During the 2016 elections’ campaign season, and for much of the second half of the Aquino government, it became clear that dissent was not welcome, and that those who thought differently from the “majority” — which were enabled by mainstream media as well as social media noise — were painted as a mere noisy minority.
But of course what we imagine as majority versus minority is a delusion: social media as the basis of public opinion is unstable at best. In reality, the instances in which we proved that we do have the power to change the way government handles issues, are the instances when we gather in the streets, i.e., the anti-pork barrel rally in Luneta.
The Duterte win in the last elections is proof that the majority VS minority dichotomy does not hold, and it is — has always been — more complex than we’d like to think. We insist that our voices must be heard, in fact we demand that it be heard, coming as we do from the “educated” class. In reality, the insistence should be that we hear (1) other voices as well, (2) acknowledge the limitations of our understanding, and (3) strengthen our resolve to not only speak, but also and more importantly, to think, re-think, AND re-think again.
Our voices hold more power when we know that we cannot always be right, and that whatever we think is right, needs to be re-assessed, re-thought, regardless.
And here we are.