Here We Go Again
THE national torture of having to put up with self-proclaimed patriots who mouth all kinds of incendiary statements in the name of love of country has once again begun.
These are days when one cannot help but wish there is a way to vanish all these loudmouths from the national consciousness so that we can all focus on doing what we are supposed to be doing individually to make this country a better place. Unfortunately, these people are relentless in foisting themselves and their causes and prescriptions on us. They take out full-page ads in newspapers, call press conferences, and make themselves readily available to every available microphone and journalist of media establishments who, unfortunately, have made it their policy to stoke the fires of controversies in order to stay ahead of the ratings game.
Many among us have learned to take these in stride. We give them two minutes of our time, take a long deep sigh, mutter “politics as usual” and go on with our lives. Many among us have become numb and immune to the endless bickering and have become more and more disenchanted with the whole process. We silently wish and pray that these people would just shut up. But these people would not let us be. When their antics do not produce their preferred reactions from us, they call us apathetic and uncaring. Worse, they bewail our inability to see the righteousness of their cause and come very, very close to calling us immoral and stupid.
And yet, they claim to be doing all these for our sakes. They say they speak for us. They trundle conclusions and generalizations about having our widespread support, conveniently labeling us as the “people.”
So here we are again back at the same place and saddled with the same issues that we all know cannot be resolved no matter how loudly we all scream at the streets, no matter how many times we pontificate on television, or how many pages of ads we take out in the papers.
Here we are again with an impeachment complaint that has no hope of getting through Congress and certainly no hope of getting widespread support, thanks to the efforts to turn the process in its head and reduce it to a media circus. And yet, here we are again with the griping and the sourgraping when at the outset, it has already been clear that the numbers are simply not enough.
Here we are again with the statements and the homilies and the pastoral letters and the manifestoes and the self-righteous posturing of the self-proclaimed prophets whose pronouncements made headlines in the past but have all failed to galvanize public support and produce results.
But yes, just in case the message has not gotten through yet, we get it. WE GET IT! We are not dumb. Nor are we stupid. Our country is in deep trouble. The government and the opposition and the civic groups and everyone out there do not have to write the message in neon lights and shove it in our faces because we live through the difficulties every day. Many among us do not know where the next meal will be coming from or whether we’ll still have jobs tomorrow. We know. We do know, all right?
And just because we do not rage against it does not mean we do not care. We do care. In fact, we care enough, and that is why many among us do not add our voices to the national Tower of Babel anymore.
But if people do care enough, why the absence of widespread support for the causes being bandied about? The reason for this is simple. We are deeply cynical of everyone. We do not trust anyone— not the president, not the government, not the senators and congressmen, not the local officials, not the clergy, and certainly not the opposition and the civic groups. It is a tragic fact, but it is a fact that we all have to acknowledge. When everyone is screaming at you and bludgeoning you with his own version of the truth, you just want to retreat into the comforts of your own private space. In our eyes, pare-pareho lang kayo!
Everyone seems to have the perfect prescription to make things work, but nobody is listening to anyone else. Everyone is so convinced of the righteousness of his or her proposed course of action that it seems everyone else who disagrees or does not lend support is automatically an enemy. We remain deeply fragmented and we continue to indulge in this national pastime of blamestorming, passing on the blame to everyone else except ourselves for our inability to resolve our problems and get out of the rut. We are still at it, imposing our own myopic and shortsighted views about what and who is the real problem. And when someone and some groups actually provide a more strategic option that tries to situate the problems into a more strategic perspective, we shoot it down by calling them names and attacking them personally.
So here we are again, back to where we started last year.
It seems we have not learned any lesson at all. And by the looks of it, the cycle will continue until there is nothing left to fight for anymore.
And we wonder why we are in a rut?
And we blame the people for the mess?