Ignorance and blind allegiances must cease
Someone once said that “ignorance can be excused, but not the will to remain ignorant”. It amazes me how Bahamians, who are some of the most exposed people in the world by way of travel, remain stubborn and hardheaded towards their own future. We refuse to inform ourselves on the issues affecting us as a country and even when we do, we still make decisions that defy logic.
I was born a Moss and will remain a Moss until the day that God calls me. My mother, father, brothers and my children I cannot change. I am stuck with them for life. I once rooted for the Boston Celtics in the 1980s and in the 1990s I rooted for the Chicago Bulls. I now root for the Miami Heat. Some things in life we can change.
Growing up my family was predominantly PLP and as such this had a huge effect on my political views. I basically was programmed to listen to the good that the PLP offered. Any negative comments were squashed and labeled as nonsense. When I became a young adult my parents seemed to switch their support to the FNM. Of course this had an effect on me still and, of course, I fell in line. Negative comments about the FNM were disbanded and only good commentary was ever listened to or discussed.
Now I have become an adult and realize that it is my responsibility as a Bahamian to listen to the issues as they occur in the country and then decide if I agree with them or not. I can’t continue to say that I am satisfied with the PLP when they did not oppose the destruction of homes near the Charles Saunders Highway. I can’t continue to say that I am satisfied with the FNM if they are making Bahamians feel like second-class citizens. I think as a Bahamian first and then think about party second. It sickens me when Bahamians say that they have been a PLP or FNM all their life and blah, blah, blah. Wake up Bahamians. The time is too serious in this country now to just say that “I am a PLP” or “I am an FNM”.
Kudos goes to the FNM for literally opening up the air waves. There are now many radio stations who report the news daily; there are two additional television stations besides ZNS and there are at least five daily radio talk shows. There are also several television programs that speak directly to all things Bahamian. These mediums provide an invaluable resource of knowledge for Bahamians who want to watch, listen and learn more about their country and the decisions being made by our elected leaders.
We should be electing governments that can set and follow sound fiscal policies and who can strengthen the judiciary regardless of who will be affected. Why are you supporting a particular party? Have you informed yourself of the party’s policies and agenda? Do you know the background of your candidate? Are the decisions being made now going to affect your children positively or negatively in the future? These are some of the questions that we as voters should be asking ourselves. We need to raise the bar for our elected officials. Excellent moral behavior, honesty and integrity should be traits that you should be looking for and demanding as a voter about your candidate.
Of course every decision made by any governing party will not satisfy all of the Bahamian electorate. The Bahamian electorate in my view needs to realize, though, that ignorance can no longer be excused. Saying that “I ain’t voting cause nothing ga change” or “the government don’t give me nuttin’” are some of the dumbest comments that a voter can ever state. You might not vote, but when the government raises the taxes aren’t you affected? When the government closes a road aren’t you affected? And by the way, the government is not supposed to give anyone handouts. They are supposed to make policy that will enable Bahamians to thrive.
In the next general election, Bahamians will vote for the FNM, PLP, NDP, PDP and the DNA. The only sound advice that I can give every registered voter is to be informed on what the issues are and decide on which candidate and/or party they best believe can aid in solving those issues.
The most idiotic comment ever said to me was when I campaigned in the run up to the 1997 general election. A registered voter told our team that she did not need to hear from us. She said that if we sent a cat as a candidate that she would vote for the cat. This is extreme blind allegiance and this is a major contributing factor to why The Bahamas is in its current state. We need to make each other accountable for all actions taken. I pray that this kind of blind allegiance has ceased to exist in 2011. Don’t say in 2013 that the government is doing this and doing that and get vex when you did not do your due diligence in 2012.
And for those of us who are die-hards, consider this: If someone has put a knife in our back or our children’s backs and they are twisting it, causing severe injuries to our bodies, it cannot be that they mean us any good. It is as simple as that. Would we just say: “Tha’s my cousin? Tha’s my friend? We go way back”. We need to reconsider our alliance with that person for the safety and wellbeing of not only us, but our children as well. We have to make sensible choices in order to have a chance at sensible solutions.
Most politicians know that where ignorance is blessed, it is folly to be wise. In other words, once you are uninformed and ignorant they have no pressure to inform you on what is actually going on. Inform yourselves voters and please remember that ignorance and stubborn allegiances can no longer be excused, as these traits will only cause the further downfall of our beloved Bahamas.