The PLP 65 years later: Adapt or die
While Sir Lynden was the foremost leader in Bahamian history, the Progressive Liberal Party is not the party of Sir Lynden, nor is it the party of any one man. Instead, it is a party emboldened by an idea of a grand experiment promoting the social and economic well-being of all Bahamians. Beneath the rubble of our defeat is an ascending philosophy inscribed of ordinary duties inherited by the common interest we share with our founders.
Sixty-five years ago, the faith of these men, William Cartwright, Cyril Stevenson and Henry Milton Taylor, and the likes of them, shaped the landscape of Bahamian history, splintering the bones of a historical past burdened with the social, economic and political oppression of the Bahamian people.
The idea of the Progressive Liberal Party spanning generations of humble people and ordinary men is challenged by a singular reality of our ability to kindle the conscience of the Bahamian people in the midst of contemporary injustices and a status quo reasserting the economic battles of the past. The imperfection, misfortunes and defeats of the Progressive Liberal Party are powerless in their ability to renege us of the binding social and economic contract we have with the Bahamian people of uprooting the barriers that hinder their development.
The debt we owe Bahamians is constituted by the familiar words of wiping every tear from every eye aligned with our wherewithal to realistically manage the expectations and the hopes of our people. Appearing insolvent, unable to bear the burden of the moral obligation of our inherited commitment will be the most significant broken promise of our time.
Avoiding uncomfortable truths has always led to the detriment of our party. Narrow interest men should not come at the expense of our cause, rob the hopes of our people and delay the movement that rattles the roadblock of opportunities for all. The Progressive Liberal Party is a constant work in progress. The progressive instincts that lead a historical vanguard with the willingness to dismantle the apparatus of social, economic and political suppression are the same progressive instincts that shattered the system of oligarchies that must inspire us to awaken to the consequential urgency of correcting the gross injustices and the feelings of inferiority among our people.
We should refrain from spending idle time on rebuking the mistakes of the past and instead use such energies on the moral instructions and the practical grooming of aspiring leaders. It’s a “sine qua non” that these aspiring and ambitious leaders have the unmatched skills and strong strength distinctively suited to guide us through soul-searching times. The symbolizing grit of the Progressive Liberal Party’s character is in our ability to allow history to reassure us in turbulent times that our founding ideas have allowed aroused citizens to join in the downtrodden struggle to shape their country’s course.
This paralyzing debate of defining who we are as an organization 65 years later can unquestionably be resolved by the renewal of our social and economic vision and the purpose that built and sustained this movement that has triumphed past tribulation.
The success of our party is intrinsically linked to the ironclad rule of politics; that the success or failure of any party is in the widespread support of its overall cause. If you abandoned the interest of the people, they would leave you. The Progressive Liberal Party is small compared to that of the Bahamian people. Decisions made in echo chambers must be relevant to the desires and wishes of the Bahamian people. The climate of opinion must be an instrument in determining the course of our party.
A continued refusal to take notice of or acknowledge the prevailing perception of the Progressive Liberal Party amongst the Bahamian people will fuel their unceasing resentment. Therein lies an astonishing reality of the Progressive Liberal Party being at a crossroad: it is our ability to redefine, retool, reconfigure and preserve who we are and who we would like to become as a party.
– Latrae Rahming
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