I know as the election approaches people call this the “silly season”. But sometimes, the folly of fools needs rebuking.
“Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.”
To some degree folly is contagious, and association with fools tends to diminish one’s ability to discern truth from error and wisdom from folly.
There’s a lot of that diminished ability going around the Bahamas right now.
Let’s take a look at some of the more foolish of the fools.
There was an article in the Nassau Guardian by Yasmin Popescu titled, “McCartney: Bahamians are not naïve”.
Democratic National Alliance leader Branville McCartney may have said that, but he obviously does not believe it. This is shown by the fact that his foolish comments seem to be directed at the naive among us.
McCartney claims that the President of Haiti’s visit to The Bahamas last week was seen as ill-timed and disrespectful to Bahamian democracy.
In a widely published press release Mr McCartney said:
“The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) finds it far-fetched to believe that the Ingraham administration was alerted of the Haiti President’s state visit only days before his arrival. Bahamians are certainly not that naïve. If this is true, this matter is far more disturbing than it may seem, as it suggests that any foreign minister or head of state could enter The Bahamas without our leadership knowing and approving their visit.”
The facts show that the Haitian leader’s stop in the Bahamas was indeed quickly orchestrated. But what is most concering about Mr McCartney’s statement is the last part.
“this matter is far more disturbing than it may seem, as it suggests that any foreign minister or head of state could enter The Bahamas without our leadership knowing and approving their visit.”
Bran, who more and more is starting to appear as some kind of a xenophobic wannabe dictator, seems to forget that the Bahamas is a democracy, an open democracy where people can come and go as they please, as long as they have proper documentation and follow the appropriate procedures.
While it is true that, in most cases, heads of state plan their visits far in advance and with the host country’s involvement, that is primarily due to security and the desire to be treated as a dignitary.
Mr Martelly had no obligation to inform Bahamian authorities of his impending visit to the Bahamas, any more than Joe Blow from Poughkeepsie has to inform our government of his visit to the Bahamas. People can simply come to our shores, present the proper documentation and, unless there is some over-arching reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to enter, they are in.
Ms Popescu further quotes the DNA leader, “no head of state should interfere with the politics of another nation, adding that the Bahamian leadership should never allow another head of state to interfere with Bahamian democracy.”
Agreed! But Mr Martelly did not “interfere” with the politics of the Bahamas. His comments to Haitians and Haitian-Bahamians were good advice to anybody, in any democracy, anywhere. Vote for the people who will treat you most fairly. Isn’t that what each one of us is going to do in the upcoming election? There was nothing untoward in that remark. It is a basic tenet of democracy.
Mr Martelly’s comments were harmless. Mr McCartney’s assessment of the Haitian leader’s remarks are spurious. And his denegration of Prime Minister Ingraham for not condemning Martelly’s comments is just plain wrong.
“Mr. Ingraham is wrong to downplay these series of events and his selfish disregard for the sovereignty of this country is an insult to all Bahamians – those born of foreign descent or otherwise,” McCartney spewed to the press.
But only in Bran’s mind, and in the minds of the naive and simple, would anyone consider what was said by Mr Martelly as an insult to the sovereignty of this country.”
So, despite Mr McCartney’s claims that Bahamians are not naive, apparently too many among us are.