Leni Worship

Let us first get these two things that Margie wrote out of the way as I write my observations:

“But Noynoy did not turn out to be as charming a prince as we’d hoped.” – Based on what and compared to whom? Margie’s feelings? And why single out Pnoy and downplay People Power and Cory? Why not use Estrada or other politicians (Pacquiao, Lapid, Revilla) considered authentic candidates as examples of “Hero Worship”? Is it because Margie has an ax to grind with the “Dilawans”?

“My proposal, then, is that when we see Leni doing good on the media and want to highlight this on our feeds, we don’t make it just about her.

Because the truth of the matter is, she did not do all these good things single-handedly, and she never has.

She can’t do it without her competent and hardworking team. And her team can’t do it without the cooperation of other principled government officials, all the way down to the Kapitan’s and kapitanas of the barangays. And these officials can’t do it without a citizenry that values the community’s well-being over selfish interests.

So yes, it is okay to be proud of this woman and encourage her to lead us. But it is not okay to leave it at that, to put all of our hopes and expectations of a better life on her, to not recognize that a good nation is made up of many good people – not just the one.” – I will discuss this below.

First of all, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that what Margie means is for Filipinos to be more discerning and individually responsible instead of placing all hope for change in a single person, thus the ‘Hero Worship’ (used in the context of blind fanaticism and zealotry), however by choosing the words’ Hinay hinay’ already imputes guilt of ‘Hero Worship’ towards people who are helping and supportive of VP Leni. So what gives?

Margie justifies her assertion of “Hero Worship” by positing ‘collective responsibility instead of placing all hopes on VP Leni, a valid albeit contentious argument which I believe is based on her poor reading of Heroes and how they unconsciously influence societies. (see: Veneration without understanding)

Perhaps Margie is saying this as a form of caution, but who knows? It could also be a form of virtue signaling; nonetheless, Margie’s assertions seem to misconstrue ‘Hero Worship’ with valid ‘Appreciation and Admiration’ of VP Leni Robredo.

Consider the following:

A. Human beings are by nature inclined to work in hierarchies, and our neural structure is a prime example of our being kindred evolutionarily with other creatures (see: lobsters) which structures their existence through hierarchies. In short, hierarchies are innate in human nature, without it we will be mired in chaos.

B. Human beings look at other human beings based on a standard of competence and NOT just power. The more competent a person is, the more value that person is given in society (see: national artists). This is where human beings get the concept of an ideal. (see: BTS) 😉

All paradigm shifts start with an idea, whether in the form of a person or a sound and logical argument/hypothesis, towards a productive conclusion (and sometimes regressive ones, too see: Marxism). Thus ideas have consequences, proving the point of Carl Jung that people don’t have ideas; ideas have people.

Now that we’ve defined the particulars on human nature, Margie has to contend with the fact that whether VP Leni likes it or not, she will have people who will “Hero Worship” her. She has no control over that, but just because it exists doesn’t mean she is guilty of tolerating it. (see: Letters A and B).

Twitter Political Pundit Ogie Rosa has this to add:

Another problem in Margie’s observation is how she structures her article with an intelligent dash of mockery and then hides behind words of caution and concern as if that would justify the insult. (see her first quote above)

Notice how Margie represented VP Leni as just “a character” and “a widow to a “president we never had,” just like our Yellow Queen, and also the Force of Good against Bongbong Marcos’ Force of (Very, Very) Evil.” (Seriously, Margie?)

The truth of the matter is, What VP Leni represents, her relentless work to help, the strength of her character, and the positive feelings she evokes in people are the driving force, on which one can rightly assume, she INDEED single-handedly INSPIRE people to be good, and that is why people follow her. (see: Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.)

“If you want to change the world, start with yourself.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Award Winning Writer Eric Cabahug said it right:

No such thing as Leni worship. There is great admiration and hope and she has earned it. But it is far from the mindless obedience, fanaticism, and blind faith of Duterte worship. If we seem to be “putting it all” on her it’s because she’s the perfect antithesis to Duterte — a decent and dignified leader who stands for long-held ideals, values, and principles of good governance. And she’s the only one in this admin who seems to be doing real work, not just politicking, image-building, and myth-making.

The truth is, it is already an accepted fact that VP Leni is an integral part but not the only final chance to regain democracy; however, VP Leni is considered and rightly so to be the face of the “good nation made up of many good people”.

While it is true that Leni is NOT our savior, it is also true that Filipinos can save themselves THROUGH Leni.

Now suppose we use Margie’s argument for Rappler:

And then, I will proceed on writing a piece “mockingly” while using the cases filed against them by the government and other individuals as a basis for being “perceived” as paid hacks. Then treat it as an opinion piece because, as Maria Ressa said:

But then again isn’t this what concerned Rappler back in 2016 when they questioned ‘opinion blogs’ as peddling fake news and irresponsible writing?

Isn’t Margie’s “Opinion Piece” also guilty of using the same nuance as the blogs of Thinking Pinoy and Mocha Uson Blog, where articles start mocking personalities, give baseless assertions out of concern then publish it in their FB pages with millions of followers?

Isn’t this selective of Rappler’s concept of what “responsible writing” should be?

Let me know what you think.