Jun 23, 2019 Editorial
Tuesday, June 18, was a busy day for politicians. It was not only in Guyana, where there was a renewed call for an election date following the CCJ announcements. This was so also in Florida, where the US president kicked off his 2020 campaign for a return to the White House.
Things are off and running in Florida; here, there are some logistics and hiccups to settle first.
It is intriguing to hear the sounds from Orlando, Florida. “The swamp is fighting back so viciously…” And “radical…opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice, and rage” (New York Daily News, June 19). That is from hot Florida, but it definitely sounds like hotter, more combustible Guyana.
Here the political swamp flows in both directions, and from every crevice. Most men and women (children, too) are proud to identify with the political and prejudiced tribal. It is why a country of many tribes goes nowhere beyond the confines of self-serving narrow hunting grounds. Too much hostility; countless constraints.
In its own coverage, the sober New York Times of June 19 noted that proven, irresistible deviltry of politics anywhere through, “he whipped them up again by raising fears about immigrants.” In Guyana, campaigning politicians running raise fears about the motivations and intentions of the hated other. They are not “aliens” from elsewhere. They are neighbour and colleague and competitor. Enemy, too.
Further, the New York Times went on to share the all too familiar territory of campaign rhetoric that speaks of “a huge crowd of raucous supporters” through “dark messaging.” That is fertile soil here, where the rhetoric ranges from the mocking to the titillating to the inflaming to the embittering to the endangering.
Local political players have proven that they are well schooled in the trade of arsonists.
From USA Today also on June 19, came the loaded commitment of “I can promise you that I will never ever let you down -I won’t” delivered to “the cheering and chanting supporters.” Get ready for that here; except that promise takes on contours of the doubtful and sinister, given the harsh, taut contexts of Guyana.
And just as certain, would be reminders of “witch hunt” (corruption probes) and of “socialists” and “left wing” extremists. One group of contenders has struggled to perfume over (unsuccessfully) that curse of red ways and redder visions.
Unlike Guyana, there are no controversies in the US about chairman, no-confidence validity (both now moot here); but unlike the US, there are still raging, hanging chads of lists, a date, and a still-to-be finalized and named chairperson.
Thus, as always, the political wires are strung and stretched to breaking point. It promises to be an unnerving and scorching few months ahead, a probably lengthening few months, with no holds barred, and no quarter given.
Without missing a beat, powerful interventionists (in fact, led by the American representative of the Florida campaigner) have gone public, as reported by Kaieteur News on June 19, under the caption, “Respect CCJ ruling: find agreement on the way forward -Envoys urge.”
That demand disguised as exhortation “to find agreement” has the immovable weight and clout of being jointly issued by the diplomatic superpowers from A and B and C and EU. All the stops are being pulled out and publicly: signal and interest. There is a lot of reach embedded in those foreign voices and postures.
Let there be no going it alone. Get this thing done in the only manner possible. And get it done soon, as in now.
There is a problem. For that word “agreement” has been a damning, unacceptable one for political people here in Guyana.
According to the Washington Post of June 18, the incumbent “broke little new ground.” New ground had better be broken here.
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