#AnimatED: Race to the bottom
While presidential candidates Rodrigo Duterte and Mar Roxas were hurling insults at each other, some pretty important things were happening around us.
In Singapore, one of our compatriots emerged to tell the cruel story of her starvation at the hands of her employers. Hers is not an isolated incident as a scan of maltreatment cases of OFWs in various parts of the world will show.
Right here in our shores, a calamity struck again, with images of floods overpowering people, homes and vehicles.
But the conversation that dominated social media, which extended offline, was on whether Roxas graduated from Wharton. This degenerated into whether he was a University of Pennsylvania or Wharton graduate and into the meaning of “graduate” and “undergraduate.” This, despite cut and dried facts.
It is appalling that our mental gas tanks have hit empty, our intellectual energies have gone low-batt.
What was supposed to be, in a more sober time, simply a brief comic entertainment, stretched to a period of grating noise, online hostility and unproductive back-and-forth. Truly, this episode shows that the campaign, like a whirlpool, can suck us in.
Candidates grab attention with careless, outrageous statements, respond to each other via media, partisans put on their tight blinders and join the fray, media reward these with coverage, and the public becomes a willing audience. All part of the campaign cycle.
Shouldn’t we step back and ask ourselves: What were we thinking? Why did we allow this race to the bottom? What is the election campaign doing to us?
However, here’s a spoiler alert: this idiocy may happen again. We will not see the end of such scenes if we fall for it the next time around and throw reason away. – Rappler.com