The recent Senate elections have proven to be particularly polarizing for the country. From social media to the streets, everyone is eager to express their opinion. The news is flooded with the latest tally of results and commercial breaks overflow with commercials endorsing candidates with cheesy jingles and campaign promises. It’s practically a circus reminiscent of the chaos described in the film Chicago as Richard Gere croons “Razzle Dazzle.” “How can they see with sequins in their eyes?” It’s hard to know how to cast your vote with earworm melodies in your ears, a surplus of campaign posters outnumbering any for a blockbuster, and free t-shirts being shoved into your hands. You’re being dragged every which way with sweet promises to go with the jarring jingles. In all this mess, it’s hard to tell what’s true.
Talking to friends, classmates, and co-workers only further complicates matters. People tend to gravitate toward those who share their opinions so arguments are bound to erupt when you’re not rooting for the same candidate. Alongside the conflict between the candidates, we find ourselves in conflict with the people we regularly interact with. This tends to be the case whenever people congregate to discuss matters they happen to be passionate about. Over the course of election season, some people just find it hard to live and let live, looking to sway the opinions of stubborn peers only to be met with a brick wall. This is probably why politics is a hot button issue most people hesitate to touch. It just gets hard to ignore when everything around you is saturated with it though.
This extends to the social media sphere with comments and posts in excess that involve political opinion. It’s not uncommon to see threads between “friends” descend into bickering once politics comes up. Memes are a dime a dozen as well with photos of candidates being subject to Photoshop both for the sake of laughs and propaganda. The political circus out on the street is wild but it could be argued that the circus on the web is just as wild if not wilder. The factor of anonymity is thrown into the mix so people are far more frank while bordering on hateful. As much as people dislike Nancy Binay for propagating a political dynasty and lacking experience, must the line really be crossed to poke fun of her personal appearance? It just goes to show how thick your skin has to be if you even want to consider politics.
Once the senate is elected, there’s no doubt that there will be grumbling over both the winners and losers. If you voted, you have some right to your discontent. After all, you did your part to fill those seats with who you believed to be the right choice. If you didn’t, you’ve surrendered your entitlement to whine about it. Just keep in mind that after a few months, the circus will die down. The airwaves will be back to carrying their regularly scheduled ads and the streets will lose their political clutter. Until then, sit tight and let the fever burn itself out.