Love’s chal­lenge

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! -

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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