brutish charm.”)

            But you are right. We should not underestimate what Filipinos will do for money and power. The swiftness and efficiency of the sneaky burial of the late dictator is an object lesson.
            *****

            • I just fine tuned tomorrow’s blog on Marcos and opined that I didn’t think he could win an elected office. You have clarified why. You might want to drop this comment off on that discussion thread.

            • “We should not underestimate what Filipinos will do for money and power.”

              Yes, one can take lessons from everything to understand that, from the Greek myths of Gods and Muses, ancient Greek history to Shakespeare’s dramas.

              All of human history is about how smaller groups of people became larger groups and the conflicts especially between those who see “this is great for ME (and my family, and my priends, and my billage who will get cake” and those who see “this is bad for US (all)”.

              McCain was one who saw the capital “us”, just like Obama who in his eulogy says: “Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own…”

              Trump of course only sees the small us, the “kami” of white America, not the “tayo” of all America. Leonen who quotes the eulogy BTW is I think one of the Philippines’ most “advanced mag-isip” people in terms of everybody, another I think is Hilbay.

              • sonny says:

                “… All of human history is about how smaller groups of people became larger groups and the conflicts especially between those … great for ME (and my family, and my priends, and my billage who will get cake” and those who see “this is bad for US (all)”.

                Great insight, Irineo.

                In our PH case because of high degree of disparity (c. edgar – asynchronicity) in socio-economic & educational exposure and accessibility of our society, many lessons fail to gain traction to achieve critical masses to effect change.

            • sonny says:

              Thanks, edgar.

  11. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: McCain, the Ugly American of our generation, the honorable Navy fighter jock, is dead at 81 and so left a colorful legacy that even most of his foes have come to respect him.

    Of course, his final flip of the bird is directed at POTUS, by not allowing him to visit his funeral.

    Stand to your glasses steady,
    This world is a world full of lies.
    Here’s a healt to the dead already,
    Hurrah for the next man to die.
    Denied by the land that bore us,
    Betrayed by the ones we hold dear,
    The good have all gone before us,
    And only the dull are still there.

  12. karlgarcia says:

    Analysis: Bad Governance accross the board.
    Advocacy: Go for Good Governance accross the board.

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/115281/governance-failure-across-board

    • I still think that many (hopefully not most) Filipinos still see government as a potential piggy bank for whichever group is in power – a postcolonial attitude. It is not seen as “OUR OWN” government, the money stolen is not seen by many as tax money of everybody. This is why I found the memes of some saying “why not steal from a Marcos apologist and tell him to move on” or ” why not borrow money from a Marcos apologist and tell him to move on” very refreshing – it is a sign that some people are realizing the nature of collective responsibility.

      • karlgarcia says:

        They want to escape the blame, Imee and Bongbong are not at all blameless.
        Right now tell BBM to move on because he lost the elections.

  13. Andres 2018 says:

    Direct to the point, there is no democracy in the Philippines to begin with. DU30, PNOY, GMA and the guys before them are not products of a democratic election. Democracy is majority, and there is no democracy in DU30’s win with his 16 million, nor with PNOY 15 million. The system itself voids democracy, blame the system, ammend it.

    • There are as many variations of democracy as there are nations deploying popular elections. You may not like the format, and the format may not produce results that people like, but Filipinos do have the chance to shape their own destiny, and that is democracy. If more Filipinos were proud of their right to shape government, they might get a better outcome.

      • Andres 2018 says:

        If democracy have many variations, then ours is the faulty one. Faulty since the format does not at all grantees a majority rule, instead, a rule of a certain group(s).

        The chance given to each Filipino to shape their own destiny is not at all democracy, it is simply freedom. Freedom and democracy is not at all synonymous. Democracy may even destroy individual’s freedom. Consider this example, if you choice against death penalty, yet the majority favors it, then there will be a death penalty. That’s democracy killing your freedom.

        There is really a need of a system overhaul. Otherwise, if Duterte is a failure, then Duterte is a failure of democracy.

        • I don’t see things so black and white. The Philippines has a history that is not simple and casting harsh judgments denies Filipinos their legitimacy. Most people do their best.

        • chemrock says:

          (Joe – sorry, pls deleted the comment above. Damn keyboard)

          “if Duterte is a failure, then Duterte is a failure of democracy.”

          Well Andres, that’s just great, the way you twist and blur causality.

          Democracy is a form of governance where sovereignty resides in the people who exercise that power via universal suffrage. The people thus elected into office assume responsibilities answerable to the people. Thus comes the meaning of civil servants. The institutions (laws and structures of governance) differ amongst democratic countries, some have strong and others have weak institutions. The success of a democratic state lies in the strength of its institutions AND the elected leaders. A democratic state fails when the sovereignty rights of the people are no longer respected by the elected leadership as sacrosanct. This is effected by the Executive trampling over democratic institutions. Attributing no blame to Duterte for the way institutions have been violated and lowering the state of the a democratic Philippines to just one notch above a dictatorship, is indeed disturbing. Philippines democracy is not to blame for Duterte’s failure. Duterte and a host of rent seeking self-interest minded politicians and civil service leadership is to be blamed for the failure of democracy in the country which in turn is pulling the country down..

          “If democracy have many variations, then ours is the faulty one. Faulty since the format does not at all grantees a majority rule, instead, a rule of a certain group(s).”

          This is the argument into parliamentary or presidential system as well as the first past the post or simple majority electoral system. Having a multiple political party system obviously means there will be situations that the winner do not have a clear majority. I would not consider this a faulty system. There are pros and cons and we all have different opinions. Personally for me, I prefer a parliamentary system. However, there are many areas where we can finger the faults in Philippines system– such as having a VP that is not elected in tandem with the President, allowing turn-coatism, having murderers and thieves standing for office, etc.

          “The chance given to each Filipino to shape their own destiny is not at all democracy, it is simply freedom. Freedom and democracy is not at all synonymous. Democracy may even destroy individual’s freedom.”

          Democracy merely guarantees the right or the freedom to vote. Freedom encompasses a whole host of rights. Individual freedom can never be absolute or there will be chaos. Thus the need for proper legislation to ensure one’s freedom does not trample on another’s right. Everybody agrees to have their wings clipped somewhat.

          As to your example of the death penalty proposed by the majority, what you are alluding to is the problem of Tyranny of the Majority. Thus do great statesmen from some democratic countries understand that their country is CONCEIVED IN FREEDOM, NOT IN DEMOCRACY. Filipino politicians, having no ideological groundings, most likely do not understand this. And that is the reason why we have Constitutional Democracy. The rights of the minority are enshrined to protect them.

          So here we are in Philippines, the rights or freedom of many Filipinos are being trampled by the Executive. Legal process is denied to many killed extra-judiciously, Chief Justice is removed unconstitutionally, if you sit outside your house with a shirt you get thrown in jail, etc. Is this democracy destroying individual’s freedom? 16 million may not bother with the 20,000 ejk’ed, 16 million may say CJ deserves to go, 16 million may say put on your shirts, etc. Is the tyranny of the 16 million trampling on the rights of the 20,000 ejkl’ed, the CJ or the thousands of bare-breasted men – and thus democracy killed freedom as you said? Well, the Constitution clearly protects these minorities so that absolves the tyrannous majority. IT IS THE EXECUTIVE AND POLITICAL LEADERSHIP THAT FAILED TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION THAT IS THE CAUSE AND EFFECT. Democracy is not the cause.

          Andres, I’m often pained by your misconstruction of cause and effects in many of your comments. That is why I felt compelled to spend time to make a long comment.

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