The purpose of a political narrative is to brainwash. Tug on the people’s heartstrings, play with their emotions, spoon-feed them a story, and have them act mindlessly on your behalf to serve your political agenda.
The narrative used by the generals, since the days of Sarit Thanarat to Prayut Chan-o-cha is the same: They identify themselves with the monarchy and convince the people to believe that any move against them is a move against the monarchy.
The victims of General Prayut’s propaganda are hardcore royalists.
The general’s number one threat is not Khana Ratsadon, but those royalists who believe in “Nation, Religion, and King, but down with the Prayut Regime.”
To separate the general from the monarchy is to undermine the general’s power. Therefore, the narrative is to have the words general and king, military and monarchy be synonymous.
Actor and philanthropist Bin Banluerit is a victim of this political narrative.
After 34 years with the Ruamkatanyu Foundation, he has announced he’s leaving the charity organization. Over the years, Bin has been instrumental in helping rural communities that suffer from natural disasters.
His tireless efforts and celebrity status have raised hundreds of millions of baht to help the people.
He is considered a hero. He’s also fiercely loyal to the monarchy but has stayed out of politics.
“I will not let these evil people do anything to the monarchy,” he said via Facebook Live.
“If I face the people who raised the middle finger at the royal motorcade, I will slap them… I’m angry. Three fingers is fine. But raise one finger, and you’ll get what’s coming to you.”
The live video went viral. Bin became a top trending hashtag.
The keywords are “evil,” “slap,” and “what’s coming to you.”
Raising the middle finger at anyone is rude, let alone at the royal motorcade. But to believe it is “evil” and therefore justify violence, Bin is playing right into the hands of General Prayut. The actor has since called for a mass political rally in support of the monarchy, which again plays right into the hands of General Prayut.
After all, the political narrative is, General Prayut is the number one defender of the monarchy. So now the general has one of Thailand’s more popular personalities on his side, ready to bring hell, fire, and brimstone on Khana Ratsadon.
Why? Just because of the middle finger.
Bin is harming the monarchy more so than any pro-democracy protestors.
A king is loved by the people for his kindness and mercy.
But the hateful words and violent demands of hardcore royalists such as Rientong Nanna, Warong Dechgitvigrom, Haruethai Muangboonsri, and others are doing no favor to the image of the present Thai monarchy.
And now, Bin joined in to represent the monarchy with hatefulness and vengefulness.
Why? All because Khana Ratsadon wants to transform Thailand into a democratic constitutional monarchy with the king as the head of state. But while doing so, yes, there have been rude words and crude gestures directed at the monarchy.
But the trick is this.
Get the hardcore royalists to overlook the core demands. Do not let them study and examine the virtue and validity of a democratic constitutional monarchy with the king as the head of state.
Instead, focus their attention on rude gestures and inappropriate hashtags. Neither of which has anything to do with Khana Ratsadon’s demands nor the future of Thailand. But misdirection is political art.
So Thailand now has an army of hardcore royalists, frothing with anger and hatred, ready to hit the streets and, if not commit violence themselves, cheer for violence against pro-democracy protesters.
Towards what goal?
In their minds, to defend the monarchy institution. But in reality, it is to preserve the Prayut Regime.
Because of the hardcore royalists, the monarchy’s prestige will lessen in the new generation’s eyes.
Why? Because those who call themselves champions of the monarchy have shown them nothing but hatred and violence.
A king is loved because he’s kind and merciful. A king is hated if he’s brutal and vengeful. It is up to the royalists to show the rest of the nation how they want to represent the Thai monarchy.
No one harms the monarchy’s image more so than the hardcore royalists.
What General Prayut fears most are rational royalists who chant “Nation, Religion, and King, but down with the Prayut Regime.”