#HuwagKangFanatic: What Happens When You Become a Fanatic

Philippine politics is so colorful. As of date, we have a very “colorful” president with a very “colorful” way with words. I mean to say that cuss words have become part and parcel of presidential speech these days.

The 2016 Presidential elections have proven to be a very divisive moment in our country precisely because the aftermath spelled a divide between political fanatics. On one side is President Duterte’s DDS or Duterte Diehard Supporters and on the other are the so-called Dilawans, supporters of the defeated Liberal Party and fans of the Aquino Trinity—Ninoy, Cory, Noynoy.

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But regardless of where you belong, Philippine political culture is strong on personality politics. Most of our voters’ loyalties lie on the face and person of the candidate rather than on the platform and program of action.

The effects of this unhealthy political culture spell doom for reforms initiated by previous administrations. It can also help maintain a very bad status quo. There are trolls and -tards of every kind, fanatics rain from every side. So what happens when you become a fanatic?

  1. You become close-minded. Fanatics treat their idol’s words and actions as gospel truth. And if ever there is something wrong, they will be quick to rationalize or downplay it. Fanatics can easily turn a blind-eye over objective, well-researched facts by simply dismissing it as propaganda by the enemy camp. A fanatic has no critical thinking because he/she can no longer accept sound criticism and invitation to academic discussion.
  2. You become rude. Fanatics are very sensitive to their idol’s image. They act as the guardians, the acolytes of their idol to the public. And so whatever criticism their idol receives, they see as an insult rather than as something to work on. From the many comments on social media, fanatics are easily angered and threaten violence and other forms of ill-will to those that disagree with them. They also resort to mockery whenever the argument goes too seriously academic so they can cut short the discussion.
  3. You become inhuman. The loyalty of fanatics knows no bounds. And as far as experience is concerned, fanatics have resorted to branding their enemies as murder-worthy, rape-worthy all in the name of protecting their idols. If a person has come to this point because of his/her beliefs, she has lost all sense of humanity. To be able to dismiss conveniently the death of innocent people and call for more deaths is as inhuman and as unreasonable as what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jews.

Read Also: The Duterte Leader: The Man and Leader

In this divisive and turbulent times, I invite you to hear these words of wisdom:

Hindi pula’t dilaw tunay na magkalaban

Ang kulay at tatak ay ‘di s’yang dahilan

Hangga’t marami ang lugmok sa kahirapan

At ang hustisya ay para lang sa mayaman

Hangga’t may Tatsulok

At sila ang nasa tuktok

‘Di matatapos itong gulo

Dom writes for pay by day and writes for passion by night. He is a Japan major at the University of the Philippines. He’s fond of ramen and anime but not of nice people.

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