[New School] Kakampinks should redirect their Internet outrage and reflect on the campaign

‘A criticism of the [Leni] campaign, no matter if parts of the analysis are overreaching, should trigger not outrage and hostility but self-reflection’

There is much to be disagreed with in Adrian Gache’s March 29 opinion piece titled “Moral politics and the elitism of the Robredo campaign,” but attacking the writer’s character and their support for a progressive leftist candidate is not consistent with the united opposition that everyone is hoping to achieve.

In Gache’s opinion piece, he’s criticized the campaign of Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo, arguing that Robredo’s reach is mostly within the upper class while the kleptocrat and historical revisionist Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. appeals to classes C, D, and E.

The elitism that Gache refers to extends not only to the financial standing of the people in the campaign, but also to their intellectual elitism (or narcissism) and the opinion that Marcos voters are gullible, “delusional, stupid, or worse, evil.”

Gache argued: “Calling a volunteer-based campaign is no indication of the class character of the volunteers themselves. An organic campaign is not the same as a people’s campaign.”

He explained that Robredo supporters do not acknowledge that many registered voters (1) did not have a reliable history class outlining the events of the Marcos era, (2) do not have Internet access to read infographics posted on social media, and (3) have similarly resented the regime that succeeded the Marcos kleptocracy. The volunteerism nature of the campaign does not also indicate the class character of the volunteers because, as he wrote, “It takes the kind of time and energy that is easily given to people by privilege to volunteer for a work-intensive political campaign.”

And that is a truism.

Here’s my problem with Gache: the elitists you are referring to are Twitter debatelords stuck in their echo chamber. It should also be pointed out that these irate expressions are not reflected on the ground: meaning, nobody actually speaks the way that they do on social media. So, what’s the point of nitpicking rowdy online conversations if part of your argument is that the registered voter that Robredo’s campaign should be reaching have no Internet access?

Isn’t your analysis only a reflection of the Internet space you belong to, that your own social media timeline is a cesspool of toxic insignificant keyboard warriors? Its scope does not actually reach the entirety of the campaign, so despite the validity of your argument, you made it inaccurate and closed off for others to participate in.

That is exactly what no one wants to happen.

Supporters of Robredo’s 2022 campaign were quick to respond, and the criticisms are valid: Gache’s piece is a disrespect to the people working tirelessly on the ground and those who attend the rallies, and Robredo will need all the votes that she can get.

But a quick glance at the quote tweets revealed that some Kakapinks have much to learn: that a criticism of the campaign, no matter if parts of the analysis are overreaching, should trigger not outrage and hostility but self-reflection. A few responses mocked Gache for being a “Leody candidate stan,” in reference to supporters of progressive leftist presidential Leodegario de Guzman.

There is no way to know when “Leody stan” became derogatory. It may even be an imaginary construct planted by persons not belonging to the campaign to sow discord among opposition candidates. But there is no excuse for cyberbullying, and that is what’s happening. Attacking a student for expressing his valid observations on the prove campaigns how exclusive and unwelcoming Kakapinks’ online spaces have become, and how aggressive supporters in any political party will be to defend their hivemind.

If you do not wish to hear this from a stranger, then trust the words of the Vice President’s daughter, who urged supporters to be “mindful of comments that do come off as offensive and elicit.”

Robredo daughters to 'Kakampinks': Stop name-calling, convert unconvinced

To conclude, what could have been pointed out regarding the campaign is this: That Kakampinks should accept that fully supporting Robredo means they are allowing the conservatives and moderates in her lineup to gain political leverage, and that’s the tea. Do not settle for the malleability of candidates, as if you can still convince them once they get elected. That is not an assurance.

The current enemies are not the liberals, progressive leftists, or a student who publicly expressed his valid opinion on the weaknesses of the opposition. It is disinformation and fake news purveyors, the propaganda machinery established by the State, and the high school textbooks deodorizing the Marcoses. – Rappler.com

Timothy Gerard Palugod is the editor-in-chief of The ASEAN Youth Journal.

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