Outside of the hardcore nationalists/traditionalists, General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s public support is dwindling fast. But it doesn’t mean a thing if we, the people, can’t get our proverbial shit together.
From the so-called Salims (non-hardcore) to the so-called Three-hooves, at this point in the history of the Thai Kingdom, one thing we all can agree on is Prayut must get out. The problem is, we can’t agree on anything else, and thus we raise barriers among ourselves.
A Salim and a Three-hooves walk into a bar. The former order a Macallan whiskey, the latter order a Black/soda.
Three-hooves: Prayut, get out!
Salim: Hell yeah, Prayut get out!
Three-hooves: Wait a sec, did you blow the whistle in 2014?
Salim: Hold on, you also want to reform Section 112? Fuck you, then!
Three-hooves: Fuck you, too!
They went home separately. General Prayut giggles and flashes a mini-heart.
The Civil Rights Movement successfully changed the law because one racial group march in the street, and other racial groups cross the barrier to support. The LGBTQ+ Movement gained the right to same-sex marriage because one group march in the street, and those of other genders cross the barrier to join them.
Democracy has been achieved in many nations, not because just one segment of society is willing to fight for it, but other segments also cross the barrier. In Myanmar, ethnic minority factions make peace to fight against General Min Aung Hlaing.
Thailand’s pro-democracy movement started with much fanfare, peaking at roughly a hundred thousand in Sanam Luang on 19 September 2020 behind the three core demands: call off the parliament, rewrite the constitution, and hold new elections.
There is no doubting the courage, conviction, and sacrifice of the activists, especially those hunted by the law. But the reality is, when it turned into a monarchy reform movement, since November last year, there have been a few hundred protestors here, a few thousand protesters there.
The 24 June 2021 protest saw a few hundred with the Ratsadon Group and a few hundred with the Thai-Mai-Ton Group, protesting separately.
People are afraid to support the Move Forward Party and the Progressive Movement to remove General Prayut because, again, monarchy reform. People don’t want to support Pheu Thai to remove General Prayut because of the shadow of Thaksin Shinawatra and the history of the red shirts.
The Re-solution Movement tries to bring constitution reform and the 250 senators back to the center of the conversation. But at this point, we, the people, seem to have settled for the social media therapy session to release our frustrations.
We post very mean things about General Prayut with very mean hashtags. Then, we post very mean things about each other. We then go to bed believing that we have done our part for democracy, especially if we get many “like” clicks and shares.
Continue to criticize and condemn the Prayut Regime, it’s not only our democratic right, but it’s also a democratic duty of the conscientious citizen.
But understand that as long as we, the people, can’t get over our hatred for each other and cross the barrier, as long as we can’t find a unifying actor/factor, General Prayut will continue to giggle for at least four more years, na ja.