The Bad Politics of Hate (II)
Last week we noted that hate can be described as an intense hostility and aversion usually derived from fear, anger and a sense of injury. Political hate in Dominica is potent and it is clearly being actively promoted by the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) as a strategy to hold on to political power. Hate is such a powerful emotion that it causes people to act irrationally, though these persons may think that they are acting reasonably!
Let us ask ourselves whether the reasons we harbour political hate are justified. In doing so, let us survey the three elements indicated in the definition of hate from which it is usually derived.
What are some people so fearful of that causes them to hate so deeply? Why are some people so angry? In what ways have some people been injured to cause them to hate so deeply?
Let us deal with fear in this article. Hate is often associated with the fear of the loss of benefits or privileged positions, the fear of being put in a disadvantageous position and the fear of being harmed by someone or by the occurrence of something. People can develop an intense hate towards the people they think that are the potential cause of their loss or harm. When I explore the reasons why some people in Dominica harbour political hate towards the political opposition I realize that they fear many things.
They fear that if a new government were to get into political office they will not receive some of the benefits that they currently get under the DLP, such as, help with living expenses; support for elderly relatives; help with housing; and contracts, jobs and job promotions for party supporters. But so great are their fears that they embrace the hate that the DLP leadership is actively and deliberately spreading through brainwashing. But as a people let us remove the blinkers from our eyes and let us think for ourselves!
Any good government will endeavor to provide social assistance to those among us who need it! So, don't fear losing social assistance! "Don't let them fool ya," as Bob Marley sang! On the contrary, the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) will champion better social assistance systems characterized by fairness, efficiency, transparency and dignity. But one of the major failures of the Skerrit-led regime is its failure to create a strong economy where people can have decent work and pay. And don't let them fool you into thinking that it is Hurricane Maria that caused that! Dominica's economy was very weak prior to Maria – a major failure of the Skerrit-led government! As for that matter, if the economy of Dominica was strong prior to Maria, then people would have been in a better position to recover from its effects. For instance, they would have had better insurance coverage, and greater savings set aside with which they could have helped themselves.
As a priority, the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) will champion efforts to create a prosperous economy so that our people won't have to feel that they must depend on politicians for hand-outs! DFP desire is to make our people economically strong and independent! Our farmers and land holders must thrive again. Our people must become entrepreneurs as well! We will partner with real foreign investors so that our people can benefit; colluding with foreign contractors and passport sellers to the great disadvantage our people must not be done.
But the Skerrit-led DLP is giving the people crumbs and tries to make them think that they will not get those crumbs if another political party were to come to office. Of course, they don't call it crumbs – they call it all kinds of names – NEP, direct assistance with light bills, LPOs under the rapid response programme to buy lumber and so on; but the Dominica Freedom Party wants you to know that with a government of integrity and capability you can get much more than crumbs! You can get a seat at the table – decent jobs, economic dignity, middle-class living for the vast majority, a peaceful society, higher life expectancy, better nutrition and better health, low crime; and, a place where our young people want to come back to after their studies abroad! Be honest, how is the Labour Party doing on these scores? They are far from that! But ask yourself the following questions. Who are the ones storing up their gains in local and overseas bank accounts while high poverty and unemployment abound in our land? Is that what we want to protect with our votes? Are not much of these gains ill-gotten? Are they stealing from you? Do they not have health insurance to send their children for overseas treatment if their children fall sick, while most of us can't? Ah, but they have tricked you into hating the opposition and if we continue to allow them to, they will continue to gain much wealth while the rest of us loose!
Let us continue with this discussion next week.
Kent Vital Political Leader Dominica Freedom Party.