Kaieteur News – There is a person or persons penning editorials for the Stabroek News that are not being screened by the editorial management of the newspaper. A newspaper has the right to criticise the government of the day. This is a task that no sane person would argue against.
Governments are too powerful to just support blindly. The danger in leadership in any country in the modern world is that the leader’s psychology is shaped by consistent sycophancy. After being told incessantly by party loyalists that he/she is a genius, the leader begins to internalise that fiction and comes to believe it (see my column of Monday May 17, 2021, “The stupidest yet deadliest person alive is the party sycophant).
The leader then lacks a school of open-minded party loyalists that can point out wrong pathways. In a world of the internet where there is more information available than the brain can scientifically digest, leaders need independent guiders around them. The press in such a changing world helps government to see when mistakes are made.
The press’ role is to be a watchdog. It has a moral commitment to the society in general and though it must carefully scrutinise the vast power of the state, it must also confront and expose malice, mischief and fiction in society in general.
There has been a consistent line in the Stabroek editorial page the past year attributing non-political status to Dr. Vincent Adams during his time in the APNU+AFC government, the latest is another editorial of August 9, 2019.
I have consistently repudiated this fiction with an outlay of facts. Please see my columns of September 1, 2, 19 of 2020 and December 9, 2020. I will examine the fictionalisation of Dr. Adam’s non-political status in a follow up column. On August 8, the Stabroek News ran an editorial that had to be penned by someone who has a pro-opposition perspective. And it may be that person that has been pushing a pro-Adams line.
Here is a quote from that editorial, “But it is not his (the president) place to penalise them (the PNC) for their shortcomings by demanding they acknowledge his legitimacy publicly. He knows very well that after all they have told their constituents they do not dare confess to them in any public sense that they were wrong; it would be too humiliating. A later leader may be able to do it at some point, but not the current complement.”
This statement goes against the grain of modern electoral politics but also against the grain of reasonable understanding of human faults. If you have to score one more goal to become the world’s record-holder but you skipped curfew, got drunk the night and was dropped from the game why should you blame the coach? You are in no position to help your coach win his match so why should he sympathise with you?
It was not the ruling party that imprisoned itself in the depravities of deception and the immoralities of illusions by fooling a nation. The PNC did that to itself. In electoral politics, a competitor is forced by the nature of the game to take advantage of the flaws of his/her opponents. It happens in every country in the world. It happens each day in all countries of the world.
The Stabroek News is completely and nonsensically wrong when it observed that it is not the president’s place to penalise the PNC for its shortcomings. But that is exactly the nature of the game. An opponent cannot gloss off the flaws of his/her adversary, especially when those shortcomings were deliberately nurtured and were not born by accident.
From March 4 to the current date, the PNC has told over 150,000 of its voters that the PPP did not win perpetuated fraud and stole the election from the PNC. Given this labyrinth the PNC walked into, the Stabroek News expects the PPP to sympathise with this self-destruction of the PNC by understanding that it cannot go to those 150,000 voters and exclaim, “Well we did lose.”
The editorial went on to observe that the president “knows very well that after all they (the PNC) have told their constituents they do not dare confess to them in any public sense that they were wrong; it would be too humiliating.” It is confusing to any political theorist to understand that observation. Why the elected president of a country must be concerned about his/her opponent facing humiliation if the opponent does a volte-face? If the president does show empathy, and help the PNC’s image with its supporters, will there be a more cooperative opposition? You really think so?
(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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