Stop the insult against debaters

By Alex P. Vidal

“He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.”–Brigham Young

A WOMAN university professor has lambasted some Philippine presidential candidates for having “nothing between their ears” especially when some of them have suggested to discuss the topics ahead of the debate.

It’s a direct rebuke against anyone involved in the series of debates before the May 9, 2022 election and was profoundly uncalled for especially if it came from a regular panelist with high credentials.

“For God’s sake, I’ve been teaching for 55 years. If you were my student, I would give you the final exam questions,” boomed Clarita Carlos, University of the Philippines (UP) political science professor in a recent nationally televised interview.

These past weeks when Prof. Carlos became a shoo-in panelist invited by presidential debate organizers, she has been acting like a tyrant who would flaunt her mastery of a certain “area of research” or expertise on a certain subject matter and annihilates the debaters with difficult questions to bedazzle the audience.

And because her antics were always given the front seat prominence in the national media, some people would think she was competing for popularity with the candidates.


As a mother figure in the forum, Prof. Carlos should learn to treat the debaters like her own children and refrain from hurling insulting remarks toward them if their answers don’t satisfy her, or if they failed to impress her.

We agree that the candidates must not come to war unprepared, but we don’t expect all of them—presidential, vice presidential, senator—to act and think like Albert Einstein (genius physicist) or Kevin Ashman (world quizzing champion) during the one-hour debate.

The purpose of the presidential debate is to test the candidates’ intellectual prowess and their readiness to right away solve and explain complex issues that may arise during their incumbency.

Pre-election debates will help develop the candidates’ self-motivation and critical thinking—how to explore the world through the lens of an inquisitive mind; it will also help them eliminate the fears of public speaking, which will be part and parcel of their regular tasks once elected.

That’s why we need leaders who are knowledgeable, someone with integration of knowledge on various issues, not just popular and entertainer or a prominent coup plotter.


I don’t tolerate people who engage in intellectual masturbation when dealing with the critical and serious Russo-Ukraine conflict.

I go direct to the point: denounce the war and violence and call spade a spade—that Vladimir Putin is on the wrong side of history and he should end ASAP the atrocities in independent state Ukraine.

I refer to those who try to insult our intelligence by lecturing us on social media and other platforms that Russia’s illegal, immoral, unjustified, brutal, senseless invasion of peaceful Ukraine happened “because the West had provoked Vladimir Putin.”

They have time and arrogance to parade their “expertise” on geopolitics and world history, but can’t even say something about the murder of innocent civilians—children, women, elderly—and the destruction of civilian territories, which is expected to worsen as the Russian soldiers continued with their crazy and demonic rampage as of this writing.

After watching Kremlin’s propaganda apparatuses on Tiktok and other social media, the pro-Putin cretins suddenly have become knowledgeable about the issues involving NATO and the United States calling the NATO and US as the “bad guys” and praising the author of the massacre in Ukraine as “a victim of provocation and harassment by the West.”

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)