I would have titled this, “Identity crisis”, because that’s what we seem to have. The term, “Leftist”, has become a derogatory word. In many ways, it is synonymous to “communist”, which in many people’s mind is someone who blows up cell towers when their extortion and protection racket doesn’t work. It has also become synonymous with Militant Madness. People who take to the street for one beef or another, year in and year out, saying the same tired old tune, and crying at the top of their lungs, “
In the Philippines, the only branding is the Left, and the Right. Everyone else is hard to lump in a box. I mean, one would think that having a Liberal president, would endear him to the Leftist, but they too are at odds with each other. In fact, so out odds the latter supported Manny Villar, who is a staunch conservative.
Villar’s policies is authoritarian, and seen as a pseudo-populist, strong on big business. Villar too is deeply to the right when it comes to family values. He’s the closest thing to a “Republican” there is.
Gloria Arroyo too is in the same vein as Manny Villar. She is deeply conservative, and extremely authoritarian.
Lito Ateinza characterizes himself as a Liberal, but in fact his policies are more aligned with conservative family values.
Fidel Ramos and Joe de Venecia have characterized themselves as Christian Democrats, so much so forming a party with those very words on it.
The Estradas on the other hand are populists.
Santiago, and Enrile are hard to put in a box. Lacson too.
Hontiveros is probably the easiest to classify. She’s a social democrat, so it is hard to lump her with the likes of Satur Ocampo and Lisa Masa, and the whole Bayan Muna group. The latter ones are what people call examples of leftists.
Calling people leftists doesn’t exactly equate to social democrats or liberals for that matter. The President of the Philippines is a Liberal, and by strict definition is leftist.
In the Philippines, being leftist means being militant madness. It means so far end of the spectrum as to be noise, rather than input. A professional heckler, if you will, and I before professional hecklers riot, I apologize for having insulted professional hecklers. Perhaps the better term is professional whiners.
And that I think why “leftist” is a derogatory term for professional whiners.
It isn’t even about whether or not you swim in a sea of garbage. It is about making sense. It is about changing the world, no matter how little we can.
Then you have the CBCP, which is the original Tea Party. Let’s not even go to the Atheists, who ironically enough are as much as zealots as their counterparts in the CBCP.
Thank God, I’m not a social scientist. Those guys might be going nuts trying to figure things out in the Philippines.
Image credit: DC Comics.