Slapping down political discourse

| 24/01/2019 | 36 Comments

Cayman News ServiceAnonymous writes: I will never understand the logic or rationale behind Cayman’s general approach to persons who are active in the community. We detest our government and also detest anyone who tries to run to change anything in the government. The comment above (see here) highlights part of the issue.

Anyone who voices any opinion at all is called a “political hopeful” which, let’s be real, at this point “political hopeful” is a derogatory remark akin to “exploitative”, “opportunistic” or “demagogue” and “rabble rousers”.

It is a term actively used by the sitting MLAs to attack and dismiss any critics outside of the House and used by the public to ridicule any person not to their liking for any reason whatsoever. Persons who are speaking out against the established PPM/CDP narrative are especially susceptible due to the inherent enmity in public disagreements.

But why is anyone who actively takes part in local issues labeled as a “political hopeful” who is “just trying to run in the next election” or just looking to get votes (even if that election is still years away and regardless of their actual intentions).

Is it not possible for someone to have a political opinion without necessarily wanting to sit in the LA themselves? Can someone not care about an issue without trying to thrust themselves into public office? Is it impermissible for members of the electorate to have opinions of their own?

We complain about the state of the islands, then turn around and ridicule and berate people who try to run or are interested in politics that have ideas of their own as simply trying to get elected (as if that in and of itself is a bad thing).

Years before elections even occur people are attacked for simply having an opinion in public. Then when it comes time to actually campaign we then turn it around and say, “Where were you the last 2 years?” or “Well, he wasn’t saying anything last time I checked so he is just trying to get elected now.”

You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you speak at all you are just looking for attention, and if you don’t say anything you are a “Johnny come lately” looking for his turn in the swivel chairs.

At some point we have to be mature enough as a society to allow people to have public discourse without automatically assuming they are trying to make a run for office. We are deterring persons who would otherwise offer their ideas to the public and creating a toxic environment where, when people do decide to run, they run on the same stale acceptable and predetermined ideas that are circulated term after term.

If the only people allowed to talk about politics are currently elected politicians, how are we ever meant to elect new politicians when the old ones no longer suit us? If the only opinions we are ever allowed to hear are the politicians currently holding power, what is the point of public discourse?

If every time the opposition ever makes a comment they are just being “opportunistic” or “negative” and are ridiculed, why even bother having an opposition?


This comment was in response to this comment on Green vision begins to emerge for Cayman

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Category: Politics, Viewpoint

Comments (36)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Someone amazingly put into words the true reaction in Cayman to any expressed progressive thought or discourse on matters of social importance to all in the article ” Slapping down political discourse.” The reaction begets of ignorance and envy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sorry CNS but you are missing the most important point. Consider the source. If the “champion” of the latest trendy “cause” has a dubious past of corruption and bad deeds, you really expect the public to forget the past? This is a small island and once your integrity is gone, it’s gone forever. I for one don’t want a bunch of born again small time hustlers managing our $700 million dollar budget.

    CNS: Just to be clear, I picked this comment out for separate discussion because I think it’s a very good and important point, not just about a single individual but, like the author, I’ve noticed a general trend. But no one at CNS wrote it.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      I agree that it’s a very important to be discussed and everyone should be involved in the discussion, because what I am seeing that there are control freaks in the government and there are two categories of kool-aid drinkers , the middle class and poor . Which is a bad mixture that can create the Venezuela situation today . That would not be a pretty sight to see in little Islands .

  3. Anonymous says:

    Politics is cancer.

    • Anonymous says:

      No leftism is, and unfortunately it has made its way through our media and begun infecting people significantly.

      Left alone, it will develop into the full blown mental disorder called liberalism which causes hysterics, climate paranoia, hyper sensitivity and violent phobic reactions to any opposing views.

      CNS: So to clarify, anyone who disagrees with you politically has a mental disorder, but they are the ones who overreact?

      • Anonymous says:

        No. I’m referring to leftist that add “phobic” to any noun used to negatively identify anyone that disagrees with their insane ideologies. You the leftists are the authors of identify politics and you know it.

        CNS: So, you’re using sweeping generalisations to condemn sweeping generalisations and using name-calling to condemn name-calling? Here’s an idea: if you want people to take you seriously, make your arguments to support your beliefs sensibly and people might take you seriously. The sweeping generalisations and name-calling reveal your anger at people you disagree with but very little else.

  4. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    I really like this comment. I have, in the past, enjoyed debate immensely. In fact, any sort of discourse that involves a sharing of ideas is wonderful. Lately, I have noticed a trend, and it’s not just here, but with nearly all websites that invite comments.

    We used to be able to debate without rancor. We don’t debate, we accuse. We don’t pose solutions, just outline problems. We don’t listen, we SSsscream. Notice when you are talking with someone — or a group — regarding a political or politicised event, whether people listen or they just wait for you to stop talking so they can interject.

    When did we stop caring about what other people had to say? As I said, it’s surely not just here. Is there something in the air? Do we lack the ability to create solutions together for our problems, or are we framing a response, even as the other person is talking?

    Were you framing a sarcastic ‘snowflake’ response even as you read what I wrote? It’s okay, if so.

    there’s a lot of that going around.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Real talk

  6. MM says:

    Splendid! Brilliant! Completely truthful of the Caymanian society we live in and a keen observation.

    I believe that one contributing factor for this unfortunate mindset of “he/she just looking attention or planning to run for office” is the fact that there are many now sitting or attempted-to-sit members of the LA who were extremely vocal prior to elections or during elections and they have now settled quietly in to protocol or hidden away since losing accomplishing just about nothing as promised within their mandates.

