If you believe you live in a lawless country and bemoan the abuses that take place there, it would hardly be sensible or morally justifiable to advocate for an even more lawless alternative to fix the problem.
But that’s exactly what some are doing. There is a wave growing in the opposition camp that seeks to do just that.
The advocates claim to be for change but are priming the same tribal and false absolute dichotomy narrative (my side is automatically the right side and yours is the wrong side) which is the type of dogmatic and thoughtless mindset that got us to this point of victimization and lawlessness, to begin with.
And yes, I do believe we live in a relatively lawless country. The issue really isn’t whether or not we need change, but rather, how are we going to achieve it?
This point was clearly demonstrated when Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit almost completely changed his slate of candidates for the upcoming election.
The labour supremo himself admitted in words and at least, superficially in his actions, that change is needed.
A mantra that is close to nearly a decade old that is coming from the UWP and opposition voices, which by now, virtually all Dominicans have been exposed to is, “change is a must”.
Regardless of your bias for or against the wording of the statement, both major political sides at least seem to agree and have made it in some way, the focus of their campaigns.
Part of my point is this: only a neutral or objective mind can accept the truth in that statement regardless of how it is phrased.
If we, as a society, value objectivity and neutrality, the best pathways to the truth, and a reasonable sense of justice as much as we pretend at times, we would not need to have messages tailored to our individual biases and egos to consider them palatable – we would accept and seek the truth in all forms!
Furthermore, many of the ills such as hatred, ignorance, apathy and corruption that currently plague us, would disappear faster than Skerrit’s commitment to build an international airport after each election.
If you subscribe to any of the major parties and are a “true poto” then you already agree that change is needed. It is downright hypocritical to get upset or argue against the other side for saying the same. A rather common practice it seems to me over most political issues. It is no loss to your side to admit you agree on major issues. In fact, no one loses; we all win.
Many have been turned off by the UWP for years, for the reason that they saw no viable alternative in that party and specifically Lennox Linton as the party leader.
In my estimation, it’s because, on a fundamental level, Linton does not greatly deviate from Skerrit’s arrogant and self-focused approach. The idea being something akin to “6 of one and half a dozen of the other”.
They are both opportunistic, dismissive/disrespectful of anyone who contradicts them, love to be in charge/self-elevating and enjoy being the focus of attention.
Skerrit is: “mind your damn business” “…go to hell…” (dismissive and disrespectful) and more recently “I run tings” (love to be in charge) which he exhibits by taking on all the ministries related to the selling points of his campaign(Finance, Housing and Investment) leaving nothing that could outshine him for his puppet ministers (love to be in charge/self-elevating and attention seeking).
Linton is: “Woman will you shut up!” (dismissive and disrespectful) and his claim that he did it for the children (opportunistic, self-elevating and attention seeking) when referring to his actions at the National Youth Rally and let’s not ignore his offer of $25,000 to every household when they find the 1.2 billion dollars (power seeking or love of being in charge).
I can imagine people who would say that I’m making an unfair comparison one is worse than the other, that’s fine but your missing my point – they both exhibit those traits!
While it can be reasonably argued there is good in these two men their propensities are a reflection of the accepted behaviours of our leaders by their followers and society in general.
In my view, this reality is more an indictment on our preference in leaders and the type of attitudes and behaviours we support and encourage, than a condemnation of these two men but that point can be its own discussion.
However, to be fair, they are different people and their shared personality traits or failings if you prefer (or even if you don’t) don’t erase that they are different in many ways and should be judged on their own merits.
Nor does that cloud the fact that one of these individuals has been in power for nearly 15 years and has “led” Dominica to be the most generally under-performing economy and society in the Eastern Caribbean. The regional indicators are very clear on this and have nothing to do with sentiment or who you support (or at least they shouldn’t).
It is simply true that by regional comparison, we generally (there are exceptions) rank dead last or near the bottom whether you blame it on the DLP, Maria or some other factor.
Our current state maybe nearly irreparable save for a complete overhaul of the way we do things.
Understand, that like many Dominicans, I want change, good change, but advocating a “blue or you foo” mindset is no different than “better red than dead”. The “potoism” and dogmatism have divided and destroyed our country for too long.
Yes, we need to demand critical thinking, neutrality and objectivity of ourselves and each other, to allow these things to hold sway over our society for a change– as the saying goes.
Rather than vilifying those with the discipline and intelligence to not merely jump on the bandwagon of the time, we should respect and YES, even support that behaviour!
Neutrality and objectivity isn’t the dumb, weak-minded or intolerable approach it is often painted as by many across our society. In fact, it is the only consistent way of making good decisions via critical thinking.
While I will acknowledge that there are those who feign intellectualism and objectivity as a cop-out for their responsibility its also true that there are fakes in every movement or belief system in the world, no reason to dismiss an entire group over some faulty members – otherwise the human race would deserve condemnation. The truth is this advocacy of political chauvinism is not unique to Dominica as can be seen clearly via international news….
It is, therefore, a universal truth that even when making a clear choice to favour one side in an argument or dispute, that valuing objectivity and neutrality as a means of decision making should remain paramount as the best overall approach for fairness and justice. In simpler terms: use your head, manage your emotions and be fair and honest in describing and examining the facts – the essence of critical thinking.
Otherwise, we will be setting ourselves up for a repeat (and I would argue something far, far worse) of the last 20 years no matter what colour we choose come December 6th.
A biased observer