Last week saw the rollout of the FNM campaign, which, as in 2017, is built on viciousness, vile personal attacks and blatant untruths. It became so bad that the leader of the PLP, the Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis, thought it necessary to call an urgent press conference to expose the source of these diatribes and to appeal to the higher instincts of the Bahamian people who, for the most part, value decency and fair play.
I think any Bahamian of decency and value should be worried about what seems to be a campaign by the FNM that is devoid of policy announcements and accomplishments after almost four years in office and that seems to be devoted to mudslinging and “ad hominem” attacks. This is worrying and, as a person of no direct political persuasion, I am concerned about the damage that is being done and its possible repercussions.
Mr Davis, in his press conference, pointed out that there were some 13 Facebook and other sites solely dedicated to spewing garbage about the opposition. He asked the pertinent question: is this because they do not have a record to run on? I think any reasonable person or voter can immediately see through the garbage and make the important decision to shut it out as being sheer garbage, as this is how unbelievable the fake news has become. He said, and I agree with him: “Their lies stopped working for them long ago. No lies last forever.”
What is so sad about this particular turn of events is that it was tried, with success, in 2017. The FNM won on lies and after nearly four years of governance, they have failed miserably. The Bahamian people know that the game is up.
While Bahamians continue to suffer and struggle to live, the FNM is blowing away millions on a general election campaign loaded with falsehoods that have no bearing on reality or on the future. The real facts are that the cupboard is bare. There is nothing left in the cupboard and so thousands are in misery and despair. One would have thought that this situation should be the overriding concern of the party in power rather than falsehoods and character assassination. To hear the chairman of the FNM party lie and abjure knowledge of this situation rings hollow and, quite frankly, no one believes a word of his denial.
If we can learn a lesson from our neighbors to the north and the recent crisis that almost wrecked its democracy, it is that falsehoods, lies, conspiracy and slander have real consequences. The lies spread by Trump and his followers proved deadly and almost derailed the democracy of a rich and powerful country. We in The Bahamas should take a page from these recent events and, given the fragility of our societal norms, we should seek to take a different route rather than spew garbage and hate. There are some serious issues that our nation needs to address, not have hatemongers play games for fun. The real focus for us should be to restore our economy and heal the breaches in our society and focus on a bright future.
You Fool Me Once, You Will Not Fool Me Twice