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Political Gimmick – Pitting Bahamians Against Each Other On The Basis Of Age

I’sharon-turnerm a young Bahamian. I’m 37 years old, and I have enough sense to know that for anything to be solid and have a high potential for success, you need a combination of experience and wisdom possessed by older persons as well as new energy and new ideas possessed by younger persons.

That’s why I shake my head in disgust at the personal-agenda driven gimmicks I see people using to play on the emotions and frustrations of Bahamians, by suggesting that as long as you are older you are useless to the country, and as long as you are younger you are useful to the country. Age in and of itself is no guarantee of anything. You can be young, wutless and corrupt and you can be old, wutless and corrupt. We must evaluate individual people on their individual merits, not on gimmicks.

It is true that in life in general, many older people are too insecure to accept that younger people must eventually take their place. It is also true that many younger people believe they know everything, and that they do not need mentors, teachers or guides. If you have never worked in high offices in government, it is very easy to talk what you do not know. I’ve worked in high office in government, and what I do know is this – even for those with pure hearts and the best of intentions, nothing is as easy as you think it’s going to be once you make the transition from being on the outside doing all the talking, to being on the inside having to do the actual walking. Serving a nation right takes hard, hard work. Any potentially successful government will need a combination of older experienced Bahamians of integrity and younger, teachable Bahamians of integrity. A batch of people who do not know what they are doing and have never had their hands to the literal plow is deficient, just as is a batch of people who do not have newer persons with new ideas, new energy and new perspectives in decision-making positions.

As a young Bahamian and voter, I’m seeing Bahamians trying to make a move for political office – but they are trying to get there off gimmicks, not hard work – and that is across the board of all Parties and non-aligned persons. In addition to playing the “age-card” gimmick, another gimmick is “I’m not FNM or PLP, so the answer is me”. That is not necessarily the case. Just because you are not a part of the two major parties doesn’t automatically mean you will best serve your nation or do any better than those who were there before you. Not being PLP or FNM should not be used as a “get into Parliament free” card by any Bahamian. That is a gimmick. You can be with another Party or be Independent as be just as corrupt, lazy, slack and detrimental as those you say do not have the answers. We must evaluate individual people on their individual merits, not on gimmicks.

We as Bahamians will have to learn to become wiser and become more discerning when it comes to something as serious as our vote the next time around. Gimmicks won’t fix our country. A ready grouping of experienced, proven and hardworking Bahamians whose primary focus above all else is service above self and nation before patronage though, has the potential to be a start to the “fixing” process. And by the way – if you are pushing 50 or over 50, you are not a “young Bahamian” running for office, so please own your age and stage in life that God has allowed you to see, and stop fronting as though you are something you are not.

Sharon Turner

Posted in Opinions

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