Truth is Not a Popular Commodity, Better Not Oversell It

The current global political climate has convinced me that answering with common sense and rationale to irrational questions asked by irrational people on irrational landscape is a futile attempt. It seems that some people are less interested in facts than in fabricated lies that go along with their own narrative or belief. It happens when people stop questioning what is real and what is not. It happens when people start deciding to hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe. Room for weighing and elaborating has become scarce. Truth is not a popular commodity at the moment, maybe better not oversell it. Just because you think it's true, doesnt automatically mean people will buy it.

With such evidence are visibly shown everywhere including here in our own backyard, it’s really baffling to see that some of our social activist friends still refuse to change the playbook. There has never been an era where goodwill alone is enough to advance messages, no matter how noble they might be, let alone in these turbulent times of hoaxes and the so-called post-truth. The level of naivete is staggering and in the wake of the trouble a fortnight ago at LBH, it could be costly. The integrity and sincerity was never in doubt, but maybe it’s time to think about a new method and means of campaigning. What happened over that weekend was playing straight into the opposing narrative and I bet they didnt believe their luck. Dancing to someone else’s drumbeats could only mean one thing: losing.

Recent political phenomena have taught us that when dealing with hyper sensitive issues fueled by irrationality, direct confrontation should be avoided. Fighting fire with fire is not only reactionary, it’s highly counter-productive. No hearts will be won by pointing fingers in anger and calling them names. After all, it’s not a competition stage for brassness. It’s not a dick-measuring contest.

Yesterday I met Agus Widjojo, the governor of Lemhanas whose father was slain on the fateful night in September 1965. If Agus, a retired three-star general with the highest moral authority to speak out on the case, was accused of being communist sympathizer because he decided to make peace with the past and advocate reconciliation process, what chance does the activism with more hostile approach stand to avoid the same accusation?

The best answer to what the most effective way to campaign on this matter is yet to be found, but at least we already know what doesnt work. This also applies to other topics on these battlegrounds of increasingly alarming public opinion engineering. 

Dont engage with people who have made them clear that they’re binary: right or wrong with no middle ground of possibilities. Dont talk about the truth to people who are not interested in facts.

The 2018 is coming, soon to be followed by the ragnarok that is 2019. Best to preserve the energy. We still have a long and winding road ahead.