Monday, November 14, 2016

Psycho Presidents

I hate Donald Trump, but some of my friends like him, to the extent that they are restricting me in their FB settings, blocking my anti-Trump quips, and I think I have been unfriended by some. But not by the important and valued people in my life, so precious and few. So, nothing really important has nudged me from my quiet niche.

I suppose it's not unusual that the same equation applies with Duterte, who, like Trump, I believed and defended during the heat of the campaign, then I backtracked from when I realized that we were electing a foul-mouthed paranoid to high office, and now am shouting against in the din of heated opinions.

Eight years ago, had Trump battled Obama, -- who was then fresh and shiny like a new, dark penny, and offering an alternative to the blundering Bush -- the tycoon easily would have been exposed as the sleaze artist he is. Trump's white eyeliners, which go back to the early 80s, would have glared in stark contrast to Obama's ebony complexion. Racism would have been shouted down back in 2008 because then nobody but rednecks in the Bible Belt, die-hard Klanners, and neo-Nazis would have agreed that a black man in high office would be ineffective, would make America weak, which Russia and North Korea would take advantage of. In 2016 a third-rate psycho from Davao who attained the presidency in a banana republic told the head of the most powerful nation to go to hell, and the black president -- the shine of his blackness tarnished by the years and by his lack of skill in handling international bullies -- he let the insult pass, maybe forgetting that it's not a personal attack, but a symbolic showdown: whether America will let any tinpot tyrant besmirch its international dignity.

In 2008 Syria's Assad, his army backed by Russia's Putin, had killed more than 8,000 civilians. Based on the strength of two strongmen determined to stay on in power, against the feebleness of alliances with Western countries and the ineptness of the United Nations, it was easy to forecast the result: By 2016 more than 100,000 Syrians are dead, including children, while the inept and careless Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, fumbled and tried to offer traditional palliatives to unconventional situations. John Kerry is no better, and may be worse, than Hillary. And most Americans, reeling from domestic ang international woes, concluded that anyone opposite Obama and Hillary must be strong and effective. If the Obama of today tackled the scam artist Trump of today, the nigger will be chained to modern history in The Rise of the Rednecks.

Trump, knowing nothing but saying everything in every voter's mind, edged Hillary out. Hindsight shows how clueless the Democrats were, to the point of asking Obama to step into the ring instead of shunting him out of sight. And Trump and his advisers pushed and intensified the issue, repeating over and over the link between crooked Hillary and namby-pamby Obama. And Trump won, and the voters who did not come out to vote for Hillary last Tuesday are now marching in protest -- of what, democracy? Trump's boobooisie delivered the required number; Hillary's mob did not care enough for her.

Duterte:Trump = Aquino:Clinton.
Almost everything Duterte is -- dynamic, noisy, decisive, womanizer, intolerant, Type A psychotic, Grade B killer, liar, rude and crude, megalomaniac, messiahyad -- Noynoy is not. The only characteristic they share is that they are both psychopathic -- they lack the ability to feel what the common people feel. Thus in times of calamities, Aquino stayed laid-back even if dead victims littered the streets of Taclocban after Yolanda ravaged the province; Duterte even blamed those killed in his anti-drug operations, including the non-pushers, accepting the deaths of two young girls as collateral damages. But these consecutive psychos in Malacanang are ultrasensitive when it comes to their own tangled emotions -- striking back at the slightest hint of imagined slights.

His street-fighter instinct as sharp as ever, Duterte has repeatedly made clear of his awareness that he might not finish his term. Trump, unexpectedly winning a game which he had joined mainly for publicity and for distraction from the cases filed against him by Trump University victims, is now taking traditional steps which his advisers are urging him to follow, with slight missteps in his presidential tweets. What is only certain with these petulant blabbermouths is that their terms will not be boring. Enraging, yes, but when did our leaders fail to give us high blood pressures?
Barring acts of God in the months (or years) ahead, such as lightning, falling airplanes, people power, Trump and Duterte will perform verbal and physical contortions and somersaults-- to incense the opposition and to entertain the fanboys and dumb girls.

“I believe that you have the absolute right to think things that I find offensive, stupid, preposterous or dangerous, and that you have the right to speak, write, or distribute these things, and that I do not have the right to kill you, maim you, hurt you, or take away your liberty or property because I find your ideas threatening or insulting or downright disgusting. You probably think some of my ideas are pretty vile too.”
-- Excerpt from Neil Gaiman's Credo, in “The View from the Cheap Seats"

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