People Treated as Political Tools, UGM Sociologist Says

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  • Indonesian President Jokowi (Left) and Gerindra Party Chairman Prabowo Subianto (Right). TEMPO/Dhemas Reviyanto

    Indonesian President Jokowi (Left) and Gerindra Party Chairman Prabowo Subianto (Right). TEMPO/Dhemas Reviyanto

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta -  Gadjah Mada University (UGM) Sociologist Sunyoto Usman said the recent deadly feud triggered by a heated online argument between two supporters of different presidential hopefuls was the result of the unhealthy political climate promoted by politicians that often made allegations against each other.

    “The tendency of our politicians that often accuse each other, defame each other, debate in an unhealthy way, is setting an example to their followers and society in general who still lack proper political education,” said Sunyoto when Tempo reached him today. 

    Read: People Should Not Easily Be Provoked, President Jokowi Says 

    This type of narrative has made people believe that the 2019 presidential election is about a massive battle that must be won, and this dangerous perception can drive a person to engage in physical confrontations. 

    Sunyoto said the people in general are being used as political tools instead of general election participants. This situation causes people to conduct irrational and egotistical behaviors, which can continue to fuel their emotional aspects and make them easily hate one another. 

    Read: Prabowo Irked by Political Correctness, Fears Ban on Laughing 

    “There are currently many people that lack the sufficient political education who show their support because of proximity factors and economic factors, making them easily mobilized,” said Sunyoto.

    The sociologist maintained that the people involved in political elections should position the society in general as political participants so that their support would result from ideas. 

    TAUFIQ SIDDIQ, BUDIARTI UTAMI PUTRI, FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROMANA