Amateur Armchair Politicians are Troublesome

Everything physical in this world has low and high limits in which it functions properly. A plant must have enough water but not too much. A human being must consume enough food but not too much. Even a piece of metal may be stressed (whether stretched or compressed) to certain limits before it deforms permanently.

It is only in the realm of human ideals and beliefs that things do not have limits. Free speech is one example. Democracy is another. Some people push these ideals to ridiculous extremes while hiding under the cloak of idealism. Such people are often called fanatics by others, but they see themselves as heroes fighting for an ideal. Some are provocateurs masquerading as idealists. Who is right and who is wrong?

The difficulty with this question is that often the results need to be known before the question can be answered with certainty and even then it is often a mixed review. This is especially so with idealistic persons who seek to make the world a better place. Even with the best and purest of intentions, the path traveled was often horrific and brutal before some good changes were obtained. Unfortunately these changes were seldom the idealistic promises originally foreseen, but some less than perfect yet still acceptable improvement.

As far as I am concerned, perfection as imagined by the human mind cannot be achieved by ordinary humans in this physical world. It may only be obtained by those who have passed on to the next. We therefore need to seek improvements not perfection.

Malaysia Today and other blogs are plagued by commentators who make abusive and seditious comments while hiding under the cloak of free speech. In my opinion, these fall under 2 types. One is the provocateur trying to create trouble for the blog owners or trying to spread vicious ideas. There is nothing to be done about such persons except to try and censor their comments or refute them whenever they are detected. In this area, it is better for readers to try and refute such ideas and use the platform as an educational tool. It is not possible for the blog owners to detect and control every vicious comment just as it is not possible for the authorities to control the internet. The best the authorities can do is to catch a few and make examples of them. Blog owners have no such option. The best blog owners can do is to have a blacklist easily accessible by readers where rule breakers are named and shamed.

The other type of troublesome commentator is the amateur armchair politician. Such a person has already formed a political position and has all the prejudices that such a position demands. Such a person is not simply an ordinary citizen seeking a better deal from his government or his leaders, but pretends to be one. He therefore hides under freedom of speech with greater persistence and obsession.

Such a person has the arrogance of one who thinks he is right but in reality is just an amateur mislead and fooled by his own convictions. Here is why I think so.

In serious politics, ALL the high ground must be seized and held. This is true of military affairs too, but for the military, the high ground is physical high ground or air power. For politicians the high ground are the issues that are close to and dear to the hearts of the people. Unfortunately, some high ground are too remote or too deep in opposition territory to be seized. This can be seen with respect to US ambitions for global domination.

I believe oil is not the only reason the US is waging war on the Muslims. The other unspoken reason is that Muslims represent one of the few populations left who are still not amenable to US cultural influence. As such they are not as easily manipulated or influenced and thus not so easily exploited except by force. Islam is a way of life and it is a religious way of life, not a capitalist way of life. Islam is therefore a high ground that cannot be seized by the US. That is why the US has such animosity towards Islam in spite of what it’s new and past Presidents say.

The situation in Malaysia is completely different. UMNO is not only capitalistic and masquerading as a champion of Islam, more and more people are seeing through its masquerade. Islam is therefore a high ground that can be seized and held by the opposition with PAS as a component of the PR.

Those commentators who denigrate Islam are therefore either provocateurs or amateur armchair politicians fooled by their own convictions. Sadly these convictions have been framed by the western press and therefore largely US prejudices against Islam. These people are trying to apply US politics to the Malaysian situation. If this is not rank amateurism, what is? If you say it is not, then it can only be something much darker. Such persons are representing the interests of a foreign power which is antagonistic to the beliefs and way of life of the majority of the people of Malaysia. Such people look down on Malaysians and suck up to the US.

So while the PR is trying to improve Malaysia by seeking to establish a healthy 2 party system instead of a monopoly of power, these amateur armchair politicians muddy the waters by exposing their rabid prejudices for all to see and scaring off a good majority of the voters.

Even the excuse of sticking to their ideals does not hold water. What kind of ideal forces one to automatically take the opposite position of one’s protagonist? If one’s protagonist were to seize all the high ground, does it mean one is resigned to accept all the low ground without a fight? This is the same as accepting defeat for one will be forced to behave as one’s protagonist wishes. This is rank amateurism masquerading as expert arrogance and idealism driven by sheer stupidity.

By batsman