10/18/2018
This stupid democracy

I'm pretty sure my memory is failing me here. I'm pretty sure comments like these haven't just showed up in the past couple of years. I'm pretty sure these things were said during the past president's time in office, but then, with how much more indecent things seem these days it's easy to just point your every finger on the current president as the Starting Point of Everything That is Wrong.

That said, they're still weird comments, to put it one way, because of how selfish they actually are. "You should support this president," these thoughts tend to go, "because he is my president!" Like, it doesn't matter what you feel, because this person feels differently, and that feeling matters more than yours.

Okay, that perhaps is not accurate. The posts I've seen from some of the pro-Duterte people on my circles arguably sound more sinister than that. It always begins with how this president is poised to actually deliver on the change everyone else has promised - so far, so typical. You can argue the minutiae of that but it will really get you nowhere, because almost halfway through this regime minds are set and there's no entering that middle ground. And then it continues with how things have actually changed, which, again, is minutiae, because, you know, I just said all that earlier.

And then, the kicker. See? He's done more than anyone else! You should shut up and give him a chance, for once. I support this president, and you have no choice but to do so too, or else we're screwed!

I may have made that sound more sinister, but I will always argue that I'm distilling things down to their essence. Really, that's all it boils down to. Shut up, because you're hurting my feelings. That's why I'm absolutely certain these comments did not begin when Duterte was elected president. But again, you know, things feel more sinister now - and you can always argue it's my biases, not yours.

We're more intolerant of others' political beliefs now, that's for sure. It used to be that we're just dismiss anyone's passionate ranting about how this president is corrupt as, well, just a rant. Now, we go out of our way to remove them from our lives altogether. I see the point of "if they believe that, they surely don't care about you" but then, you can stretch that to mean anything, yes? These days, anyone who supports Duterte wants you dead; anyone who supports Aquino wants the country to fail. And it's much, much easier to show off that you're much better than anyone else. It's also much easier to cut off anyone who disagrees with you, permanently, perhaps.

(Me, I just report every fake news item I see, no matter whose side is on it. I also have to contend with weird stares when I say that I, out of principle, do not unfriend people for their political views. "But your mental health!" No, principles. See, I am much better than you.)

Still, yes, we're more intolerant of anything that opposes what we believe. It's now an affront to our very existence, it seems. But then, it's not like echo chambers were only a thing in recent years. Heightened, sure, but I can't help but think we're just more insulated to what others thought way back when. We were free to say what we feel - note, were - and we had the comfort that it wouldn't be amplified to high heavens. Now, we all have megaphones, and here I am, talking about what I feel, implying that it's more important than what you feel.

Or not necessarily. We didn't really know that. For all we know, we just felt free because we always have been, not knowing there are suddenly all these new rules around. You know, stuff like "if you have nothing good to say, shut up" or "if you're stupid, shut up". Now, suddenly - well, not really, because these rules have always been there, but quietly - what you have to say has to conform to what many others think, otherwise you're just out for trouble. And now we have people demanding certain types of people don't get to vote. This stupid democracy, good heavens.

And your responses...

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