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A Tiger Always Growls . . . before he attacks . . . like Duterte

By Carlos A. Arnaldo
June 3, 2016


Following the Trump syndrome on CNN, I come to the realization that the Republicans are nominating a presidential candidate whom the party does not want!  In the case of the democrats, the people are similarly rejecting dynastic and traditional politics by supporting a maverick and rebel, Bernie Sanders, against the Clinton couple. In other words, finally, perhaps, Americans are rejecting the monopolistic control of their own two national parties!

We are already learning this, a few months ahead of the Americans.

In the Philippines, the nation also rejected traditional, dynastic politics by electing a similar maverick, Rodrigo Duterte. He is cursed and drubbed for his remarks against women and concerning the rape of a woman tourist, his barbs against the Church, his attacks on so called ‘dishonest’ journalists and media. And yet, despite his ‘ideosyncrasies,’ (that’s a euphemism for his barbaric antics and tactics), Duterte remains a stalwart believer in his own power to deliver. And he probably will. He has already lined up his cabinet and held several hours long press conferences. 

Part of a maverick’s strategy to succeed, are his verbal warnings  that come, unfortunately, in the form of barbs and bad mouthing. While in many instances these are unreflected, impromptu sound bytes, his usual way of talking, these are also calculated to spark reactions among those favorable to his policies, and those opposed. This is how the maverick identifies his enemies! The more violent the reaction, the tougher that enemy!

But, and this is a big but,  many of us are more used to calm, reflected thinking, argumentation with strong justification, a rationalized approach to things.  If you recall in the presidential candidate debates concerning the funds due to coconut farmers by the banks, the four candidates all belabored administrative measures and means to rectify the situation. Duterte merely said, ‘You owe the money, pay it.’ Mavericks don’t waste time in surveys and methods, they come to the point. And perhaps the best way they can get there is to cuss! Cussing has a way of making people realize what’s what, get to the point and do it!

Much as Duterte’s tactics annoy me, I have to hold off and measure him by his own yardstick, not mine.

Duterte has the highest lead over his next rival in any presidential election so far, an unprecedented 6 million plus votes. Difficult to say the people made a mistake! We should certainly support his maverick goals, but be wary of maverick methods. The end does not always justify any Machiavellian means.

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