We recognize that not everybody is aware of the basic rules of debate. It isn't exactly common knowledge for Filipinos to understand that appealing to one's sense of pity or emotion does not constitute a valid defense against an accusation.
So why is it that politicians, who are expected to be at least smarter than the lowest common denominator, tend to usually be the first people to resort to these kinds of tactics? Well, that's what we're looking to find out right now,because it's highly unlikely that every single one of these politicians are as stupid as they make themselves out to be.
Why It's Stupid: Nothing says how powerful a politician is than their apparent ability to determine what are the real issues and aren't. Fighting against legalizing divorce is a real issue, but corruption isn't? Really now.
Why It Works: If you keep saying enough times that “x issue matters more than my alleged corruption,” enough people begin to believe it – even if you clearly never even tried to deny your alleged corruption.
Why It's Stupid: This is normally offered up as a defense by (specifically) lawmakers who almost never show up to session. In a sane world, that shouldn't work, because how a congressman or congresswoman helps his or her constituents is by attending session and making laws, which are obviously two things that don't happen if you almost never show up in congress. They had one job. One job! And they were literally elected to do that one job they obviously refuse to do.
Why It Works: Who's going to tell someone who is juggling a world-class boxing career with his professional basketball career and his horrific singing career that he should get back to his virtually non-existent lawmaking career? Who's going to tell the guy with the insanely hot wife to go to work and make a bunch of laws instead of spending time with his insanely hot wife?
Why It's Stupid: That's why we elected you, though. To be better than the previous administration. Yet here we are with a brand new boss, and he's pretty much the same as the old boss. The previous administration is not an excuse. Enough already.
Why It Works: Unfortunately, there's no love lost between the Filipino people and the previous administration, so it's easy for us to keep agreeing when the blame is thrown their way, too.
Why It's Stupid: But that doesn't make you any less corrupt! How is that even a defense? Didn't you know that it takes one to know one?!?
Why It Works: All of a sudden, now, we're talking about the other guy instead of the original topic. Hooray for wagging the dog!
Why It's Stupid: You're rich, you get elected solely because of your family name, and you still have the temerity to claim people are oppressing you. What's your blood pressure? 120/acting or something?
Why It Works: It seems people love the underdog, and whenever someone successfully fools people into thinking that they are one, they suddenly gain the edge. Which doesn't make sense, because how are you the underdog if you have the edge?!?
Why It's Stupid: Did you just compare a little political mud-slinging to one of the worst disasters to befall our country in the past five years? In your mind, this may very well be some massive conspiracy against you and your family, but since none of your clan drowned during Yolanda, maybe you should ease off on the insensitive rhetoric.
Why It Works: Do you really think the voting public cares about political correctness when they have hungry mouths to feed? It would appear that politicians appeal to the lowest common denonimator with these insipid tactics precisely because these are the tactics the lowest common denominator can appreciate and understand.
Why It's Stupid: A defense against being detained like other criminals, it makes you wonder why other prisoners of lesser prominence never get a break no matter how sick they actually are. Oh, wait. Let's not wonder why nobodies get nothing while powerful people get the royal treatment even while in custody.
Why It Works: Human rights still exist, and it's easier for a prominent person to rail against inhumane treatment and be heard than for random people who fell into the cracks of the system. Sad but true.
Why It's Stupid: You are part of a system that collectively makes, upholds, and enforces laws, and you are expecting only God to judge over you? That's a bit hypocritical, isnt' it?
With a shirt that uncomfortably snug, maybe the Fashion Police should be the judge, instead.
Why It Works: Because bible bible God bible God. It really shouldn't, yet for whatever reason, not a few people think that these politicians should totally be answerable only to God, even if it's our tax money that got stolen and abused in the process.
You might think the average politician is being stupid when they say these things. It's infuriating. It's ridiculous. It's downright illogical. Yet ultimately, it works. So who's really being stupid in the end when these people get elected again and again?