Posted by: nastylittletruths | July 4, 2008

Rowley Missed The Point

I started this post since June 9th, but as explained on my return, all plans and good intentions went flying out the window…

So Keith decided not to contest Patrick for the political leadership of the PNM – what a shame… I had stated my support for Dr. Rowley when he made a stand on certain issues, but I couldn’t allow his refusal to contest the election go without comment. I said then and saying again that Keith missed the point. Are elections only to be contested if you feel you can win? Did Ishmael Samad have more principles when he contested an election knowing full well he was going to lose his deposit?

Granted that the last few weeks have changed the scenario somewhat, I had likened the contest to Morgan Tsvangirai versus Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Morgan has endured much in his quest but he had no choice except to withdraw prior to the election since his people were being killed. But before he withdrew, how many times did he lose in contests that were weighed heavily against him? He knew this but still he fought on.

What did Keith say about the internal PNM election machinery? That it was stacked in favour of the incumbent? Unlike Mugabe, Patrick cannot jail and beat your supporters. Unlike Morgan, you cannot be arrested for “drawing a crowd”… (As a side note, can you imagine the depths of stupidity someone can go to in terrorising his opponents? Jailed for drawing crowd? Erm… weren’t we supposed to be campaigning for support in an election?)

And that’s why I thought Keith was ill-advised. You have to fight. Forget about losing. You’ve already lost by not even putting up a pretence of a fight. At the end of it all history will judge you as the one who walked when you should have stood. I should gently remind you of Dr. Martin Luther King’s words, “the measure of a man is not where they stand in times of peace and prosperity, but where they stand in times of adversity and controversy”.

We have enough men and women with no backbone and no principles standing on the side of waste in a time of plenty. They will enjoy the fatted calf until it is sucked dry and then we will see them no more. Who is willing to stand against that which is so easy to accept? Money aplenty, perquisites of office, fame and glory, flashing blue lights?

I love quoting movie dialogues to make a point and an argument in “The American President” between Lewis Rothschild (Michael J. Fox) and President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) about leadership tells my story:

LR: “People want leadership. And in the absence of genuine leadership they will listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership Mr. President. They are so thirsty for it they will crawl through the desert towards a mirage and when they discover there’s no water they’ll drink the sand

AS: “Lewis, we’ve had Presidents who were beloved but couldn’t find a sentence with both hands and a flashlight. People don’t drink the sand ’cause they are thirsty – they drink the sand ’cause they don’t know the difference

I think I drank sand before because I didn’t know the difference… But the populace is thirsty Keith. They are thirsty for real leadership so we continue to wait for someone else to come forward…

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