Everyone has to rebut an argument at some point in their lives. Except married men, of course, since their wives are always right all the time.
But this applies only to the private sphere whereas, in the public sphere, leaders sometimes have to rebut allegations that they are incompetent, corrupt, or sautéed. So, for anyone aspiring to hold public office, or even to cuddle it, I have summarised the following strategies by observing closely the techniques employed by Trinidad and Tobago’s most respected and admired citizens who get accused of being cunumunus.
The preferred response to such allegations is to Question the Facts. Not the facts themselves, mind you, but the very concept of facts. Thus, if the damn media expose facts that show a strong probability of corruption or weed, you should claim that these are not “true facts”. While the Oxford English dictionary says that a fact is, by definition, true, the real truth is that all right-thinking citizens have thrown off the language of the oppressor. That is why the majority of Trinbagonians do not believe in evolution, capitalism, or dieting. Thus, true facts are whatever people prefer to believe, like a $9,000 Carnival costume makes you better-looking.
Examples of false facts are: My political leader did something wrong; licks doesn’t help discipline children; homosexuals are people. Examples of true facts are: Great is the PNM; Carnival is the greatest show on Earth; a man’s beer.
While there are no facts which cannot be denied, denial of some facts, especially those recorded on video, makes you seem stupid or stoned or both. In this case, it is better to Deny Responsibility. This can be done in several ways. If you are a Government minister, say that you have no power to do anything except spend taxpayers’ dollars on a video to promote yourself spearheading a programme that you had no authority over which you can recollect. If you are an archbishop, say that you have no responsibility for hiring child abusers, and pretend Anglican priest John Sewell was never spirited out of the country before he could be prosecuted. If you are a President of the Republic of T&T, just say nothing about unconstitutional appointments to the Police Service Commission so citizens will credit you for exercising powers Reggie Dumas didn’t think you had which you do have.
Additionally, when faced with a logical and evidence-based argument, you should always Question the Motives of the person making the argument. This is effective because the average Trinbagonian resents logic and evidence and naturally curly hair. For example, if a newspaper columnist presents facts about slavery in Africa, accuse him of being racist. While this will only prove that you yourself are racist, that does not matter since the only racists most Trinis object to are those who don’t belong to their own race. Examples of suspect motives are: He didn’t get (1) a contract (2) a post (3) a rubber ducky.
Even when wrong-doing is irrefutable, all is not lost. You can Blame Other People. For example, if you have been paid $34 million for not doing any work, say that you were being set up and keep the $34 million. When Government corruption is exposed, blame the PNM for doing it, too. When young black men are killing one another and not getting scholarships, blame slavery, white people, and jockey shorts. If boys have been abused and even killed in your Home for Boys, blame the Government, Satan, and one-ply toilet paper. When children die in accidents, blame Adam and Eve, karma, or American imperialism.
By using these techniques, you are guaranteed to continue in public office, or be so rich that you can never be convicted.