COMMENTARY: The lack of sense and objectivity – why we need more objectivity and not less

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

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12 Comments

  1. Ibo France
    November 13, 2019

    This commentary apportioning equal blame, arrogance, hypocrisy to Mr. Skerrit and Mr. Linton is mostly nonsensical. I’m just not impressed. I believe in objectivity as it helps you to be open minded, weigh information received and cast aside all of most biases. Neutrality in these times is dangerous. When all democratic norms are deliberate being eroded, in fromt of our eyes, how can you stay neutral? No human being is perfect. To err is human. Yes, it isn’t every time we open our mouths the words come out perfectly. To try to give credence to this false equivalency of Skerrit’s incessant lies, half truths and corrupt practices to Linton’s few moments of indiscretions is ludicrous at best. In these dire times we need courage not cowardice. False Equivalency does nothing to effect well needed change. It has no place in a crystallized autocracy.

    • A biased observer (author)
      November 14, 2019

      I addressed this: “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!”

      I then go on to say: “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.”

      …so no false equivalency made here.

      The UWP and their supporters compare Skerrit to far worse dictators than him all the time, Mugabe, Papa Doc, Gaddafiyi the list goes on.

      Actually, Skerrit is not even a dictator in a full sense but he shares some dictatorial traits….while I personally don’t liken Linton to a dictator(time will tell)….he does certainly share traits with Skerrit.

  2. Smith
    November 13, 2019

    This is a good attempt at finding a solution , but the “bias” observer is bias and not objective. Read between the lines!

    • A biased observer (author)
      November 14, 2019

      I don’t claim not to be hence my ironic yet not so ironic name, ultimately, its one of those relative labels – like bad or good.

      Christianity teaches we are all sinners and the wages of sin are death but we don’t put everyone to death that commits a sin or a crime there are different punishments with the intent that the punishment suit the sin/crime.

      People are never really all bad or all good, or all biased or all unbiased.

      There are levels of bias the aim (at least for me) is to be aware of your own bias and manage it in a way that allows for objective decision making (or at least something extremely close) and if that is not possible then to recuse oneself of a situation where your bias might prevent integrity in your decision making.

      These are not simple things or we would create robots to do that for us.

      We need to become honest, holistic, mature adults to even come close, hence why we are having so many problems…

  3. dissident
    November 13, 2019

    You would have gotten more credit if you had put your name to your piece.

    Lennox Linton led UWP to take 3 seats in de last election while DLP spent millions to lose3 seats.

    Comparing Skerrit to Linton?
    Do a better job at hiding your arrogance…… have you ever witnessed a parliamentary session?

    You know what…why don’t you form a party and you will get a shot at being PM

    • A biased observer (author)
      November 14, 2019

      A bit hypocritical coming from someone using a false name, I really did consider it….but you first. Yes I’ve viewed many parliamentary sessions often to my disappointment. and lastly….no thank you.

  4. Shaka zulu
    November 13, 2019

    Nice piece there.
    “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.” My favorite part.

    • A biased observer (author)
      November 14, 2019

      Thank you for the good word, spent so much time responding to the negative almost forgot to appreciate the positive…

  5. November 13, 2019

    You are right with that title, for this is the theme of your message–it is simply biassed! Your comparison of PM Skerrit and Lennox Linton is totally flawed.

    Those two are like oranges and mangos (both fruits) but nothing else in common; the same is with PM Skerrit and Linton (both humans) but completely different in character.

    I met PM Skerrit through reading “Dominica Weekly” before the 2009 election and I automatically came to like him, because his spirit bonded with mine–that is what Love does in us.

    PM Skerrit might have uttered a few things that people did not like, but I can see how the harassment against him could motivate anger in him–such as: “go to hell” this definitely has to the utterance of anger which overcame his mind–he is human!

    Now, I see PM Skerrit with his family, with different people of Dominica; I see his work in motion, I perceive the character of Love all over him–PM Skerrit is NOT like Lennox Linton, bottom line!

  6. Lin clown
    November 13, 2019

    Here again your BIASES is exposed.By CHANGE the UWP mean a change of GOVERNMENT.The DLP has 12 new candidtes.The UWP has 11 new candidates.So you are Lying to mention candidates in your change.Where and when has the DLP displayed a level of Lawlessness?What about OUR YOUNG PROSTITUTING THEMSELVES? You left this out and concentrated on TRIVIAL BS.Typical UWP.You mentioned PUPPETS,yet you follow LINTON,a man who was expelled from theGrammer School for violence.He was FIRED from DCP,and DEPORTED from ANTIGUA.Fined $ 1,000,000 for being RECKLESS WITH THE TRUTH.Comparing Linton to Skerrit is like CHALK and CHEESE.The MAJORITY of Dominicans know that.Linton cannot do house to house campaign in the Mahaut constituency,although he worked at DCP for years.DNO must stop trying to mislead people.

  7. The Truth Be Told
    November 13, 2019

    I quote “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.” I tend not to agree with you. I am sure you have not met the PM on a one on one basis. Well say is my opinion. But this young man ( The PM) has something in him that a lot of people do not have. He loves, is warm, approachable, sympathetic as well. He thinks of others too. Many have come in contact with him; many relay this sentiments. I recall a young man who heard all of the negative about the PM and here he was by chance face to face with him. He said is this the man many say so much bad things about? An therein his perspective of him changed. so maybe u should just have a chance visit to him and then u can come back and comment. Also seek audience with the Opposition Leader as well.

    • A biased observer (author)
      November 14, 2019

      I don’t hate the man (Skerrit) nor do I hate Linton.

      I just chose to describe them honestly and without favour (and yes, I have met him). I rarely see anyone doing that right now at least not those involved in politics.

      A funny thing about the truth and showing favour. If you describe a well known someone honestly and say he is a liar there’s guaranteed to be someone who favours the person who might say “don’t say that” he is just “liberal with the truth” or some other euphemism.

      However, when you do that you actually don’t do anyone any favours.

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