If one were to listen, read, and follow the positions and promises in the mainstream media only, the thinking would be that this place named Guyana is specially endowed with men of extraordinary depth, superb visions, patriotic strains of a rare caliber, and character of impeccable perfection.
If only such were the truths and realities of this land, so gifted with fruits of the field, yet so cursed, over and over again, for the sons of its wretched soil.
At this sensitive, crucial, hour of decision, of standing for this, and casting that prized ballot for one or the other political agencies, all and sundry come with the fervor and fire of a New Testament Saul emerging from his travels on that fateful trip to Damascus.
The established local leadership cadre has seen God, found religion, live for an ethos that is pure and purged of all the ills that did plague them and this nation for years and decades. It is those years and decades when they were on top of the mountain, when they lorded it over the sorry, hopeful, believing masses.
Today, they have succeeded in wiping their slates clean, without a trace of the perversities that cleaved and continue to rent this nation and its peoples asunder. They come with a sanitised and perfumed story today before the electorate.
They come with their words and promises, their programmes and visions, and their love songs and their arms stretched out to embrace a country falling apart at the seams, even as it is perched on a pinnacle that brings the world to its feet.
These competing, warring, clever politicians tell us what they know what we want to hear, what we hold on to, and in what we place out trust. Our trust that when the counting and sharing is in full swing, they will remember us, and extend to us, and lift us up, so that we can prosper with them, too.
Sad to say, and as is clear from the trenches and streets and squares, there are many citizens who swoon from the flattery of attention, of cajoling and appealing, of feeling that they count for something, and that they matter.
That there will be a place at the table of reckoning for them. Both sides-and they are only two, when all is said and done-tell us what the other has done wrong, the many unforgivable failures that have wrenched and devastated at this time or that other time.
Both sides tell how they can remedy and make right everything that is of significance to the Guyanese people, the welfare of every citizen.
Today, they know all that is required to be done is to make the best use of the oil money. They are fully familiar with the gaps and loopholes and exposures that have to plugged and rectified for the benefit of those who wait, which would be all of us.
From the contract, to the environment, to monitoring, to the delivering of the dividends, to the waiting, hoping Guyanese multitudes, they have it all down pat right to the last detail. Who can argue? What is there to contest and dispute?
From the perspective of this publication, and as supported by the history and traditions of this nation, there is the record refined and regurgitated. It is of the same sweet stories from local politicians that touch to the core those loyalists and believers and observers and stragglers.
That is the first side of a many-sided disappointment that has contributed so heavily, so prolifically, to the disillusionment and disbelief that flourishes so effortlessly. Our political class, that elite caste of untouchables, has since the dawn of national freedom, if not before, deceived us before, fooled us before, misled us before, shamed us before, and left us more impoverished after every onslaught of acute repeated assaults.
There are only so many times that the same unrewarding con game can be played before the same audience, and to its lasting detriment.
Yet they preach and pontificate about all the good things they represent, and the lavish things that they do for all in this troubled and tormented society.
The torments are emphasized and intensified at this time of elections, with the promise of still further intensification in the weeks and months ahead.
We wish it were not so and hope so. We, also, dare to think and believe, this once, that somebody out there is serious and genuine and harnessing every fiber to deliver all the grand things that are promised. The proofs will not be long in coming.
We first have to get past the daunting hurdles of the next few months and the raging tempests that are of ourselves.
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