Author Topic: Dear readers, are you suffering from any of the following symptoms  (Read 604 times)

Offline thaiga

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How to wean yourself off the drug of partisan politics

Dear readers, are you suffering from any of the following symptoms?

l You find it impossible to resist consuming partisan political news many times, every day.

l You are anxious about what Suthep Thaugsuban, leader of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), will say this evening on a rally stage, or what caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her older brother, ousted and fugitive former premier Thaksin, will say or do today.

l You hate people who are in the opposite political camp and primarily identify yourself on social media through your political allegiance or hatred - and "unfriend" others on Facebook for political reasons.

l You feel you share more in common with fellow protesters or political movement members than your old friends from school, siblings or even parents.

l You spend more time following politics than updating yourself on what is happening to your friends and family members.

l You glorify one of these people: Thaksin, Yingluck, Suthep and his patrons, and can't bear anyone criticising your political idol.

l The mere uttering of names like Suthep, Thaksin or Yingluck makes you feel very upset and emotional.

l You enjoy using expletives, and misogynistic or homophobic expressions, to attack your political opponents on social media sites.

If you have many or all of the above symptoms, you might well be suffering from political-conflict addiction.

Many Thais have become addicted to politics over the past eight years or more to the point where politics has become the most important aspect of their lives. Many from both camps literally sleep rough on the streets for months and are bamboozled by one-sided information, aka propaganda.

This is unhealthy and can't be good for them or for Thailand. What they need is to detox themselves from such addiction.

People should not be consumed by adversarial politics to the point where their lives revolve primarily around political conflict. There's more to life than political conflict and political hate speech and becoming a pawn in part of what increasingly seems like a political reality show, where leaders from both sides enjoy dramatising the conflict at the expense of the country.

In a way, it's like those people are suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction. And Thai politics is a nasty type of addiction full of vendettas and "my way or the highway" attitudes.

What we need is for these people to be weaned off such addiction. For a start, they could try to not consume any political news on Sundays. Some may suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, developing insomnia or even depression - but this would be good for them and Thailand because they'd start to see things from a more detached perspective and hopefully start questioning their addiction and "political substance abuse".

Next, they could try to build their "tolerance" for differing opinions or even embrace them by earnestly reading or listening to criticism of their political idols and their respective movements.

If successful, people would become more open-minded and begin to see that all is not a black-and-white struggle. Each side needs introspection and that we need not burn down Thai society in order to bring about political change.

This addiction may not have a proper psychological name yet, but let us not waste time. Let's earnestly detox ourselves before Thailand ends up a nation of political junkies.

Or is it already too late and too hopeless

The nation
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.