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June 25, 2018 - Unjust Judges Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time Father Edward McIlmail, LC   Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus sa...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Political Will, Squatters, and the Middle Class

People often use the words “political guts” and “political will” without really knowing their meanings. It has been used by the middle class in a rant against informal settlers. It has been used by politicians in an attempt to plump up their image. Recently, I read a headline with a large picture of Senator Drilon in a theatrical pose. The headline read: “POLITICAL WILL NEEEDED TO RELOCATE INFORMAL SETTLERS – DRILON”. Senator Frank Drilon is probably the least qualified animal to say that. It is only the squatters who have no sense of the word, but they are shrewd enough to make REAL use of it.
Political will is the willingness to give up political capital to achieve a common good.
But what is political capital? It is simply public ratings. Higher public ratings means a more secured political survival.Political capital acknowledges that it is still the people who are in charge. Why are people in charge? Because they can punish or reward politicians through the most powerful institution of the land: ELECTIONS.
In other words, a politician must sacrifice his public ratings to achieve something for the common good. He must make very unpopular decisions. When he does this, he is no longer a politician, but a statesman.
Now. Squatters.
Why is it so difficult to relocate informal settlers? The MMDA blames the mayors, who bank on the informal settlers’ votes in exchange for not demolishing their houses.
Currently, there is mounting hatred against squatters online because they are alleged savages. All this, according to the non-savage middle class.
The middle class.
The middle class often brags about having to carry the weight of the lower classes especially the informal settlers. They are educated, they pay taxes, and they whine about it. It’s so annoying. What they do not realize is that it is as much their fault as everybody else’s that they live in such a putrid city.
The middle class will only act whenever they are affected. Social issues have no bearing for them unless they’re about taxes and sex, alcohol, and the Internet. They have a passionate hatred for the lower class, whom they fear as much as they hate. Hence, when Erap won the presidency in 1998 in a massive landslide, they quickly labeled him as bobo – the universal tag of the masses. Their so-called “superior intelligence” over the squatters and the lower class is something they like to brandish around like a foolish scepter.
They have even rallied around a female celebrity who has probably never experienced a non-air-conditioned climate.
Of course, her activism has been mainly confined only to Twitter. LMAO.
If the city is unlivable, then the middle class, who are more educated (supposedly), should take a stand and allow themselves to be FELT. Every day, it is the middle class I encounter who cut lines at the MRT. It is the middle class who litter the streets. It is the middle class who violate laws and cause traffic.
In the past elections, I recently learned that the middle class, especially those who live in posh residences, NEVER VOTE. In the 2010 national elections, only 20% of residents of the 74 villages in BF Homes Paranaque (the largest subdivision in the world; it is larger than the city of San Juan) went out to vote. BF Homes has more than 40,000 registered voters.
On the other hand, squatters areas always end up having a voter turnout of more than 90% EVERY ELECTION.
The apathetic middle class bears more responsibility. They want change but do not exercise their right to affect it. They are educated but behave like mobs. They claim superior intelligence but do not use it. They do not see squatters as people, but something that has to be eradicated, much like a disease. They are concerned about the Internet. Alcohol. Sex. – petty, pathetic little things, while the squatters are concerned about living.
The middle class can afford apathy. They can afford social ignorance. They can afford these things because they pay taxes, which entitles them to just about anything. If the middle class want change, I really hate to see them whining on the social network.
Instead, try threatening your leaders with your very powerful votes. Follow traffic rules. Do not litter. THIS WORKS. The government leaders believe in one thing, and that is political capital. Make them believe that the middle class also control this source of survival, and things will change.

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