This week saw the eruption of meaningless narratives that do not help us to become the best we can be. How do we expect our citizens to dream of becoming better?
We get seduced by rhetoric that induces hatred and possibly violence. When will we seek what is in our best interests? When will we leave the worthless politicians to speak to each other? We have more important issues at hand.
In 1985, Black Stalin won the Calypso Monarch with “Wait Dorothy Wait”, a song still relevant today. As a nation, we are in the same position. Which of our national political leaders will resist the temptation of the populist fever? Listen to his lyrics:
1983 meh fans beg for a favour/ Ah decide to please them so ah write the soca/ Last year they come back with a different story/ They say they want something smutty about Jean or Dorothy
Now on your fans, you know your future depends/ So ah sit down to write this smut only to please them/ But as ah take up meh pen and meh piece of paper/ And ah write out the first verse listen what ah remember.
Oil money come oil money go/ Poor people remain on the pavement and ghetto/ When Mr Divider start to divide the bread equally/ Ah going and finish the whole damn calypso about Dorothy/
Instead, we want to sing incessantly each night:
How ah jam she – in the party/ And she jam me – in the party/ How we back back – in the party
And we roll back – in the party/
Not one will say or think:
But once my people keep fighting for an equal share of the cake/
Wait, Dorothy, wait, wait!!!!
We spent an entire week arguing about Dr Keith Rowley’s disclosure of the purchase of a townhouse in Tobago. Editorials and column inches. Do the facts change?
He bought the townhouse. We can argue about the details, but what will that argument do for our nation?
I even heard one politician noting in a press conference that the ownership was recorded in common letters! Is that going to change our future?
This episode comes on the heels of the infamous ‘load your clip’ or whatever nonsense was aired. Do these politicians stop to think about the poor people in our country and how their lives could be improved? Or are they so fixated on each other that nothing else matters?
Is it that all we want is “jam, jam, jam”? Is it that nobody of influence and power wants to think about how to help those in need among us?
Is it that to be a politician, one has to light a match as close to fuel as possible and then walk away? Do our politicians believe that unleashing ugly emotions would help them win elections?
What will happen then? Will the rage magically disappear?
Why were we surprised when we saw the video with the bullseye target on Dr Rowley? Is that not the logical end of the inflammatory talk?
Our politicians can distance themselves and claim that they did not encourage anyone to create the video, but is that true?
Someone is always on the fringes and unable to process the platform talk sensibly. Someone who would take action that they understand our politicians to approve.
When we appeal to emotion, we, by definition, do not engage our people’s intellect or thinking power. In the last month, did we hear any politician inspire us to be better? Did they give us a vision of what we may become?
Instead, they focused on arousing their base to ill-speak the other politicians. If one compares the rhetoric from the platforms with what passes for commentary on social media, one soon realizes there is no difference.
We have adopted the lowest dialogue on the street and made it a prime-time conversation. Woe is we!
We face a crisis of no mean proportions in our primary schools. Our children cannot read. Poor readers are likelier to drop out of school, earn less money as adults and become involved in criminal activity.
We are creating a permanent underclass with no hope. If there is no hope of being able to take care of basic needs, then what do we expect to happen? How many more Firearm User Licences will we need to issue?
We appear not to be ready to invest in our educational system. Instead, we call for more guns and expect that our police will be able to solve the crime. That is a policy decision made by folk who should not be our business or political leaders.
Have we looked at the crop of candidates being presented? Are we able to remember one of them with a coherent speech? What qualifies them to serve?
Yet they expect us to give them our hard-earned money because they are now councillors and aldermen!
The outcome will be that our economy will not deliver the jobs and well-being we long for. When it happens, we will turn on each other. Is that the goal of our parties as we look at what passes for this election?
But we have to be optimistic for our children’s sake. We have to do whatever we can to make the future brighter.
Like Black Stalin said: “We can make it if we try a little harder!”