- Don’t let your ego grow too big for others to easily hit
One major reason why a lot of people unfriended their Facebook contacts during the campaign period up until now is they let their ego grow too big and when challenged by others, they cannot bear the discomfort of losing their stand or seeing others as a bunch of egos squeezing him inside a small room!
A Duterte supporter must learn how to curtail the growth of his ego even if evidence has demonstrably shown his support of the president is proven right and the country is now on the right track. He needs to keep his ego in check even if for some time he is never proven wrong. Such a healthy approach will save him from a lot of trouble sooner or later.
He can do this either by distanciation and following where the evidence leads. The former means that he needs to extricate himself even from his loyalty to the president and assess the evidence where it leads every time he is presented with new facts. Not having a critical eye will only boost his ego build-up.
- Always strive to look for quality of arguments rather than watching intently who appears to be winning in a debate
Cheer-leading and watching for somebody who may get an upper-hand between pro and anti-Duterte fans is for the immature. You better off focusing on the quality of their arguments rather than watching intently who gets the better of others. Over time, you get paid with more mature dividends in your journey as an intelligent supporter.
- Apologize when proven wrong
There is no sure-fire recipe for disaster because of bloated ego and skewed perception when you feel you’re invincible with your arguments and therefore you’re becoming less perceptive of others’ valid counter-argument.
If you can sense you made a mistake and then apologize, you avoid further embarrassment and retain your proper sensibility. At times when you’re in the wrong such as stating a wrong source or facts or misreading an article, just apologize. Having few mistakes here and there is good for your overall emotional and mental health, that you are still a human being and can learn from others. After all, they’re humans too and you can learn bits and pieces from them even those coming from different persuasion.
- Don’t try to become a baby-thrower
There’s a line that says right understanding requires knowing proper distinctions. For example, just because a known supporter of the president is recently throwing heavy criticisms of him as of late does not necessarily mean he already abandoned his support or doing it for the wrong reason, for constructive advice cannot be deemed negative at all.
A lot of people are just too quick to throw the baby with the bath. Spare the baby and ignore the bath.
- Prefer reading contrary opinions
Many scholars are reading their opponents and critics more than their followers for reason that they are the ones who will cause them to rethink and refine their position and hence create a headroom for more intellectual stimulation.
The problem with same-minded people is that their lack of critical eye doesn’t add up much to their journey of improving their ability to think deeply. As they say, iron sharpens iron.
- Perform due diligence on articles and their sources before posting them publicly
To save from embarrassment and moral consternation, strive to search thoroughly if your articles come from fake sites or misquoted statements from mainstream media. Learn as you go along how to develop your own personalize way of assessing veritable contents.
For legitimate sources, always try to capture the gist of the writer before reacting to save you from the trouble of comprehension issue.
- Learn language and historical contexts
One common problem with anti-Duterte is that they lack proper historical research before they give out their assessment of the president’s initiative. For example, his distancing from the United States in terms of preferential trade and military ties are met with waves of criticisms that are uneducated and uninformed. This could have been easily remedied by a simple historical study on treaties between the Philippines and its western counterpart since the time the Americans arrived on the Philippine soil.
Likewise, a Duterte supporter must be better informed when responding to criticisms — reading the historical data himself.
Learn also how to assess your mileage as there are fair chances others might be more intelligent or knowledgeable than you are and therefore you might be in a very precarious situation throwing less impressive arguments or facts.
- Consider it’s your moral duty to teach others as your motivation to respond
Never entertain the thought that you are motivated by fame (or fortune?) in winning others by your arguments. Just be reminded that as part of the global human community, you have a moral duty to teach, correct, admonish, reprimand people who are in the wrong but only do it ostensibly as a moral responsibility more than anything else.
- Learn to counter objections properly
Always strive to offer superior arguments or scholarship (i.e. more thorough) and refrain from burying your head in the sand. Deepen the engagement by broadening your knowledge.
Here are few of the examples you may reflect:
If they raised an issue of the vulgarity of the president’s mouth, instruct them that the Philippines suffers not from expletives but from another form of vulgarity much worse than the obscenity of the mouth – the vulgarity of the intellect commonly manifested among Duterte’s rabid critics. These are the people that instead of deepening a conversion, they choose instead a full stop punctuation to end it. This is downright vulgar and has no room for reasonable people.
If they raise the issue that the Philippine President cannot follow basic international protocol, instruct them that extraordinary men define their own epoch and not the converse. The president, therefore, should not be demanded that he needs to carve his presidency by the mandate of his epoch. On top of it, his bombastic responses are not unprovoked. He behaves courteously when facing a decent counterpart, one whose overall ethics cause suffering to Filipinos.
- Know if and when to hurl insult
Insults are a big no-no in debates or even in a discussion but in few cases, there is still a room for use. The reason is the will, the seat of man’s affection of choosing, sometimes detaches itself when suffers a heavy setback of counter insults after a prolonged scholarly (i.e. thorough) exchanges.
When you sense that you exhausted all avenues of showing proper response and empirical evidence but the opponent is still sticking to his usual vitriol, try to give him a little dose of his own medicine at the end. And no, it is reserved only to those who’re willing to hurl insult as well.
Of course, it doesn’t mean you need to condescend down to street-level personal insult but you may simply express it in some way such as replying sarcastically.
Here is a simple sarcastic statement issued after repeated attempt of providing solid arguments to the other side and yet chose to remain like a culvert, which rejects nothing.
“I am not sure if I pity you for ignoring valid arguments or pity myself for wasting so much my time convincing a person who is so predisposed to ignore facts.”
However, please take note that people who are so respectful but remains skeptical by your answer don’t deserve any iota of it.