Exploiting the masses for power
It is instructive that when US presidential candidate Mitt Romney recommended a reciprocal strong arm tactic in response to the attack on the American consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi and the death of the ambassador the media and the American public at large were quick to criticise him, although American lives were lost in the attack.
The latter could have been the emotional response to the attack but instead there was a reasoned approach to this issue which said that Romney's move was either premature or too hasty, considering that America was now freeing itself from a war which had cost so many lives and to court another would have been illogical at best.
This was the thinking of a literate public ready to subdue its impulse and let reason and good sense prevail, but I am saddened how our own public is so easily conned by politicians who exploit their simplemindedness to satisfy their quest for power.
For example, the crowd at Mid Centre Mall over the weekend that fell hook, line and sinker for the maligning of political opponents and the goodies which were subsequently offered without a question about the issues of governance emerging from the now-infamous Clause 34 that may have a negative impact on the People's Partnership it now supports.
Unlike the American public, it failed to bring pressure that could have made the government take stock of itself and so improve its performance for the future. But I will not give the crowd an intelligence which it may not possess nor will I ask our politicians to see governance beyond exploiting the masses to achieve power.
This combination is a Third World phenomenon so common in these so-called new independent nations like ours. But with democracies like America, Canada and England as our models, it is my hope that the younger generation through education will learn to make intelligent choices about how they should be governed and that our politicians too, selected by the literate voting public that such young people will become, will also demonstrate an enlightened approach to governance beyond the politics of exploiting the masses for power.
Dr Errol Benjamin