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Election fans, fanatics clash; burn bridges

“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” Winston Churchill

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Days or weeks after the May 9, 2016 polls, Mar Roxas, Rodrigo Duterte, Jejomar Binay, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and Grace Poe will greet each other when they meet accidentally in the airports, hotel lobbies, government offices, and other public places.
Let bygones be bygones. Let’s now put the furor whipped up by intense politicking behind us and move on, they will gamely tell each other.
Life must go on. Live another day. Laugh and the world will laugh with us. Cry and we cry alone.
How about their followers? Some of them are also currently at each other’s throats, bitterly and violently.
Others have burned their bridges; some have declared Armageddon.
Friendships shattered permanently because of partisan politics.

JOKE

“Magbiro sa lasing, huwag sa bagong gising” (play jokes on a drunk, not with someone who just woke up from a sleep) was a popular but succinct warning given us in jest by friends in the Philippines.
The caveat is loud and clear: it’s easy to handle a drunken master than a person whose temper can’t be tamed even by a dose of spirit of ammonia.
This goes also to the two warring camps in the blue and red corners in this election season: the fanatics and the fans.
The rift among supporters of candidates in the May 9 presidential and local elections has gone from bad to worse that the warning level has been optimized to “(you can) argue with fans, (but) shun the fanatics.”
Some people find it more healthy and lively to converse with a fan of a particular candidate and more risky and deadly to engage a fanatic in a debate.

AFICIONADO

A fan is merely an aficionado or admirer, while a fanatic is a person who is zealously enthusiastic for some cause, especially in religion and now politics.
A fan can afford to smile, relax and understand the standpoint of another person. A fanatic is always seething with anger, reluctant to admit his shortcomings, and is willing to kill or even die for his candidate.
A fan likes or admires a certain candidate because the candidate amuses and makes him happy.
A fanatic is a fan to the point that he is obsessed with the candidate he is a of and he might even try to hurt someone who is not a fan or is a fan of a rival.

DEBATES

From round-the-table intellectual discussions among friends to heated debates in the coffee shops, barber shops, including the social media, fans and fanatics clash like warriors in the Battle of Arbela.
While it’s not yet certain who will win the electoral contest, both the fans and fanatics should slow down and refrain from releasing hurting words, or throwing verbal expletives and insults that’s hard to heal and difficult to forget.
Jose Mari Chan has a good suggestion: “Can we just stop and talk a while?”

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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in ELECTION, POLITICS

 

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Miriam and Hillary: perfect match

“Some leaders are born women.” Geraldine Ferraro

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — If Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago becomes Philippine president and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes US president this year, it will mark the first time that two lady presidents will lord over since the two countries signed the Treaty of General Relation on July 4, 1946.
The treaty relinquished American sovereignty over the archipelago following the end of World War II and the Philippines was recognized as an independent state.
It paved the way for the Philippine-American Friendship Day, which the Filipinos celebrate every 4th of July.
Like the late president Ferdinand Marcos, Santiago does not read her speech.
The Filipinos were so proud when Marcos spoke extemporaneously or without any prepared speech during a 1982 state visit in Washington D.C. after then President Ronald Reagan finished reading his prepared speech in a White House ceremony.

PERFECT

Older by two years, the 70-year-old Santiago would be Clinton’s perfect counterpart in the Asia-Pacific as they are both members of the legal profession, and have deeper understanding of diplomatic relations and international law.
It would be a dream match to watch the two articulate and brilliant female leaders discuss issues in the age of technology and social media.
The summit meetings and state visits would no longer be boring.
There is also interesting comparison between their respective husbands.
While former president Bill was rumored to be a womanizer (who can forget the Monica Lewinsky scandal?), former DILG Undersecretary Narciso was rumored to be a gambler (cockfighting).

DELEGATES

But while Clinton is almost a cinch away from clinching the presidency in November (she is very much ahead in the number of delegates against Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, and is favored based on various surveys to whip would-be Republican bet Donald Trump in the national contest), Santiago has not been doing well in surveys.
Her campaign has suffered a major snag due to health problems.
On the other hand, if Grace Poe wins in the May polls and Clinton clinches the US presidency, she may not be able to match Clinton’s intellectual savvy and prowess; but, nevertheless, Poe will also make history like Santiago.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in ELECTION, POLITICS

 

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