There’s a political divide in Thailand. On one side is the traditional establishment. On the other is the liberal new generation.
Inside the cave
The conflict between the opposing forces is not entirely unlike in any other country, including in developed democracies. However, in developed democracies, the conservatives and the liberals compete within the democratic framework.
In Thailand, the opposing forces compete within the cage of the “Thai-style” democracy in which the traditional establishment holds military, executive, legislative, judicial, and bureaucratic powers. With the support of the elite economic class and the privilege of 250 junta-appointed senators. The liberal new generation, on the other hand, has creative signs and cool hashtags.
By all means, it’s not a fair competition. Instead, it’s corrupt to the core.
Bring balance to the forces
For society to move forward, there must exist a balance, and there must be a compromise. The liberal movement will not get every demand at the snap of the fingers. The fight for democracy is one step at a time, though hopefully, each step would be a giant stride, rather than a baby-step. Of course, the first step is hitting delete on the 250 junta-appointed senators so that we may at least have a national election on equal terms, one person one vote.
The traditional establishment will not retain the entirety of the power that it has. For the country to move forward, the establishment must at least accept a national election on equal terms. It’s the first step both sides must take.
A 66-year-old entitled millennial
But there’s a problem that stands in the way of both sides, preventing the Thai nation from achieving a balance for us to move forward. His name is Prayut Chan-o-cha.
For the past six years or so, the Thai people have become well familiar with the general’s mindset. If the Anti-Fake News Center were to monitor him, it would have to shut his mouth down every day. His boastfulness, vulgarity, and delusion of self-grandeur is a part of the every day Thai life, like the polluted air that we live with.
Earlier this month, he said he would listen to the young protestors. By the middle of the month, he gave a nationally televised address and said the young are the moral courage and the nation’s future. The former was perhaps a tiny second of an “uncle” moment. The latter was reading the words written by someone else.
The impossibility of a rational dialogue
What he said on 26 August 2020, however, should convince anyone who might have thought otherwise that, with him in charge, Thailand cannot move forward. There can’t be a compromise. We can’t achieve any balance. Democracy is not a possibility.
He insinuated that the 2014 military coup was him personally saving the kingdom from chaos. He’s responsible for the Thailand 4.0 scheme, which he believes is the future of the nation. Thailand must have a Thai-style democracy. The action of the protestors would cause the fall of the Thai nation, with the country ravaged by flames of chaos.
In all of this, he believes the country owes him gratitude. Those who stand against him are ingrates and nation-haters. The general’s sense of entitlement would have even millennials go, “Damn, uncle. Take it easy.”
The age of no reason
How can one talk sense to this level of vain-glorious delusion? How can one appeal to such a degree of moral blindness? How can a rational dialogue be had in the face of such self-righteous indignation reinforced by a Donald Trump-esque level of conceit and a Kim Jong Un-like degree of ego?
The traditional establishment needs a new brand ambassador if the government and the people are ever able to come together for a rational conversation and find a balance to the forces.
For Thailand to move forward, the establishment must put General Prayut into retirement, and take with him, General Prawit Wongsuwan.