THE EDITOR: TT may be facing its darkest hour since independence. Yes! Whereas we have had the 1970 and the 1990 social turbulence and are now experiencing an unprecedented crime escalation and industrial relations complexity, I cringe to imagine what we may have to face over the next decade and beyond as a result of what we now politically, constitutionally and socially face.
Before going further, I now deliberately take the bold step of pointing out that throughout history dictators and other unsuitable leaders rose to power because the political mood in their respective nations turned grim, economic depression had hit their countries hard, and too many people were out of work and experiencing perceived hardship and uncomfortable social conditions.
In addition, the electorate perceived the parliamentary government as weak and unable to alleviate what seems to have been going wrong with the country. Consequently, fear and perception of worse times to come, as well as anger and impatience with the apparent failure of the government to manage the crisis, offered fertile ground for the rise of opportunists to make their play for political leadership.
History has revealed that it is not only in the sea that drowning people grasp straws. It is also due to the muddy politics of nations. Hence the rise of unsuitable leaders throughout history, followed by chaos and the regret of unfortunate nations. Nonetheless, humanity seems not to learn from history.
All I can say now, given the limited space I have to present my case, is democracies get the leaders they deserve. I say this because, in the search for suitable political leadership, the electorate must itself be mature, emotionally intelligent, ethical, informed, analytical, rational, observant, nationalistic, and united in working to build a united and strong nation.
I, therefore, conclude by sharing two relevant quotes on our nation’s current reality:
You don’t get unity by ignoring the questions that have to be faced – Jay Weatherill.
We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We must stand rationally together to save our country or perish separately – Woodrow T Wilson (modified).
RAYMOND S HACKETT