Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Carvajal: Love’s challenge

Break Point

TOMORROW’S Valentine’s Day will mostly be about erotic love. But today’s Ash Wednesday starts Lent that relives the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for his love of us. I thought I’d talk about this more sublime kind of love whose “logic (F. Sionil Jose so aptly puts) is sacrifice.”

This is the love that exists, should anyway, between husband and wife and their children. This is also, or should be, the love we have for our country. Its logic and challenge is sacrifice. This love challenges us to ask ourselves what sacrifice we are willing to make for the country that we profess to love.

To be sure, this challenge is hurled at all citizens. This is a question we all have to ask ourselves in any given historical moment in our nation’s life. But because this is an election year I would like to hurl it now at media especially the big TV networks.

I know media’s central role in society is to watch the powerful on behalf of the powerless and be the people’s mouthpiece against any and all forms of oppression wrought on them. To be fair, media are doing this during and after elections. However, it is no secret that media, come election time, rake up a lot of money from the over-the-limit spending for campaign ads by political candidates.

If media loved this country, as can be assumed by their screams against official wrongdoings, shouldn’t they be helping implement the law on campaign expense limits? They know that in our personality-based election system violation of this law is one big reason only moneyed candidates, no matter how crooked and incompetent, win elections by the name-recall their super-expensive ad placements in media generate.

Love of country challenges media to sacrifice billions’ worth of TV, radio and print revenues from wealthy candidates who are known liars, cheats or thieves. Instead of collaborating with these lying, cheating and thieving clowns in finding ways to go around the campaign expense limit, maybe media can consider foregoing these revenues and stop helping dirty politicians get the needed name-recall to win.

Crazy, isn’t it? Indeed it is and because media are essentially big business. People need to realize that the same greed that drives politicians to steal is what drives media to accept the stolen money that dirty politicians pay their campaign ads with and which they will recover by stealing some more.

The logic, the challenge of love of country is sacrifice. Without sacrifice love is empty talk or plain hypocrisy. I have suggested a sacrifice for media. For the rest of us I strongly suggest we do not vote for the big spenders of media ads. Money might be all they have but neither mind nor heart for the suffering Filipino people.


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