The Political Kite

Flying a kite, or kiting, in politics means floating something, like a policy or an idea, to gauge the people’s reaction, with the handler keeping a distance to allow deniability of involvement. Any government uses this political tool.

When somebody suggested that Trillanes is a kite, I raised two points of objection. One, a kite refers to an idea or policy, and not a person. Two, Trillanes was willing to risk his life or, at the very least, liberty, and, therefore, could not be a figment created by any handler.

I got these answers.

First, the kite is not really Trillanes, the person, but the call for PGMA to step down. The whole process is designed to guage the condition of the population and to see who are those most likely to join the “liberation” movement. By floating the kite before the tipping point, the handler retains control of the situation. If discontent has reached the tipping point and the people are joining whatever movement sought to be prevented, just remove the kite and cripple the movement. The handler still retains control. On the other hand, if the kite fails, the people will probably grow tired of that movement, which, under the force of response shown, would probably not succeed anyway. It’s even possible that the people will despise the leaders involved, for pulling back whatever economic progress there is. The bonus of the entire kiting expedition is catching those who are similarly-minded — genuinely similarly-minded — and diffusing the opposition.

Two, no, Trillanes wasn’t willing to die. He chose a hotel, so he would be comfortable. He brought in the media and other civilians, as shield against government forces. He stated, at the start, that they will not capitulate to the deadline set by the government. Yet, when an armored personnel carrier barged into the front door, he quickly gave up, using the media and other civilians as convenient excuse for doing so. He doesn’t want these innocent civilians to get hurt, he said. But that entirely misses the point. Order the media and other civilians to go out the hotel, then stand your ground; be ready to fight and die for whatever you say you believe in. If you cower at the sight of an armored personnel carrier at the lobby of the posh hotel you choose as your camp, then the people are right all along — you’re not someone they’re willing to follow to dangerous waters.

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