Feb 15, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – There are times when people, everyday individuals, no different from any rank-and-file Guyanese, get backed into a corner on their own, through what is palpably wrong. It is at such times, that responsible and clear-thinking citizens, those with a conscience still left, make decisions against what is wrong. They do so when they take a stand for what is right, when they send a strong signal that they will not be taken for granted. This is what has happened and is continuing to occur in the United States of America.
Many were alarmed at some of the excesses of the former president, who was all but hurried out of the highest elected office in the United States. But they gave him the benefit of some space, some more time, to make matters right, by doing what is right. The departed president did not do anything that came near to making amends. Instead, he went on more rampages, as fuelled by more paranoias and delusions. When he did not outright falsify, he fabricated with scant regard for truth or accuracy or consequences. People paid with their lives in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday January 6th because of his demagogueries and recklessness. His political cronies provided covering fire in the U.S. Congress by condoning what went wrong, while still insisting and instilled in others that it is right. But some U.S. citizens-involved and outraged individuals, voters all, will have none of that anymore. They are fed up and have lost the stomach for what dragged down their country before the eyes of the whole world, what dragged them down, too. So, they leave to convey their disgust. They have been leaving the Republican Party by the tens of thousands since that ugly Wednesday in early January.
The New York Times article of February 10, that was captioned “’There’s nothing left’: why thousands of Republicans are leaving the party” conveys the damage done by a leader, who was allowed free rein to make an utter fool of himself, and to bring a society almost to ruins. It is the familiar story, at least one which Guyanese should be familiar with, of power unchecked, of useless flunkies and sycophants telling what is desired to be heard, and providing moral and spiritual support, through the most immovable partisanship and the blindest loyalty. It was that too often seen situation, where no one had the courage and principle to say: we have had enough, this cannot continue, this has got to stop. And now a harsh price is being extracted with thousands deserting the Republican Party.
Specifically, the New York Times article referenced above pointed out that a review of voting records from January indicated that “nearly 140,000 Republicans had quit the party in 25 states.” It should be noted that those are the ones that had voter registration date available, and that 19 states do not require, or have available, such registration details. It stands to reason that a decent number of concerned American voters in those 19 states also felt compelled to distance from the Republican Party and switch party registration, given what played out on January 6. To maintain balance, we must point out that almost 80,000 Democrats also deserted that party since early January, which is another confirmation of sharp voter discontent across the board, except that it is to a lesser degree.
The thrust of all of this is that voters disgusted with process, party, and leaders manifest their anger by acting through shaking the dust from their feet and moving on to some other place that is more comforting. In the United States, disappointed voters are changing their registration to what is most likely that of ‘independent.’ This is what a mature and stable society provides for, one with depth and some principled underpinnings still remaining. How unlike what has been the norm in this country, where the occasional voter is prompted to move from the political affiliation of his choice – a largely racial one – to that of another group.
Such rare action is not taken as a matter of concern over issues, or of principle. Such separation most of the time originate in some promise not kept, some expectation not met, some personal vision not fulfilled. When all three of those are examined, it becomes obvious that money or positions leading to financial plums are the key driving factors. To make matters worse, there is nothing resembling a viable ‘independent’ third political option; it is just not there. And the last elections merely served to confirm that those who held themselves out as ‘independent’ are still to be fully attuned to the many obligations and personal honour associated with that weighty word. It is why America seeks ways to rebound; it is why Guyana remains locked in its self-destructive racial spiral.
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