Democracy is most vulnerable when times are hard. People tend to elect tough talking “strong men,” like Hitler, Putin, Hussein, and Duterte, who eventually turn their Democratic Republics into totalitarian dictatorships. These kinds of leaders always find scapegoats for the uneducated masses to fear, hate, and blame for all the county’s problems. Of course these kinds of “strong men” leaders keep the outward forms of democracy as they wage war against insurgents, drugs, crime, or whatever. Then, they claim that during times of war it’s necessary for the people to give up a few of their constitutional freedoms, such as freedom of the press, assembly, speech, religion, privacy, etc.
It seems Duterte has chosen to scapegoat US special forces for his failure to irradicate the insurgents. He’s deflecting criticism of his own atrocities by accusing “the United States of committing atrocities against Muslims over a century ago on Jolo island.” Deflection, denial, and scapegoating is a typical method of “personality cult” leaders, no matter the form of government. Don’t think it can happen? It can. We are witnessing the rise of a “personality cult” leader right now.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the US Special Forces must leave Mindanao, saying their presence would only worsen the situation in the strife-torn region.