    In relation to many sitting members, prior to signing away their freedom of speech to abide by the laws of the legislative assembly they were very vocal and won the people’s trust and affectionate by passionately protesting and declaring change loudly prior to and during elections – now, as sitting members, such open, vocalized statements of disdain for their Government’s actions and policies had to be put aside as they are now “part of the team” and it is literally illegal for them to act or speak the way they did to get elected.

    It also appears that a vast majority of our native population rebuke anyone who has the gall to do what they cannot or will not do and therefore the brave ones are labelled as attention-seekers when they truly have very important (in fact, oftentimes, future-shaping) information to share with the public. An, as you have pointed out, there are many more enlightened citizens who are capable of bringing so much more to our communities and government than they do – but they avoid the inevitable backlash, bad-mouth, gossip, negativity, threats and jeers that come with stepping out from the shadows to battle our ever-increasing societal deficits in the face of corruption and cover-ups.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly, CI voters will be aghast when this Port charges ahead next week not knowing how or caring enough to stop it or the regime behind it. Two years in the making by a coalition that wasn’t given a mandate at the polls. It’s sad to watch.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t be too proud of the apathy. Future generations will regret the consequences and debate the brand of glue this place was sniffing during this historical period of malfeasance.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Public discourse and critique of government is a citizens obligation.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So true. There is a group of people, a huge group I might add that can only ridicule anyone who has the audacity to agree or disagree with any issue going on on these beloved Cayman isles. Everyone has the right to state their opinion whether for or against. The rantings and railings plainly shows the ignorance, immaturity and cowardice that abounds here. It is really frightening that at this space and time our people are still so out of step from where we should be. Makes one wonder if there really is any hope for us, hope that we will ever crawl out of the comatose state we are in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Comatose matching only your own apathy to do something about it, dismissing those non-voting stakeholders watching as “ignorant and immature”. Okay then, Port and kickbacks it is…

  9. David Shibli says:

    There are two kinds of people in the world, the humble sheep and the arrogant goats.
    No matter the title we give ourselves, we are one or the other.
    This is not really a comment for public discussion, but rather a subject for personal introspection.

    “Psalm 139:23-24 King James Version (KJV)

    23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

    24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

    No one on the face of this earth is better than anyone else considering we will all stand one day before a Perfect Judge.

    I need to repeat, nobody on this earth is better than anyone else.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m better than you. Fact.

      • David Shibli says:

        If you are better than me or anyone else for that matter, you would not be hiding behind anonymous.
        Why not share the secrets of your greatness with us?
        We are all ears. Seriously, who are you?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well written, well thought out and sadly very true.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ineffectual “Discourse”, advocates former UDP/CDP minion flying a new “Green” banner, grabbing a headline, but doing nothing to stop what’s going on…hasn’t even signed the Petition himself! Spare us, Judas!

    • Anonymous says:

      Pathetic. You prove the author’s point. Yes, he had a traffic issue. Readers can easily post links to sitting male members of the house who assaulted women or were involved in dangerous driving accidents.

      There are or were Ministers who have broken the limbs of women. Others were drug addicts. Others dimwitted.

      A political CANDIDATE who stupidly drinks and drives away from the scene of an accident is one thing. But what about the holier than thou bunch who knowingly keep Caymanians from getting training and skills? Who line their own pockets and buy their re-election with stupid unnecessary projects. Who lie to the people. Who ignore the laws of the country. Who laugh at good governance and fiscal responsibility. They laugh at poor people as they drink champagne and approve the next 200 work permits.

      More Caymanians needs to get involved in politics. Green Vision isn’t the solution but the current lot are definitely THE PROBLEM.

      • Anonymous says:

        …passive Caymanian voters like you, who prefer 2 years of idle fence-sitting “discourse” on THE PROBLEM, Vs. legal action or democratic options, have done NOTHING of consequence to organize or rectify any of it. Not a single voter has stood up and said “enough”, to be joined by others. There is no legal fund organized, and the Petition didn’t achieve 25%. You are culpable in your own self-harming sham if you are unwilling to take the first step towards doing something about it. That’s what’s truly pathetic.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Every local politician started off by convincing enough voters he/she would do something good for them personally. None of it is about any particular view of the big picture. Why assume the wannabes are any different? Cayman society is based on envy, greed and backstabbing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does it have to be, or do you prefer it that way? Voters can compel this government to enact Standards in Public Life Law at any time. Wtf are voters waiting for?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm…sounds like you championing free speech and discourse. Good for you! Nicely written.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The fuse is burning down with time expiring next week for voters to initiate something consequential to arrest this current untenable situation. Sadly, this was an opportunity where well-meaning voters needed timely direction, and were organized, and asking for it. Instead of pointing out the effective democratic remedies (which so far nobody has done), movies were screened in aid of a 2020 party run (and that’s the headline), presumably under the same unchanged opacity enjoyed by this regime. That doesn’t fix today’s problem, or stop next week’s announcement of a winning bidder. Voters need a LEADER who will grab the scissors and snip this fuse.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It is a shame that this poster did not feel comfortable enough to put their name to this. Why do we still hide behind ‘anonymous’.
    I know why. Many of us know.
    But it shouldn’t be so.
    Because if you do, then it goes back to the entire subject of this excellent post. And other reasons….

  16. Anonymous says:

    Big Applause!!!! ??????

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