Look. Everyone’s frustrated right now. We get it. This situation will probably get worse before it gets better, and when everyone is just pointing out how bad things are, we want to hear a bit of positivity instead of being told about the issues we’re already acutely aware of.
Unfortunately, in this drive to quell the toxic negativity, we end up with toxic positivity. In hopes of silencing critics, some people resort to this doozy of a clapback:
“Reklamo ka nang reklamo wala ka naman naiambag!”
It sounds like a great argument on the surface, but the reality is, it’s not. Here are 8 reasons why.
8. It presumes people can only complain but not do anything else.
Remember how much we complain about security guards and their useless “inspection” of our bags? All of us hate it, but do any of us actually not present our bags to the guard when we (used to) enter the mall? Heck, no.
That’s because unless it’s absolutely terrible, while we know something is probably a bad idea, we’re still going along with it, anyways. It’s a minor inconvenience, and ultimately, security theater, but we’re not going to actively spite these security guards just to make our point.
The same goes for the current situation. A lot of us have pointed out problems in their plans, and the fact that they keep changing their plans (and even pretending an idea they REJECTED yet now ripped off is “their” idea) means that even the powers that be recognize that their plans need work. That being said, it’s not like we’re staying out and ignoring the curfew or the quarantine if we can afford to. Nobody who’s out there right now is out there because they want to stick it to the government: they’re out there because they have to.
“Ano bang naiambag mo?” Over the past week or so, we’ve seen this question asked of anyone who dared to inquire what’s been going on in any way. This literally included medical frontliners who are working non-stop to help, but just felt the need to vent because they, being on the ground, can see where our efforts are falling short.
And we ask these people what they’ve contributed? That’s downright insulting.
7. It puts the responsibility to solve this national crisis on us.
First of all, we didn’t elect these people to worship them. We elected them to do their job, and if we think they’re not doing it right, of course we’re going to point it out. Asking us what we’ve pitched in to help is a logical fallacy because unlike the government, we did not sign up for this.
This is gaslighting at its finest: making the government’s responsibility suddenly our responsibility, when the reality is: it’s theirs. This is why they were elected.
6. It assumes that we want the government to fail.
Contrary to what die-hards believe, people can and do compartmentalize.
Yes, we think this plan sucks and it can use a lot of work.
No, this doesn’t mean we are hoping that the president fails, because if he does, people will literally die. We WANT him to succeed. In fact, we want him to succeed so bad, we’re telling him that what he’s about to do is going to see the opposite of success, and nobody wants that when lives are on the line. (At least, nobody who isn’t a certified monster.)
5. It ignores the fact that all of us here are paying taxes.
Literally speaking, nakiambag na tayo the minute we paid our taxes. But no, of course we gotta move the goalposts and pretend that’s not enough. Because, again, this argument is disingenuous at its very core, so of course anyone using this argument will resort to a litany of other logical fallacies because they’re not arguing in good faith. Speaking of which…
4. Because they will move goalposts even after you’ve proven your “worth.”
First things first: no, you don’t have to “prove” your “worth.” You are a Filipino, and the Philippine government is supposed to look after your best interests. That’s how it works. You don’t have to be extra in any way.
That being said, even if you humored this argument and established very clearly that yes, may inambag ka, they will quickly move goalposts and say that it’s either “not enough,” or that they don’t believe you. Worse, they’ll just go “good on you. Now just shut up,” because apparently, that’s really all they wanted to do: make you shut up. Engage in honest discussion? Of course not. It’s really about not pointing out the elephant in the room, even if said elephant is willfully not doing right by its constituency.
3. Because complaining constructively is a contribution.
Let’s pretend we’re on the Titanic and we saw the iceberg, and complained about it, making the captain turn away from it just in time to prevent the ship from hitting it and sinking to its doom. Is that not a contribution in and by itself?
When people complain, it isn’t just because they’re being negative nancies. They’re complaining precisely because they can see problems from the current course of action, and maybe, just maybe, if we listened to some of these, we’d actually have a more sound plan than whatever the heck it is we have right now.
2. Because we have every right to complain.
Anyone who wants us to shut up and stop whining is free to not listen to us whine. Tune out. Go somewhere else, maybe to someone telling those “mother******” to stay home, because heaven forbid these people who need to work try to survive, right?
People seem to have this weird notion that complaining shouldn’t happen in the middle of a crisis, when a crisis is precisely a billion complaints all rolled up into one all-encompassing situation we now have to deal with.
1. Because in the end, they’re also complaining.
And I don’t just mean people who are whining about other people whining.
I mean people who want us to be positive for the government to keep up morale or some pithy reason like that, then proceed to complain about someone doing something because they’re not on the same political side. In fact, some of these people are so downright vile, they resort to sabotaging these efforts, because heaven forbid the people we don’t like actually do something good for a change.
It’s this kind of innate hypocrisy that people spouting this disingenuous argument often also feature that really should tell you that there is absolutely no reason to take them seriously. There is no discussion to be had. While here we are, hoping, even praying that the government, despite its track record, somehow gets it right, these people are hoping, praying that any effort by people they don’t like screws up and gets people killed instead.
There’s a word to describe people like those, my friends, and it’s not a word we publish here on the 8List.
For any complaints or violent reactions, please go to the comments section below.