Many moons ago, I was in the mini-mart of the Shell gas station at Ogle. I honestly don’t know what happened. There are things that happen when you are in an emotional rush and you don’t know why you do the things you did. I remember my wife and I were touring the city on Montreal and in an overcrowded street, I ended up putting my hand around the neck of a Chinese woman. I momentarily lost sight of my wife and thought the lady was her.
So I rushed into the mini-mart and ended up in front of this gentleman who was before me. He looked intensely and admonished me. I know I was wrong but when I turned around and saw who he was, I became enraged. I am not going to name him because I am not going to give fools the opportunity to sue me.
This man aided and abetted the rigged elections of Forbes Burnham and participated at a deep level in Burnham’s assault on freedoms and rights in Guyana. I let him have it, exclaiming that I refuse to listen to him telling me what is right and wrong in life and walked out telling him, he has a corrugated value system.
This structure of fluid and amorphous value system is part of human existence. But it is for me the most dangerous line fault in civilization. It is what has caused slavery, countless wars and several episodes of genocide. If I was still teaching the first year course in philosophy at UG, I would have asked my students to read a letter of June 24 in the Stabroek News written by WPA executive and GECOM Commissioner, Desmond Trotman. It is one of the most demonstrative examples of the corrugated values, mores and norms, we, humans have.
Let’s look at Trotman’s value system. He wrote that he found the behaviour of the UN representative in Guyana to be disrespectful and obscene in how she approached GECOM. He said he informed the representatives of the ABCEU countries that GECOM is independent and should not be dictated to.
He said he told the EU team that it is not proper for them to sit at statutory meetings of GECOM. He wrote that he insisted to the Carter Centre team that their approach to the holding of general elections were unacceptable. He informed us that he told the US Ambassador that meeting privately with GECOM commissioners is interfering in Guyana’s internal affairs. He wrote that the behaviour of the Canadian High Commissioner in barging into a GECOM meeting was wrong.
Here are six examples of a human acting in his capacity as a director of a country’s election commission enunciated on things and actions he felt were wrong, improper, unethical and illegal. Now this very commission director witnessed an employee of the very council falsely and barefacedly inserting non-existent votes in his tabulation that would lead to a false election result.
This employee’s action was witnessed by the world through live streaming by those present. Yet this very director approved the employee’s fraud and through his approval along with two others of his fellow directors and the election commission’s chairperson almost resulted in an illegal government. This director continues to endorse improper, unethical, illegal, wrong and improper actions of the election commission of which he is a decision-maker.
Here then is an incandescent situation in which we, humans conduct our affairs in life based on convenient approaches to moral values and ethical rules. Mr. Trotman thinks it is wrong for the Canadian High Commissioner to walk in uninvited to a GECOM meeting. He thinks it is unethical for the American Ambassador to meet privately with his colleagues of the election commission.
But Mr. Trotman sees nothing immoral or illegal with what Clairmont Mingo did. Mr. Trotman sees nothing wrong with the horror show Keith Lowenfield has perpetuated on the electoral foundations of this country. Mr. Trotman voted in one of GECOM’ statutory meetings to accept a declaration of the results that was based on fictional numbers. In other words, he voted for a rigged conclusion. This discussion of Trotman’s value system should stimulate the interest of those interested in moral philosophy.
What is laid bare in the situation with Trotman is how we, humans set about living our lives in the world. We distinguish between right and wrong based on their convenience to us. The confusion and perversion will never end once civilization exists. But it constitutes a tragedy because it gives humans license to justify their bestial nakedness. It gave Trotman the opportunity to defend his twisted value system in defending rigged elections.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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