Marcelino Oyola Cintrón

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Por Marcelino Oyola Cintrón
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The ideal forces me to demand respect

Once again, President Donald Trump attacks the Puerto Rican people and, on this occasion, at the least opportune moment.

But, beyond his disrespect and arrogance, we have to be concerned about how deeply the colonizer-colonized syndrome impacts people with some degree of leadership. This is similar to the syndrome that women victims of gender-based violence have. The President insults me, but he is so good! On the other side, he hits me, he locks me up, but he loves me.

Justifying the infamy does not contribute to fighting evil. On the contrary, it perpetuates it. Reading and listening to things like “As long as he sent the aid...!”, “Thank you”, “I'm used to seeing the President’s creativity...!” These expressions denote existential confusion, personal devaluation, fear and complacency. There are moments when it is better to die of hunger than of shame.

In the political arena, some people confuse ideals, political party and loyalty to the leader. This moves them to justify and defend any action stemming from the political party and the leader, even though if they undermine the ideal with it. In Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s "Archipelago Gulag" (1973), supporters of the communist regime identified the first to stop applauding the leader and consider him a traitor. The leader was everything.

The ideal is what I understand to be right, what should be and what I should defend; the party is the means, the tool to promote it, and the leader is the one who guides us to achieve it.

Therefore, we can ignore the party and the leader, but not the ideal. This was very clear to Don Luis A. Ferré when he left the Republican State Party and its leader Manuel García Méndez, and founded the New Progressive Party, bringing the statehood ideal.

The ideal forces me to demand respect with dignity.

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