Dear Anti-Government Kooks: Enough With Your Bullshit, Try This Instead

Ah, the faces of anti-government nuts (not opposition parties, there is a difference) in Singapore. Let’s see. We have a 16 year old sideshow, an oversensitive jerk who thinks everything you say (or don’t say) is is an attack on his sexual orientation, and some guy who thinks ending the state pension scheme will cure income inequality, collapse the PAP, and probably help him pull Arthur’s sword from the stone.

I remember mom and dad had a Jester head on a stick that you could spin around and it played a song.  Maybe it came from New Orleans.

To Start: Anti – Government versus Political Opposition

“Anti-government” (which in Singapore mostly means anti-PAP) is not interchangeable with “opposition party”.

Yes, anti-government types are likely to vote for the opposition. But that’s pretty much where the relationship ends. Most of the time, anti-government sorts are busy giving the PAP more votes.

Their idiot shenanigans makes everyone imagine the political opposition is composed of a bunch of morons, who are more in need of medication than votes.

A little story as an example:

In 2007, I was covering a story about climate change. This was a big conference, and there was a lot of press in the room. A bunch of oil companies had hired a bunch of scientists to explain how climate change is really like leprechauns, genies, or a good Michael Bay movie (i.e. purely in your imagination).

Disagreeing with them were equally qualified geologists, physicists, and other climate change experts. And also, there was a long haired “urban shaman”, who was convinced oil companies wanted to destroy the world. Because they had a plan to control the moon colony we’d have to retreat to. He had a photo of a rock from the moon, which “proved” his point.

Throughout that two hour period, I want you to guess who most of the media wanted to interview.

Was it the experts and professors? Was it a political leader who was present? Was it the economists who wanted to talk about the impact of crop damages from climate change?

You know what the answer is, because you know the media. They’re the same everywhere, and they wanted to talk to the shaman.

Leading experts got about 15 minutes of attention. After that the media was filming, interviewing, and mocking Moon man. Later a magazine cited the shaman as the face of “environmentalist protests”, thus making environmentalists as a whole look like complete smurfs.

Now, equate the scientists arguing for climate change with our opposition party, and the shaman with one of our rabid anti-government nuts. That should give you a picture of the problem.

Anti-Government Loons Do More Harm than Good

For so long as attention seeking, anti-government nutjobs get the attention you give them, people won’t see the point of our political opposition. They’ll just equate every non-PAP supporter with those loud-as-hell jerks, and assume you’re just as batshit crazy as they are*.

(*To be fair, most anti-PAP types generalise as well. They assume that every PAP supporter is a brown nosing little worm. But you ever thought that maybe some are nice people, who have had their first child and are now realising a need for stability? Or someone whose cancer treatment was paid out the pocket of an MP you’ve called a total jerk-off?)

It doesn’t help that the kooks are what the media loves. That’s not because the media is owned by the government – it’s simply because media is ultimately a business. And people are more likely to read about a 16 year old getting slapped than an opinion column on mitigating short term unemployment from minimum wage policies.

Anti-government kooks give the media business and, at the same time, all the fodder needed to make our political progressives look bad. In effect, the anti-government nuts provide more votes for the PAP than even the most ardent PAP lover.

So, if you really dislike the government and want to make a difference, try this instead:

Stop Wasting Time with Drama, and Start Making a Success of Yourself.

That politician you hate so much? There’s a reason everyone listens to him.  He’s probably got a seven digit bank account, owns multiple private properties, can get the ear of important people, and obviously knows what it takes to succeed.

What do you have? A YouTube channel and a rebellious attitude?

If you want to change the country and convince people you know your shit, that you’re just as clear headed as any elite scholar, then prove it. Work toward being just as successful and respectable. Because on the day you’re a high income earner, successful business owner, top director, etc., people will shut up and listen when you talk.

You won’t have to vandalise trains or draw pictures to get attention. You’ll just need to open your mouth. In fact, I’ll guarantee that if you whisper they’ll kiss your feet and beg you to please say it again.

Focus on getting to that position, not on creating dumbass drama that just feeds myths about opposition incompetence.

But getting rich and successful is easier said than done!

Yes.

But if you’re serious about wanting to change the country, and not just whining for attention, you’ll make the effort. On a personal note, this is how I tell between loudmouths and people worth taking seriously. I don’t mean by their success (although they tend to be successful), I mean by how hard they work to make their ideals a reality.

How badly do you want to change the country?

But Judging the Validity of a Person by Their Success is Unfair, and it’s Exactly What our Government Does!

First: it’s not what “our government” does. It’s what all of humanity does, and has been doing since we first rubbed sticks to start a fire.

Second, judging the worth of a person is unfair. Judging the success of a person is why you don’t ask a shirtless hobo under a bridge for investment advice. There’s nothing wrong with deciding whether to follow someone based on their achievements.

One Last Thing to Try:

You want to know the best way to support (insert group you care about)?

Go make a lot of money, and donate a few million dollars to them.

When you’re respectable and make a success of yourself, it will become a lot easier to make the changes you want. Don’t see the pursuit of material wealth as being secondary (or even worse, opposed) to your higher ideals.

So, all you anti-government kooks out there, this is why I’m not listening to you and why I hope no one else does either. If you want to be taken seriously, go achieve something significant. Then come back and I’ll actually click on your video or whatever.

Image Credit:

Chris Waits,

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4 comments

  1. coolinsights · May 21, 2015

    Ryan, this is a brilliant piece of writing. Well argued, convincing and so agreeable on multiple fronts. It should be mandatory reading for everybody out there who wants to make a passionate and clear difference in their lives, rather than just be rabble-rousers without credibility. 🙂

    Like

  2. Ng Seng Chong · May 26, 2015

    Talking about making a success and having a few millions before people listen to you.
    An age old Hokkien saying –
    ‘Oo lui nan kong wey twa sia,
    boh lui nan kong wey, bo nan tnia’ ‘.
    Literal translation in English :-
    When the rich talks, its always loud (all ears for it),
    but when the poor speaks, NOBODY listens. “

    Like

  3. Joachim Cuntz · May 26, 2015

    Hi, its obvious you put a fair bit of effort into your article. However, your article is filled with strawman arguments that attack caricatures of what you *think* the internet mob is doing, rather than what the mob is *actually* doing.

    Here’s a clue you can buy: Issues in real life are seldom one-dimensional. To be sure, I’ve heard many ridiculous stuff written by hot issues like the CPF, cost of living, housing, foreigners, and so on. But there are also tons of real grievances out there. And no, its not because Singaporeans are lazy and have develooped a clutch mentality (although some have).

    The problem with pieces like yours is that they perpetuate the kind of logical fallacies that we accuse the anti govt mob of perpetuating – in essence, playing exactly their game whilst criticizing that game.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Does it make any sense trying to 'invest' your CPF Monies?

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