Saturday, November 19, 2005

I was wrong about Jagdeo - Stella Ramsaroop

I never want it to be said that I am unteachable or incapable of shifting my position on a stance - if and when I find it to be wanting. As such, I have been effectively converted into a Jagdeo-disparager and will forevermore denounce even the ground on which he walks.

I honestly do not know what on earth came over me. It sure is a good thing Sweet and Sensitive Freddie was there to shake me out of that horrifying trance before I fell even deeper into the PPP trap. Thanks a bunch, Freddie! I sure am lucky to have a friend like you.

It really does pain me to admit that my view of Jagdeo is perception-based, much like Freddie's view of Clinton. I admit that I cannot intelligently defend my statements about Jagdeo. To quote Freddie's take on Clinton, “I think he has leadership qualities but this is more an emotional statement than an intellectual analysis.”

Even now I feel like I should be tarred and feathered as punishment for allowing my emotions to dictate my ability to offer a judicious evaluation of the President of Guyana. Deep down, I guess I just wanted to believe Jagdeo could be a good leader if Freedom House wasn't controlling him. It must have been his kind eyes and honest-looking face that sucked me in.

How could I have ever been so shallow? I know better than to judge a politician's ability to employ effective leadership by such a superficial quality as appearance. How many times have I preached to others that you cannot judge a book by its cover? And then I turn around and do the same thing.

I do have to point out that there were other small factors that allowed me to frivolously declare that I liked Jagdeo. The airport looks spiffy and the new road is just swell – I suppose it's the small things that impress me. Then when he went and doled out the money to clean up the sewers, I said to myself, “That Jagdeo, he's a good guy.”

That is it! That is when it all started. Those blasted sewers blinded my sensitivity to reality and caused a temporary lapse of good judgment concerning His Excellency. I speciously believed he actually cared about the people of Guyana.

It's a good thing Freddie challenged me on this or I might have been completely sucked into the PPP machine and lost to the world forever.

What on earth was I thinking? All I have to do is look at George Bush to remind myself that a leader can look like a “good ol' boy” and still wage an unnecessary war that kills thousands. I am starting to feel a little more like myself now, but everything still seems so foggy.

I now remember that I must judge a leader by his overall achievements – and the lack thereof. Surface judgments are dangerous and can lead to destructive behaviour – like thinking a guy is a good leader because he smiles while taking pictures with the “common folk.”

I also recognise that most of the remodelling done in Guyana in the last year or so is nothing more than a PPP ploy to win the hearts of the people. This was all crystal clear to me at one time, before I lost my way. In the end though, the road, the airport and the sewers are not combating poverty or raising the overall quality of life for the people of Guyana.

And to think I actually fell for this ruse for a brief moment in time. Those calculating PPP propagandists sure are sly. Be careful Guyana, lest they ensnare you as well. It's like the old saying goes, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still very much a pig.”

The turning point that shocked me back to reality was the statement Freddie made about Sharma being so popular in the recent NACTA poll. It is this type of information that makes me wonder if even the Guyanese know what is good for them and what is very bad for them. Maybe we all need to be a little smarter and a lot more discerning about the leaders we choose to support. I know I will be from here on out.

Therefore, I humbly apologise for being shallow, blind and naïve. I promise to immediately turn my brain back on and ensure that it is functioning properly. Perhaps a good dose of Machiavelli will remind me of the torrent of evil that can lurk behind kind eyes.

One more thing, I don't want the Gang of Three to get the wrong idea; my temporary insanity about Jagdeo does not get you off the hook in the least. You are still wrong and I am challenging you on that matter. Hey, we all need a friend to help us see the light sometimes.

Freddie was there for me when I needed a good kick in the rear, but he is blinded too with regards to the AFC. So I will be the one to state the obvious on that matter. Take it from me, it is not easy to admit when you are wrong, but it sure is a lot easier than trying to justify a position that cannot plausibly be defended.

Thanks again, Freddie. You are such a sweetheart, even if you are wrong about the AFC's position on the parliamentary seats. After a while, Crocodile!

Stella Ramsaroop

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