One figures that this would be perfectly normal if this were 1950s America, when you have guys like Sen. Joseph McCarthy hectoring and pontificating from the Senate halls, accusing everyone from Charlie Chaplin to your pet goldfish of being an “anti-American Communist,” as if that’s the worst thing that anyone can be.
But this is 2012 in the Philippines: baiting and accusing for scraps in the food chain of representative politics. The strides that we’re all supposed to be taking either become backpedals to irrelevance, or great big leaps to being complicit with the interests of the elite instead of opposing them. And the only political party in the Philippines with a clear ideology and platform with clear goals is underground.
Meanwhile the son of a former President is representing security guards and taxi drivers, the Senate is populated by sons and daughters and scions of powerful political families, and the best chance of any organization to win a seat in a 250+ member Congress is to have a name that starts with “1” or “A.”
This is not to detract from the merits of battles grounded in principles. But I hope that one day we’ll learn the hard lessons of these times: among them, pick your battles wisely.