Does the politics of popularity really exist? The complaint is directed primarily against movie stars getting into politics. The phrase is based on some perception of the word popular to mean simply a face widely seen and widely heard, and nothing more to them. Then, I think not. Because, sometimes things deemed like that happened and sometimes they did not. So, the cause why say a movie star got elected is not really in their being a superstar. Vilma Santos made a break as mayor, and then later became a governor, got re-elected in there. Her co-equal Nora Aunor did not make it in her first and last try, was it in Camarines.
The noted rash and rise of movie stars in politics came during the time when the country was developing the consciousness against traditional politicians popularly known as Trapo. In fact the trend was not limited to movie stars as they included other virtually unknowns in the world of politics, but names heard enough – not necessarily in the movie industry.
People grew tired of trapos who gave the impressions of promising too much and delivering very little or nothing. People then tried candidates, not traditionally politicians, whom they hoped might bring some change.
Anyway, people got to see that some of them non-trapo worked while others did not. Some made better while others turned for worse.
Popularity in Politics
Politics of popularity was introduced as another disease in Philippine politics. But if I may take the good side of it, I think popularity is a MUST in politics. To win in an election one must be popular. To stay in there one must maintain popularity. It was popularity that made Father Ed Panlilio scored against traditional political forces in Pampanga province. He must have fallen from popularity, reason for his now staggering defeat in his bid for re-election.
With its sour connotation set aside, I think there is nothing wrong with politics of popularity. Politics IS popularity.
popular [póppyoolər] adjective
- appealing to the general public: appealing to or appreciated by a wide range of people • the most popular name for babies this year
- well-liked: liked by a particular person or group of people • popular with young audiences
- of the general public: relating to the general public • popular appeal
- aimed at non-specialists: designed to appeal to or be comprehensible to the non-specialist • a popular gardening magazine
- believed by people in general: believed, embraced, or perpetuated by ordinary people • popular myths
- inexpensive: designed to be affordable to people on average incomes • a new popular car
[15th century. Via Anglo-Norman populer from Latin popularis ‘of the people’, from populus ‘people’ (source of English PEOPLE and PUBLIC), of uncertain origin: probably from Etruscan .]
Microsoft® Encarta® Premium Suite 2005. © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
So, will making it in TV and the big screen make one popular? I think not really and not automatically. In there Popularity as defined is sometimes make-believe. An obsession for some actually. Let’s take the manner of the alien named Mr Chip who once got the ire of the entire Filipino nation for making a publicized statement that the Philippines is a nation of servants. He might be well recognized but spat upon everywhere he’ll go in this country, if we can call that popularity.
The concept of popularity in the world of movie and television may be different somewhere else. Viewed somewhere else, they may be warped, twisted and out of perspective. All that I think is product of commercialism and of aggressive marketing, or should I say manipulation, by those out to benefit from them.
An eye is an eye and a nose is a nose. When an eye is called a nose, well, I think we have a case of distorted minds trying to distort the world. Notorious, controversial, and popular are all distinct different words.
By the way, as much as I would like to make exceptions, the world of Philippine entertainment impresses me as one preposterous and at times distorted. In there tears might be laughter and laughter might be tears. Controversies might be put-up and scripted, if you will take them seriously. And, cheats, dishonesty, scandalous fornication or the likes can put one on a pedestal, if you call that good. They have their own perception of popularity. [Or, is not it just a few out of a crate full, so repugnant to my taste buds, that left so deep an impression of the whole in me?]
Whatever, OK, this is a free country. People have right to believe that they have assets when others see liabilities. We have M.T.R.C.B. watching in there so, so much about them by you or me.
[Entertainment shares a room in media. It should be media riding on entertainment and not entertainment, or I should say some of its greedy elements, overriding media. And media happens to have social advancement and not social corruption for one of its cause to explain Review and Classifications Board over there.]
But more about politics of popularity, many years ago I might have easily agreed with those who complained about it. Today, I think it is just a myth. In today and for tomorrow is issues in politics. One gets to the top because of them, or goes down with them, or simply goes nowhere because they did not have them. Say hello to politics of issues, folks. For those long enough in politics, spotlight can easily focus at politics of delivering – performance. [I think there’s nothing really new in politics because everything has been there all the time… probably very little noticed though. ]
Popularity in politics, I think, is too broad and too blanket a word. Going into the matter will show specifics such as: deliverance of services, management of public funds, handling of public affairs, direction of governance or projection of them, integrity, credibility, consistency, and many others. And they all sum-up to the word popularity [or unpopularity]. The most popular tops all, or the most unpopular gets the least.
Even in politics the word popularity has its own warps, too. If surveys are conducted on the order of candidates as electorates put them in the their list, I’m sure this can be confirmed that those on top of the lists finished average and below average where there is multiple choice as in the Senatorial position. Popularity [or unpopularity] may be gained by engaging in issues or controversies. They show where one stands. But they can also be divisive because they can be of thesis and anti-thesis. This will put a candidate either on top or not in the list at all. But the lists of both – of the thesis and the anti-thesis, are usually not completed and voters need other names to fill. And most likely the fillers are old names who have never been subject of critical controversies thus presumed good. Mga tipong wala kang masabi, which is Filipino way short of saying that a person is good. And even with their names not usually at the top of the lists, they are carried by both sides. So, what do you think made one walang imik top considered champions like Senators Enrile, Santiago and others, folks? What? mga saling pusa who finished first? There must be a warp somewhere, from wherever one looks at it.
The Philippines happens also a politics of focus at negatives – of scandals and anomalies in government, of allegations of pangungurakot and plunders, of crab mentality. OK, if we put it that way, popularity there means getting the least of negatives. People must choose, they liked them or not.
Whatever, assuming clean election, I guess all twelve senatorial winners have always right to very well say that they enjoy political popularity.
With the rise of politics of issues and politics of performance politicians need to do better than giving the impression of saling pusa. A highly competitive political world will leave no room for fillers.
Politics of popularity, Pinoy meaning of it, anybody, folks? 😉