Stop behaving like spoilt children angry at their parents for a rainy day at the beachSunday, September 12, 2021
When Norman Manley lost the general election in 1962, it was largely because he had embraced and championed the dream of the West Indies Federation.
The public did not buy into it even though he did. That is just how democracy is. We are not going to agree on everything.
Despite the fact that the electorate rejected him at the polls, no one could argue that he was still an outstanding person. He was an outstanding athlete, soldier, attorney and statesman.
Losing an election did not detract from his greatness. No one called him unkind names like thief, fool, lazy, criminal, or any other slander. There was a disagreement on policy. Democracy worked, another man became premier.
Decency in politics ended in the 1970s. Michael Manley was attacked and given some incredibly unkind titles. When Edward Seaga won, he too got his fair share of abuse.
The attackers and abusers were often politicians themselves and they set the stage for the public.
Recently, I have seen the prime minister being painted with the abusive brush. This because of COVID-19 curfews, lockdowns, and restrictions.
This recent abuse is senseless, insensitive, useless and baseless. This is a pandemic. It is not his fault. He has to do something, anything in fact, to try and limit the crisis. The measures may seem useless and that is up for debate, but he has to do something.
It is a bit bewildering to me why people spew so much venom on political leaders.
This is not a monarchical system where we inherit a leader we did not elect. We voted and the electorate selected someone. Once that is done he is our leader. Why? Because the majority choose him and we respect the democratic process.
I wonder sometimes if people realise what this man must be going through.
Two guys in China decided to stew some rat bats and suddenly this entire period of government is about COVID-19. All other plans are in the toilet.
It cannot be easy to limit commercial activity by curfews or wantonly destroy the entertainment industry.
This must be a terrible time to lead a nation. No matter what you do you will never please everybody, especially in a situation when almost all you do impacts everyone negatively.
I remember this conduct playing out with George Bush Jr. People just dreamt up theories without any basis regarding 9/11 and it gained traction and became fact.
The character bashing is what is keeping good people out of politics. I would not dream of entering the political arena in this country. Why? Because some moron is going to call me a thief, fool, sexual deviant and a dunce. Why in hell would I want to go through that for the trump change they are paid?
Most parliamentarians spend more than they earn from political representation. Their salary is less than that paid to a good plumber in the United States of America.
This is a terrible time in our history. Thousands will die before the vaccination programme nullifies the effect of the virus. Until then, we need to stop behaving like spoilt children angry at their parents for a rainy day at the beach.
COVID-19 is not Prime Minister Andrew Holness's fault. Neither is it Minister Christopher Tufton's. It is not even the two rat bat cooks. It is just one of the things that happen on our planet from time to time.
We had the bubonic plague, small pox, cholera, HIV/AIDS, Spanish influenza, and many other diseases that have wreaked havoc on humanity.
Cholera really did a number on Jamaica, killing one-tenth of our population in 1851. The Arawaks were wiped out to a large degree by imported diseases.
It is time to grow up and stop looking for a scapegoat in every crisis we face. It is time to stop acting like politicians are imposed on us, rather than elected by us.
When someone as bright as PJ Patterson decides to run for public office, it is at the expense of his legal career. When a man as wealthy as Peter Bunting decides to enter politics, it also comes with an opportunity cost.
You really think a man Horace Chang's age, who is a doctor, is endangering his life serving as the minister of national security because he wants to? He, like the aforementioned persons, is suffering the effects of opportunity cost by engaging in politics.
You will one day find that only people who cannot do no better will enter politics. Then you will have an interesting state of affairs.
There have been many world crises before. Not all resulted in the demonising of our leaders. Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were the heads of powerful nations during World War II. That was perhaps the worst period in human history since the end of the transatlantic save trade.
They took hard decisions, but at least while the war lasted they received citizen support. This may have contributed to their success. Maybe we should emulate the populations of that era.
Or maybe we can each ask ourselves what part can we play? If you are an employer, encourage vaccination. If you are an employee, encourage your peers. If you see people in a vaccination line, lend them an umbrella. Do your part. Do something, just like our leaders are doing.
Let me remind you, people do not run for public office to become punching bags.
Elected leaders are all our leaders. Only the very weak look to cast blame. The truly strong looks to solutions. Think of our sick before we think of ourselves and for Christ's sake, 'Tan a yuh damn yard' during lockdown.
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