EMPTY WORDS WITHOUT SUBSTANCE

34

Dear Editor

I recently submitted an article to the Democrat and the St. Kitts/Nevis Observer, entitled “I Remember What St. Kitts Was Like.” The premise of my point of view was the inescapable violence that has dramatically affected the lives of many in our nation.

This article was not aimed at any political party; instead I thought to address the malignancy of the belligerent behavior permeating my beloved country.  Much to my amazement, Nigel Carty distorted and misrepresented my position on the issue.

I’m prepared to take issue with Mr. Carty, who showed a lack of empathy with, and sensitivity to, the families who lost their loved ones in those murderous acts.

Courage, Not Wisdom

I’m particularly fed up with the mischaracterization of the facts by over ambitious young men like Carty, who are seeking to lead our nation.  I’m cognizant of the fact that the tactic used by Mr. Carty is the standard in our political culture. However, if he wants to win the heart and minds of our people, he needs to be more intellectually honest and desist from practicing deceptive politics.

While I applaud his courage in participating in the political process, I question his political wisdom on the issues. Clearly, my dear friend Carty has shown that he is out of touch with the reality in our country. Apparently, he is living in a different society from the one I was making reference to in the article.

Yes, we want our future leaders to demonstrate great ability to eloquently articulate the issues, but we do not want them to use insensitivity to score political points. Such action is immature, childish and highly offensive to the grieving families.

I vividly remember speaking to an ex-politician of Trinidad who told me that during the administration of the renowned Dr. Eric Williams, the Opposition leader stood up to lambaste the government’s  policies, and took a day a half to make his point.  When Dr. Eric Williams was given the opportunity to speak, he said, “Mr. Speaker, unlike my opponent, who spoke for a day and a half, I have absolutely nothing to say.”

In other words, Dr. Williams was saying that his opponent spent an entire day and a half attacking and assassinating his government by being exceedingly wordy yet saying nothing meaningful.  Mr. Carty must be very careful that while he seeks to impress the electorate with his youthful arrogance, he does not come across as a problem creator rather than a problem solver.

Let me make it emphatically clear, that my article was not seeking to inject fear or create an environment of panic in our society.  Rather, my ultimate goal was to appeal to individuals in positions of influence to see the necessity of using their influence to mobilize our people to say resoundingly that they have had enough of the cancer of violence in our nation and do something about it.  I hope that as we go forward our leaders will accurately dissect the issues and not maximize the opportunity to further their own ambitious goals, while concealing the truth from people.

Mover or Shakers

Our country is at a most complex and difficult crossroad.  We do not need to espouse the vicious, nasty and divisive politics that has created enemies between friends and family members.  We need to take the conversation to a higher level and look for ways of addressing the problems that are affecting the livelihood of our people.

The electorate deserves a more intellectually coherent response to its concerns from its representatives. There is a moral crisis taking place in our communities, where 60% to 70% of our children are either born out of wedlock or living in a home with a single mother.  This type of situation creates social instability in any society and in many instances causes lawless behavior to emerge and escalate, owing to the lack of the conventional male figure in the home. In times gone by the extended family and close knit communities acted as a buffer against these social ills, but with the changes in the family structure and in social values this is no longer the case.

Conclusion

I certainly hope we shall continue to have young men willing to get involved in the political process with the intent to change the conversation and improve our nation. As they do so, they must not allow their emotions to take precedence over their intellect, because it can be damaging to their character as well as the nation. As Tacitus, one said, “Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader.”

All the best to you, Mr. Carty, as you seek to refine your political message for the future.

Paul. D. Woods