Braces in a mouth full of rotten teeth
Let me tell you something about our two-party system that’s a profound and holistic assessment of everything wrong with the way our country is run:
It is ca-cahhhh.
The issue is not that we’re faced with a choice of ‘us’ or ‘them’, since many functioning and prosperous states present the same democratic appearance.
It’s an unfortunate and unavoidable effect of our dual-majority racial diaspora. It is not for us. It will never be for us. Yet… here we are, because we lack the foresight and insight into what makes a democracy democratic.
Because no matter how moderate, liberal or conservative a party’s policies can lean, it will always, without fail boil down to this:
“If the leader of this party does not look like me, I cannot trust them or anyone who works with them.”
Isn’t it a shame?
And do you know what it means?
It means that as long as this dynamic exists and it can be milked for votes, no contending party that’s a recognizable force will ever shape its manifesto around a fixed set of principles and values. Instead, it will always take the shape of a comforting response to the perceived worries of one set of people over another. And since people’s fears are fickle, our parties will be fickle. And since the cart is always going to lead the horse, we spinning top in mud.
When’s the last time you didn’t use your vote to get rid of a political leader you didn’t like? When’s the last time you voted someone in because you supported the views and principles the entire party that person worked with and stood for? When’s the last time you even knew what those policies were? Manifestos and broken promises aside… are you aware that both parties lean towards the conservative because the great majority of our politicians are religious or feel pressure internally from our religious institutions?
Do you even understand what that means?
Do you even care?
“This is not an easy country to govern.”
— Former Prime Minister the Hon. Patrick Manning
I respectfully (and laughingly) disagree. If it weren’t, then why can every one of our governments hoodwink us for decades? Running a country has never been easier! We are like children, really — chide and threaten us on day one and by day 9 we’ve forgotten and are laughing and spinning in circles again!
This is the fact of the matter: Trinbagonians are the most intelligent, beautiful, kind, dotish, selfish, and backward people I have ever seen in my life.
And that’s because our treasures have sunk into a sea of mediocrity and incompetence.
1. Trinis aren’t actually lazy. But their energies have been grossly misplaced.
How can you expect someone to work hard and willingly invest time and energy in their lives and this country if you
- Make them spend 5 hours total commuting to and from work on a daily basis?
- Deny them affordable fast and reliable healthcare? (Health Surcharge my arse — I still have to wait 12 hours in the hospital to get an ECG)
- Make them travel/drive to every government office ever to spend half a day to apply for a paper document that gives them license for every single life event?
- Allow businesses to continually underpay their workers?
- Allow businesses to make people cause traffic and come to work to read email, chew gum and go home?
2. Trinis aren’t actually greedy. But their perception of what’s good for them is skewed at best.
How can you expect the rates of diabetes and hypertension to drop if you
- Allow market vendors to charge me up to seven times more than the cost of a cart full of fast food?
- Refuse to force manufacturers to label their foods with the correct and complete nutritional information and list of ingredients?
- Continue to publish in our national health institutions and in schools eating tips from 1960 that have been debunked over 20 years ago? Like that insipid ‘food pyramid’?
- Allow doubles vendors to continue booming businesses with nothing but a food badge but don’t hold farmers to their word and make them work the land they’ve been given?
- Allow groceries to put premium prices on their health foods and penny prices on the snacks aisle with wild abandon?
- Refuse to return to agriculture as a major and viable export and self-sustaining tool?
3. Trinis aren’t actually stupid. But their brains have been forced to retain the trivial and ignore the significant things in life.
How can you expect anything except a brain drain if you
- Make our education system a massive exam coaching program?
- Prevent students with alternative aptitudes from getting the right financial and academic support?
- Allow the economic diversification issue to drag on for decades, preventing the growth of very profitable industries via the students we willingly watch migrate to other countries and prosper?
- Continue to give GATE without accountability of academic performance?
- Continue to send children to school without teaching them how to create something in REAL LIFE on their own?
- Continue to teach Pythagoras’ theorem relentlessly while none of these students know how to start a business, pay taxes, drive a car or even put a damn condom on?
- Cause beautiful and gifted young people to live their entire lives believing they are stupid because they aren’t cut out to be doctors, lawyers or engineers?
If I keep asking questions I won’t finish writing today. So here’s an abrupt end.
Time to go eat my breakfastes yes. #FoodForThought