Political Spiral Downwards

February 1st, 2008
by George S. Crimmin

[private] v6-2-Speaking OutMany of our local politicians seldom use the word investment. Their favorite word is spend. The money they spend however, especially by those trying to get reelected, has to come from somewhere. It comes from you and me. It is taken from those who work and earn, and transferred to those asking for handouts. I prefer to call it what it really is: bribery. Our politicians use our own money to promise things to other people who sell their votes to whichever politician promises them the most. And believe me, some have become very good at making outlandish promises that they know will be impossible to keep. But who cares as long as it gets them elected. Someone once said, “If it works, stick with it.” Tell the people what they want to hear, or at least what you think they want to hear.

For generations our politicians have been using the public by bribing voters. In recent years however, this practice has exploded into what I would call a fiscal train wreck! The promises now range from the ridiculous to the sublime. Promises that have no concept based on reality are consistently made to a population too ignorant to recognize the difference between fantasy and real life. As the stakes have increased, so have the magnitude of the promises. It appears that whoever can make the more preposterous or ridiculous promises, stands the best chance of getting elected.

Truth apparently does not enter the equation. It is so frustrating and depressing to watch my fellow Bay Islanders being deceived repeatedly with impunity. It is time we held the deceivers and cheaters accountable for their actions. After all, actions speak louder than words. I believe that people should know what you are by what they see, not by what they hear. I urge my fellow Bay Islanders in future elections to embrace those candidates who demonstrate courage and leadership by laying out innovative plans to solve our current problems and move us forward.

On the other hand, I urge rejection of those candidates whose greed, self-interest and accumulation of personal wealth, have been the guiding principle in their lives. Here on Roatan we tend to view political candidates like products with a specific monetary value and base our verdicts on their market share of the local economy at the moment. In other words, how much money he or she has, and what he or she can do for us right now. It is downright disgraceful how corrupt the process has become. We don’t so much evaluate their character: we analyze how effectively they are able to manipulate their image and use their personal wealth to appeal to the voters.

In this way, we buy into the artificiality of modern day campaigning here in the Bay Islands. I am totally convinced that telling the truth is a skill. I also believe that those who do not do it habitually eventually lose their ability to tell the truth. That is why many of our present day politicians can make outrageous promises with a straight face. Many have become extremely economical with the truth. Let me ask you a question: What is it that you truly count as “wealth” in your life? If you list things that are not material in nature, you are likely wealthy indeed! “A man is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.” Wouldn’t it be nice to elect a leader who refuses to compromise his or her principles for political gain? Someone who is driven by an old-fashioned sense of honor, which is different from fame and fortune, and consists of a genuine desire to serve the people and to be worthy of the esteem of future generations. [/private]

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