Why the Left remains politically insignificant
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-07-15

The Extreme Left has been raising valid issues for over four decades now and many of these issues form the oppressive dynamics which produce the big gaps in our society – the Information Gap, the Education Gap, the Opportunity Gap and the more obvious Wealth Gap.

Many of them are real nationalists and patriots – the few in fact that we can find these days. It is their offered solution – Communism – that prevents many Filipinos from siding with the Extreme Left. The Catholic influence is one big stumbling block. That is because Communists states used to persecute religious practice. Mao Zedong called religion the “opium of the masses” and to a certain extent – Mao was right.

The Spanish conquest of the Philippines was characterized by the collaboration of the Cross and the Sword, respectively symbolizing the Spanish imperial muscle and the Catholic faith. Many of the Spanish friars utilized the Beatitudes of the Gospel such as “Blessed are the poor” and “Blessed are the meek” as spiritual endorsements for the “Indios” to accept Spanish subjugation and oppression.

Also, the Filipino psyche has been conditioned by our colonizers to develop a negative attitude towards the nationalists and the patriots. They were branded as “insurrectos” or “bandidos” or “militants and radicals” as we know them today. Because the Filipino mind had gotten used to this colonizer programmed mindset of rejecting our genuine heroes – we live today in what has been called a damaged culture. We welcome as heroes a predatory superpower and condemn as insurgents those who will fight and die for our national interests.

Unlike that wise Korean monarch from the ancient Goryeo kingdom who studiously sought the wisdom in the words of his enemies, we are a people who are readily inclined to reject Holy Scripture once the Devil had quoted it. It is as if the Christ great commandment of LOVE THE LEAST OF YOUR BRETHREN had lost its validity if and when an evil person or Satan had quoted it.

The Filipino bias against the Extreme Left was very glaring in the votes that the Bayan Muna Senatorial candidates, Satur Ocampo and Liza Masa, received during the May 10 elections. Neither Ocampo and Masa were in the top 16 of the Senate race and yet politicians who had not even given as much as these two in terms of denouncing evil and promoting social justice topped the Senate race.

However, other than the mind conditioning against them – the Extreme Left can be considered as the biggest contributors to their lack of marketability to the majority of Filipinos. They’ve been performing like a poorly managed corporation which is unable to adjust to evolving social conditions.

Communist Russia has changed and adapted. Communist China has changed and adapted. Vietnam has changed and adapted but our Extreme Left continues to be stuck in their ISMs and rejected methods.

With their decision to participate in the electoral process, we had hoped that the Extreme Left will finally evolve to something more palatable to Filipino political sensibilities. Alas, they still behave like the proverbial old dog that is already incapable of learning new tricks. They’ve not changed their rhetoric. They’ve not changed their venue, the streets. They’ve simply refused to change and try to be acceptable.

In the May 10 elections, the Leftists outdid themselves and allied with the Nacionalista Party (NP) which could not credibly claim a unifying ideology. How can the NP spell out a common ideology when they had accommodated just about the widest spectrum of political affiliations? How can you form a common denominator between the Marcoses and Bayan Muna?

During the last elections, the NP was the epitome of the so-called political marriage of convenience. The only element that unified all the NP allies was the massive war chest of Senator Manny Villar. How can a Leftist organization hope to remain respectable after making such an alliance with the very Capitalists which many of their ISMs are denouncing?

The Leftists allowed themselves to be used by the NP as a vicious attack dog hounding eventual presidential victor Senator Noynoy Aquino. Now that Aquino is the president, they demand and denounce as if they enjoy the moral high ground. Where do they get the gall and the temerity to posture like that?

What makes our Leftists most pathetic is that they’ve become anachronistic and they do not even know it. If they had an iota of marketing sense, a grasp of strategy, they should have evolved already into a new and acceptable political brand and product.

The best marketing organizations will not even attempt to repackage what is already perceived as a bad product. That would be wasting good money in trying to salvage something bad. They would rather create a new brand and get a fresh start that will be unencumbered by a negative association.

The biggest attraction for the Extreme Left would have been the China economic miracle. That would have been a splendid and attractive showcase – irresistible to the poor. However, they’ve not taken advantage of that and they still persist with their usual spiel and rabble rousing ways which did not get them anywhere.

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