“Let sleeping dogs lie”

Social media has amped the vitriolic die hards – whether you’re talking about those for or against any administration. Some call them trolls. Others tag them as keyboard warriors.

The art of trolling was unheard of until the Cambridge Analytica scandal created a geopolitical storm. It was fabricated into social media – to generate likes, hates, discordance, disruptive behavior. Originally defined as an ugly mythical figure, the troll now means an “intentionally disruptive person on the internet”. Baiting people on the internet became known as trolling. They live in a world of lecherous anonymity. More than half are paid hard-liners who provide comments and arguments that are disturbingly biased. Any form of comprehension, reading or reasoning is thrown under the bus. The other half, well, they’re staunch supporters who simply refuse to recognize the truth. Almost 75% are aliases or fake accounts.

The fanatic will always be irrationally argumentative. Their mindsets are fixated only on the person or cause they support instead of the issue(s) being tackled. Like rabid attack dogs, logic is lost in any argument from zealots who oppose any change (either pro- or anti-administration) even when an issue is blatantly being mishandled. Culpability is not in their vocabulary. But neither is a sense of reasoning. BASTA! That’s their motto.

If you follow the arguments of these indomitable people, it is perplexing how they are able to jump from one argument to another sans a thought process nor logic, each argument nullifying the previous. Most, if not all of their reasoning is based on an interconnection of concocted fake news, unverifiable reports, and opinions from other reactionary influencers who know nothing but have personal agenda.

For the record, I have never been a fan of ANY president in my lifetime. They are titular heads, and are voted into power by people like me who hope for authentic palpable change that trickles down to the grassroots. We need to support whoever is voted into office, as long as the agenda is inclusive and serves the greater good of its citizen. There will always be issues that hound every elected government official – good or bad. But because taxpayers pay for their salaries they should provide authentic public service. Each Juan has the right to cheer every success, or to jeer every failure. There is nothing personal with calling out government officials for their lapses in judgements. Yet politics is the biggest game changer of human personality. Power and money have the ability to maneuver us into rationalizing wrong into right.

Past presidents had defining moments as well as gaps in governance. PNoy is credited for the Mamasapano tragedy. Gloria will always be remembered for Hello Garci. Erap is enshrined in plunder and perjury with the Jose Velarde accounts. Ramos was hounded by the Clark Expo Centennial scandal. Cory had coups too many to count, and the transition from the Marcos years had the Philippines literally rising from the ashes.

Yet from all these major political faux pas, many of them (and their relatives and friends) are still entrenched in the political arena and/or have taken various roles in government – because POLITICS HAS BECOME A WAY OF LIFE! It has been sadly transformed into a family business enterprise. They eventually believe that doling out favors translates to a legitimate form of helping those in need. By being deeply rooted in a dynasty, they stay buoyant, at times to the point of being shameless.

Critical thinking is at its lowest today. And I’m not talking just about the Philippines. It’s a global social disease, fueled by the internet and social media, engaging with the gullible hapless halfwits of society. The internet has found the weakest link in the world of trolls.

Overnight, the capacity to verify facts became direly lacking. People are unable to discern reliable and correct information from disinformation because they’re too lazy to cross-reference what is being dished out.

My friends and relatives tell me that in order to achieve “peace and less stress”, we need to limit our interaction with trolls because no one wins an argument with them. As my sister would say, we just need to “let things be”.

The idiom “let sleeping dogs lie” means to leave things as they are, not rekindle or even start arguments, and not discuss the matter any further. Personally, it’s a defeatist attitude. And wrong. When a spade should be called a spade, we need to stand up to what is morally, ethically and justifiably correct. We cannot slant the truth to accommodate a warped sense of entitlement by certain sectors of society for their personal gain. We cannot look the other way because we are cowered by fear of expressing personal opinions on what is wrong. Wrong is wrong and no matter how you spin wrong, it’s like a dead carcass – it will eventually stink.

A healthy intelligent debate is sorely lacking these days as a barrage of cuss words have become defining engrams as the norm. The saddest part? Even those supposedly well or better educated have come crumbling down in exchange for pieces of silver.

Good or bad, all things come to an end. History will be the ultimate judge of how a government brought the brightest light to its people or how grim those years of governance was. We need to rise beyond personal proclivity as a people whose love for a nation should be far greater than the adulation to one man or his/her band of thieves. I know we don’t live in a perfect world. It wouldn’t hurt to keep wishing on that we did.

Final food for thought.

If you think lying for people will help you, think again. The world is round.

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