Political commentaries sometimes caution believers to be a little less optimistic. Awesome turnouts in a pink motorcade? (Sure, these are the car-owners. What about those living in carts?) Rising survey standing? (It’s just temporary. Wait till the money rolls in.) Executive types sporting pink on Wednesdays? (Sure. What about the messengers, janitors, and clerks? What color are they wearing?) And these pronouncements come from supposed supporters. (Let’s not get too excited, folks.)
What is it with this failure of elation? Can’t we celebrate and embrace this growing winnability factor for the recently unwinnable choice?
Doomsday prophets are not the same as conspiracy theorists. The two groups may overlap in membership, but the latter deals with historical events like what happened to the Yamashita treasure or why the gated subdivisions are getting invaded by a particular country.
Wet blankets (those who douse the fire of enthusiasm with a “reality check”) are not true believers. They say — I really believe in her, but does she really have a chance? Then they come out with their charts on gray rhinos and black swans — can I share my screen?
What purpose do these doomsday scenarios serve? Here are some groups the wets are benefiting.
Pundits love wet-blanket scenarios as they give them more topics to write about on a slow news day. They love posting these meditations on social media, especially among the pink echo chambers.
Academics too, closely related to the above group, discourse on political dynamics and shoot down false hopes. They go through the demographics of the electorate and point to the Socio-Economic Classes, with the CDE dominating the electorate numbers (over 70%), as if this group is a separate country unaffected by what’s going on in the AB segment. They dismiss the youth vote in the demographics with the median age of the country at 25-26 years old. Aren’t the youth idealistic and starved for integrity in public service? (Sure, but do they go out and vote?)
Self-declared marketing experts treat the candidates like shampoo and talk about branding, target markets, and pain points. Is the pink brigade reaching the retail market? Too many messages like riding the bus to go home to the province is a bit passe. (What does that have to do with brand leadership?) There is a need to trim down the messages. Otherwise, you will end up with “buffet marketing.” These talking heads are favorites in the talk shows and claim to be mere observers, not involved in any campaign. (Are they applying?)
The last group to benefit from the defeatist attitude of the wet blankets are the other candidates. They’re still hopeful and see the trend as “pinking too early.” What have they got to lose when they throw their own soggy bedsheets into this pink fire?
Through all these cautionary calls and reality checks, the believers should shoulder on. They still wear pink on Wednesdays and go about their business and reserve the wet blanket scenarios for lunch with a few excitable characters rooting for another group. (It happened 50 years ago — let’s just move on.)
Still, it can be unsettling when these elation scenarios make it to corporate meetings, albeit under “other matters.” We salute those who cut down worst-case scenario talks with an abrupt — can we hear a motion to adjourn?
I still have T-shirts in blue, a bit faded now and so comfortable for sleeping, bought when the college team I was rooting for (and still do) had a string of bad years. The message was simple: “We believe.” This was right before the five-peat surge. Okay, that’s a limited group of fanatics.
Still, the optimist in us looks forward to inauguration day on June 30, 2022 at the big park. The incumbent and outgoing leader may do a Trump and not show up for the event. But his former second, consigned for almost the whole term to being an official with no portfolio and a limited budget is certain to show up. After all, she will be the one delivering her inaugural speech in which she calls for healing and the end to divisiveness.
In her first day of work, the new president will head for her new office by the river, and watch the sunset turn pink.
Tony Samson is chairman and CEO of TOUCH xda