Public Opinion? / Fernando Damaso

Photo: Rebeca

Public opinion is a term that often appears in the print, radio and television reports whenever the authorities approve some measure to benefit, or not, the population. Our agile reporters, microphones and cameras in hand, go about the task of interviewing citizens—preferably in schools or workplaces, and at sites where people congregate, such as bus stops, checkout lines, etc.—by being where the double standard comes into play and few people dare to say what they really think. If an incorrect opinion happens to be expressed, however, it gets suppressed in the editing.

This means that all opinions that get reported, one way or another, are unanimous in their support for or rejection of—depending on the desires of the authorities—the approved measure. This bit of theater serves to promote the idea that all citizens are in full agreement with the authorities, that these same authorities are capable of addressing our concerns, and that we live in the best of all democracies—one that lately has been described as “indigenous.” This is somewhat of a replacement for the former term “socialist,” which has perhaps lost a bit of its luster.

Now, with emigration reform and the elections underway, something else has occurred. Certain politically chosen opinions—they range from the infantile to the ridiculous, and include the usual gripes and criticisms of “the Empire,”the source of all our past, present and future problems—are now brandished as “the opinion of the people.”

Translated by mlk and unstated

October 23 2012