THE EDITOR: With one hurdle of our political obstacle race behind us, the general election and life after 2020 now await us as our nation continues to change in structure, ideology, and resilience. If we do not wake up from our complacency and apathy, it will be difficult to avoid the mistakes such jurisdictions as Singapore, Venezuela, and even Dominica have been making.
From my observation of and interacting with the man on the street, the professionals, and the retirees, I have come to understand the nature and dynamics of our society. Yes, “all ah we are one!” But this is not necessarily so. TT is still divided by culture, class, and life in urban versus rural districts.
Religion, to a great extent, has a reverberating impact on our politics. The loyal foot soldiers of the UNC have contributed considerably to its survival. On the other hand, the PNM, essentially a multi-religious party, is not as united in ideology.
Further, true members of the UNC thrive more because they are driven by a long-term life purpose, thrift, a high work ethic, and passionate loyalty to those who serve them well.
With respect to class, the elite will always embrace one another and gravitate to the winning side – especially when benefits are to be had and hegemony are to be preserved.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the UNC remains in survival mode because of a unique party loyalty, a long-term life purpose among its members to preserve ethnic hegemony, the strategy of promoting its Monday Night Forum, which was designed to reach out in a compulsive and on-the-ground way to the ordinary man.
Constrained by space, I conclude by insisting that if we fail to learn from what has been taking place in other jurisdictions – especially Venezuela, Singapore and Dominica – we may find ourselves in great trouble.
Indeed, our parties – especially the PNM – will have to adapt to the changing vibrations of an unfolding world. We certainly cannot embrace the irrationality that has gripped Singapore and Dominica. Instead, our focus will have to be on meaningful social evolution.
While change of any sort sometimes requires courage and drastic action, violence, even well intentioned, will not solve our problems. Neither will the platform ole talk help. Instead, our leaders will have to engage in continuous, positive, and transformational political, social, and economic education and action, if things are not to get out of hand.
Articulating a vision and goals without strategic plans cannot be all. Our leaders will have to be more resolute in their action but more flexible in their tactics and strategies. Above all, candidates will have to be more active on the ground and more visible and accessible to constituents. Yes, they have to promote a message of nationalism, community, hope, confidence, self-reliance, and economic buoyancy among their constituents.
RAYMOND S HACKETT