If the question is: Why are you so critical of General Prayut Chan-o-cha, but not of Thanatorn Juangroongruangkit?
The answer is simple:
One is a coup leader, a five-year military dictator and the current prime minister of the 250 handpicked senators and a funny calculator type of democracy.
The other is a member of parliament for one day and may possibly face a prison term for applying to be an MP while owning shares in a media company, which used to own a celebrity gossip magazine.
If you can’t tell the difference, then you might just suffer from “cult mentality.”
Love is blind, deaf and dumb. It makes fools of us all.
Cult mentality is where you fall head-over-heel in love with a cult and the cult leader, so much in love that your rational faculty shut down, even if you are otherwise an educated person.
If the cult leader says, “the grass is blue,” your immediate answer would be, “and what a lovely shade of blue it is, your magnificence.”
If anyone dares to suggest, “Beg your pardon, actually grass contains the green pigment chlorophyll that absorbs sunlight during photosynthesis, which converts light energy into chemical energy, therefore grass is the color green to the naked eyes.”
Your reaction would be, “What?! You disloyal pro-Thanatorn rotten orange! How dare you say that?! This is a violation of the Computer Crime Act! I will report you!”
Cult mentality is the failure to understand the basic fundamentals of democracy and of common sense.
The government’s function is to protect and to provide.
To protect us from foreign invaders, there’s the military. To protect us from local criminals, there’s the police. The government also provides rule of law, infrastructure, economic opportunities, education, etc.
To do all of this, the government needs a lot of money, so we pay taxes. As such, with big guns and lots of money, the government is powerful and wealthy.
But because power corrupts, as greed is the nature of man, democracy provides a system of check & balance to prevent the government from abuse of power.
It’s far from perfect, but it’s the best system we have to fight against abuse of power.
Enter the media, #CheckThePower, if you please.
To check the power of the government is to be critical of the government, rather than to act as public relations for the government.
If the cult leader says the grass is blue and the media reports to the people — “Dear loyal subjects, his awesomeness has decreed, the grass is blue. Let’s all rejoice” — well, cult mentality is blind, deaf and dumb, is it?
Whoever the government is — whether it’s Palang Pracharat, Democrat, Bhumjaitai, Pheu Thai or Move Forward — be relentless in your criticism of them, because to “check” the power of the government is to “balance” the power between the government and the people.
Hence, a corrupt government fears the media and is petrified of freedom of speech.
I started writing commentaries in 2008.
Between then and now, I’ve been called “a yellow-shirt ultra-royalist elite” and “a red-shirt Thaksin slave.”
Why? Because the function of the media is to check the power of the government, whoever the government may be, and both the Democrats and Pheu Thai were governments.
As such, if Thanatorn ever becomes prime minister, then it is the duty of the media and the people to be critical of him.
If he abuses power, then we should chew him up, defecate him out and flush him down. Just as with General Prayut and just as with the Shinawatras.
To check the power is to stand up and speak out for all 69 million Thais.
The grass is always greener on the side of democracy.