"Only in the Philippines" no longer

TO THE QUICK - Jerry S. Tundag - The Freeman

There was a time when only in the Philippines can anyone find the most preposterous, corrupt, immoral, and scandalous things happening. The phrase "only in the Philippines" was born out of that dubious distinction. Now the phrase applies no longer. Another country has given rare company to the Philippines.

And, of all countries, it had to be America. Things are beginning to happen in America that used to happen only in the Philippines. But while it is already difficult to imagine being able to share membership with America in a most exclusive club of only two members, it is even more incredible to realize that we are actually not on equal footing with this arguably greatest of all countries.

We stand a clear head taller than America. The Philippines is not a land of much expectations. You do not expect anyone to lose gracefully in a Philippines election. Every sore loser always claims being cheated. If the election happens to be outside politics, the sun does not set on the day of the election before the loser breaks away to form another organization. But not America. That does not happen in the USA.

Yet that is exactly what is happening to and in America. As this was being written yesterday, Democrat Joe Biden was leading President Donald Trump, 253-213, in the race to 270 electoral votes. Sensing possible defeat, Trump started claiming fraud. Had it been ABS-CBN (assuming it was still alive) reporting instead of CNN, one would have thought he was watching a Philippine election instead of an American one.

But before you start accusing Trump of being such a "Filipino" loser, you have to remember that it did not start with him. The "Filipinization" of American elections started in 2016 when Trump was then on top of the winning column. It was the Democrats who "Filipinized" the 2016 election outcome by claiming Russian interference and meddling. Taking the cue, CNN began a relentless, all anti-Trump hounding of his entire presidency.

Actually there is karma and poetic justice in America's coming down with the Philippine election cheating virus. America did not just innocently acquire the virus through some naturally occurring spontaneous phenomenon. It got the bug from decades and decades of interfering and meddling in Philippine elections.

For so long America considered itself the most mature of all democracies. It alone was the leader of the free world. No country must consider itself free enough to conduct its own affairs independently. Elections being the highest form of democratic expression, America felt it necessary to always send observers to every Philippine election to maintain the illusion of its democratic superiority, unmindful of the risks to its own vulnerability.

But it was in so doing that America got the Philippine bug. There was a crazy logic to being cheated. In saving some face you make the winner lose some of his own. And you do not go to prison. I have not-so-secretly rooted for Trump not because I like him but because I hated how CNN bedeviled him no end for winning in 2016. Now that Trump is losing and claiming cheating, CNN is fuming. So like ABS-CBN. So "only in the Philippines."


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