“Hans, politicians know how to fool the people.” These were their words of Dave as he poured a drink into his glass. Taking a deep drag on his cigarette, he continued: ‘They know how to use you. They only know you when they want your vote.” I looked Dave straight in his eyes for him to develop his subject. “Do you know that both Fuad Khan and Kamla teams already contacted me for their support?” I sat back on my chair, perplexed and before I attempted a response, I poured a big drink of puncheon in my glass and poured it down my throat. Dave asked: “No chaser!” I said: “But you give me the chaser upfront.”
I already say that politicians are a breed. And Dave has only confirmed what I have known all along. The electorate only become important when elections come around. So, for the UNC supporters, the big day is June 26 and after that their importance diminishes until the next election is announced.
In Chaguanas I voted for a councillor, and to this date, I don’t know if she is blue, black, or yellow. I understand she is yellow -not UNC yellow but yellow as in lack of grit and commitment. The previous councillor sat on the seat and only became active when the election bell was about to be rung.
But what won the cake was a call by a dear friend who has been missing in action. Suddenly, I received a call from him pleading for my support. Again, I was flabbergasted and shut my big mouth and decided to listen. I listened to him for more than three minutes and when I interjected, he said: “Well, I must go… I need your support.”
The political diehards or zombies are already armed to ‘go to war’ to protect their party and political leader. No rational discussion can take place when those zombies are around. You dear does not question the leadership of the party. These zombies react like victims of blasphemy, a medieval mindset that places blind faith above reason and science.
This brings me to profit. My friend Danny is a Man of Profit and his God is the Dinero. When the elections bell is rung Danny is ready to work as a presiding officer anywhere in Trinidad. Normally he would not rise early in the morning because of poor health but where the reward of dinero is being offered, his body automatically heals itself. Danny does not bother about who wins or loses but focuses on the few dollars promised by the EBC. He does not have time for such political divisiveness and presents a gentlemanly disposition of neutrality. Nevertheless, he can become very upset and angry and behave like a terrorist if his payments are not on time. As I said Dinero is his God and who wins an election is none of his business! With no money to gain in the UNC’s internal, Danny would play the role of commentator, varying his pitch depending on the condition of the wicket and his audience.
While Indians have been victims of British-induced famines causing death to millions, thus forcing us to migrate to plantations across the world, we must also know that our forefathers blunted the Islamic sword. Our heroic ancestors resisted and neutralized the Islamic hordes that invaded Indian territories. Though it costs us more than 80 million martyrs, we were triumphant in the end.
Unfortunately, such history and heroism have been traded for a good education. In our desperation for education creativity and innovativeness are being flushed down the toilet. The reality is that the knowledge and jobs we take pride in would soon become redundant as artificial intelligence expands.
The internal election is an opportunity for most to hustle for a position in the executive so that they can get a safe seat in the general election and appoint a brother or sister as an alderman. After all, are we not hustlers on the prowl?
To value people only when you need them is not only despicable but barbaric and uncivilized. Have we unwittingly allowed destructive viruses from other cultures to capture our psyche? Pretending to serve when it is exploiting the emotions of people for personal gains is uncouth and treacherous.