Malaya Business Insight : Waiting for the unity government

By Jose Bayani Baylon | Malaya Business Insight

‘…I am truly looking forward to a Marcos administration that lives up to his theme of unity. Not that he really has to reach out to the losing side of the equation since he is not a minority president (far from it), but because it will be a good thing to do.’

AS a basketball fan and a former team governor of a PBA team, I’ve always wondered which type of defeat others feel is tougher to bear – one where you lose by whisker, or one where you lose by a mile?

I did some unscientific surveys over the last few days (since Google Trends is no longer reliable ha-ha) and was surprised to find that all of my friends who were my respondents said that the loss by a wide margin – what we call “tambak” in local basketball parlance – was the tougher one to bear in their minds.

I disagreed, and explained why I have always felt that the loss by a whisker (the worst type being the last second winning shot by the opponent) is far more painful than losing by a mile. And my reasoning is this: long before the final buzzer sounds to end a game where you are losing by a mile, you already know you I’ll lose. Maybe the rival team has been ahead from the get-go and has never looked back, or maybe the lead has grown with every minute that passes. Either way you can already “accept” your fate early on and prepare – and that is almost always a good thing.

But to have victory snatched from you at the last second? I’ve experienced this a number of times and I tell you it hurts like hell.

You also have so many “what if’s” playing in your mind. For days thereafter.

I suspect the same applies to electoral defeats. A defeat is a defeat is a defeat and a defeat hurts – but when you lose the way Hillary lost in 2016 (losing the electoral college despite winning the popular vote) or Al Gore in 2000 (losing in the Supreme Court) or even Bongbong Marcos in 2016 (going to bed the winner and waking up the loser) – even the toughest nuts can crack under the emotional strain of being an “almost president.”

It’s a different kind of pain, though, when you are rejected massively. And in politics, such a defeat is even more personal than it ever is in basketball.

Which is why I am truly looking forward to a Marcos administration that lives up to his theme of unity. Not that he really has to reach out to the losing side of the equation since he is not a minority president (far from it), but because it will be a good thing to do.

It will help considerably in the healing process.

Of course, no one should be surprised if the invitation to the opposition to join the Cabinet is spurned, given the freshness of the defeat. But I would also like to hope that there will be elements of the Yellow-Pink segment of our political divide who can overcome the highly charged partisan atmosphere and accepts for the sake of the country.

Don’t you agree?