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The Devil you know

March 13th, 2006

When the Gloriagate started last year, there was this open letter from a supposed middle-class-taxpayer that circulated through email and landed in some blogs. His letter puts the blame on the lazy poor, the political opposition, the militant left and everyone else who attends anti-GMA rallies as stabilizers and the source of our crisis and for Pete’s sake, our traffic problems. It earned a lot of comments from supposed “middle-class” bloggers whose common line goes, “you just wrote what I really felt, etc…”.

Once again, this kind of open letters are circulating the internet and the blogosphere. Again, supposed “middle-class-neutral-independent” commenters are in the same chorus line singing “you just wrote what we the silent and marginalized majority really feels”. I just don’t know how and when the middle-class becomes the majority in a society where classes are stratified in a social structure likened to that of a pyramid. In my understanding, that is why it’s called middle class, because it belonged to neither the minority who are rich or the majority who are poor.

Personally I have nothing against people wanting to express their views by writing them down through open letters, essays, statements, letters to the editor. Some people even express their opinions with devastating results through Proclamations. What irritates me is the ambiguity and hypocritical pretensions of these letter’s content. While it tries to present a neutral view, it obviously betrays a bias and partisan position. Either the writer is just naive and lost in the jungle of his own confusion or it is intentionally written in ambiguity to pass itself as an alternative pole while actually taking a side.

Many of these so-called open letters belabors in presenting a supposed sound, balanced and neutral view. But quite predictably these open-letters provide only a complimentary accounting on GMA’s liabilities while puts the weight of blame on the opposition, the militants and all non-members of the GMA fans club as the source of our countries instability and the usual traffic jam. As expected these letters ends up with the oft-repeated cries of “we are angry, sick and tired, and wants to move on”,”the democratic processes have already absolved GMA”, “rallies only creates traffic”,”those opposed to GMA are only power grabbers”,…etc.

Perhaps for lack of a better argument for fear and cowardly self-preservation, most of these open letter writers cling to the cliche of “better the devil you know” than the devil who pretends to be moral, as an excuse for inaction. This is the bottomline of these pretensious open letters. Their main message is it’s okay for GMA to cheat because all politicians cheats anyway. GMA is the lesser evil so it’s okay for her to rule as long as their comfortable life and the traffic are not affected. This is exactly the very argument that the present regime wanted us to take in order to preserve the rotten status quo.

Everybody knows that our politics corrupts and that all politicians and would be politicians with no exemptions are devils. The only difference based on this argument is that the other devils only pretends to be moral, while the president dEvil – while already proven immoral, pretends to be not a devil.

These open letter’s argument reflects so much about the attitude of self-serving, spineless individuals when faced with the challenge of change. It reflects so much the attitude of the “seguristas” who don’t want to take a chance. They grow fearful, but instead of facing the fears or admitting that the change may actually be good, simply gives in to the “devil they know” if only to preserve the life they have now, the comforts, the familiar. They hate and refuse to take a chance on the devil they don’t know simply because of fear where it might lead, even if it makes them beneficiaries to what the change brings. They opt for inaction and prefers to be fencesitters, as long as their interests are preserved. They are the remora’s who feed on scraps from the prey of Sharks.

Dance with the devil you know and the dance stops only until the devil says so.

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