I see the current situation with optimism; However, this is an optimism that is full of caution. Cautious Optimism.
ULIL ABSHAR ABDALLA
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In all problems, including within politics, there are always people who are very fond of bad news and tend to describe the situation so badly that it infects people around them with the virus of pessimism.
For people like this there is always a dark side to every piece of news that should bring a message of kindness. People like this are commonly referred to as fearmongers. I call them the "alarmists", those who like to sound the "alarm", as if it is a dangerous situation. Even though there is a little benefit to an alarmist attitude like this (at least as a reminder so that we are careful in assessing the situation!), I tend to avoid or distrust this kind of person. There are certain figures in this country that I see have a tendency toward this. I have, for a long time ago, had no interest in figures like this.
On the other hand, of course, there are certain people who due to partisan political reasons tend to see everything as good news and completely ignore the developments that need attention. Supporters of the political regime in power tend to fall into this trap. Meanwhile regime haters sometimes fall into parties which always sound the "alarm", as if we are always in a state of danger.
The right assessment of each situation, I think, is between these two attitudes: between the attitude of the alarmists on the one hand and the attitude of the enthusiasts on the other. This middle attitude, for me, is very appropriate to be used as a grip by the public in general, especially those who are not part of "political bobotoh [supporters]". In general, the public is in a neutral position, in the sense of not being fanatical supporters or haters of the power that is governing.
It must be admitted that in recent years, there has indeed been a tendency for the public to be dragged in the political polarization and become part of the "political bobotoh" phenomenon. However, I see positive movements, with the fading of this polarization. One explanation, I think, is because the political figures who were the source of polarization have either become part of the power that is governing or have stepped down.
Whatever the reason, I see it as a rather encouraging development, namely the shrinking of excessive sentiment supporting or opposing certain political figures. In assessing the current situation, I think the middle principle I propose above is very appropriate to be used as a lens.
In the Monday edition (22/5/2023), this daily presented an interesting survey about the public assessment of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo's government. In general, the public is satisfied with the performance of the government even though the level of satisfaction is very different between supporters of the government and those who oppose it. However, in general, the public is satisfied with what the government has done so far – something that is clearly positive.
This kind of news can be responded to with two attitudes at once. For the enthusiasts who always describe everything entirely optimistically, this news becomes a kind of vindication or confirmation of their optimistic assessment. For the “alarmists”, this news is considered an "opium" to be used by the defenders of power to cover the bad sides of a situation.
I prefer to avoid those two attitudes. It cannot be denied that the many positive developments should be acknowledged for the current Jokowi government. Only stubborn alarmists deny the existence of positive aspects in the current regime.
However, it cannot be denied there are things that make us feel concerned. Developments in the aspect of law enforcement, for example, are still very alarming. The impression that I got from conversations on social media so far is: the officials move only if citizens shout. If there is no commotion on the part of the citizens, certain cases are left without attention. This is clearly very annoying.
In other words, I see the current situation with optimism; However, this is an optimism that is full of caution. Cautious Optimism.