June 19, 2020
Written by: Tasha Ann Miller
The turn in the quest for truth and justice is happening. People are demanding change or else. Political leaders are now standing up to the test or risk the power of democracy rising up in anarchy to implement the change they want to see. In Jamaica, the government continues to navigate the tides of resuscitating the economy as the nose dive in the hardship been felt among the people becomes more evident. What then will be the deciding factor at the polls? What could cause a change in the leadership of government after the final ballot is counted? Trust.
In the United States, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday, June 16, for police reform across states and the backing of federal funds to enable the actions. The air has ripened in the White House as the President’s order commands police reform while bashing the vitriolic discourse on defunding the law enforcement entity. Furthermore, Trump has taken a stance against the perpetuation of injustices meted out to black persons who have died at the hands of the police denouncing its continuation as a reason for the executive order. However, there is still more that the President must continue to reinforce and say as the racial tensions are still lingering and people are still not clear on his full view of the divide that exists in the American populous.
Meanwhile, the call is for Presidential candidate Joe Biden to choose a black woman as his vice president as he continues to slander the Trump administration and its leadership. Biden’s is now campaigning around the Supreme’s court ruling against ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for immigrants in the way the Trump administration had petitioned. Joe Biden’s immigration plan is to deeply uproot the Trump administration’s attempt to structure the United States immigration process. Biden’s plan offers an open door to almost everyone without a focus on keeping the nation’s border a security priority. Instead, his plan if elected as President is to rescind all of Trump’s immigration policies with casual considerations for people with valued security concerns about having an influx of immigrants who cannot be traced.
The trust in government is weighing thin as people are increasingly taking on consistent issues that political leaders have failed to combat in the history of government. This trust issue is also a sharp cut to democracy and power as citizens are now finding out that they are the handle of the knife in majority and not the blade. United democracy is the plum line for the recourse on holding political leaders accountable to their promises and actions as they govern the country.
However, the discord exists as people are consistently being brainwashed by the media and their agendas and their trust is being abused by confusion. The trust of every voter must be valued now more than ever as the lines to march to a polling station must be honored instead of being labelled an election statistic. Why should I vote for you? It’s not just a question but the future for the next two to three generations by the actions of today. As trust is being weighed in scales, preparations by political runners for the upcoming elections in Jamaica and the United States must take decisive action to restore trust before assuming the loyalty card will always keep its place in constant and real changes that affect everyone. Will the leader who has a passion for hope announce his vision and let people’s heart trust again?
The vision should be the responsible and accountable actions of elected political representatives. President Trump’s executive order seeks to find such a balance in the reform of law and order while taking into consideration the history of African Americans who have lived at the abuse of law in the name of forced order and the capitulation of democracy and human rights. The President’s executive order did not directly address any notion of racist attacks by the police and so the veil of the racial uncertainty still droops over his response to the issue.
The law cannot be used as a cover for racial biases and abuse of power against any human, moreover, a group of the population (Black Americans) that are still fighting to rid the columns of social injustices that have separated them from getting an equal status in society. However, the police are also coming to grips with the injustices within the organization or risk losing the trust of lawful citizens including Black Americans who keep order.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has strongly led the charge to root out corruption in politics. In his appointment of Cabinet members in March 2016, his response was a zero tolerance approach and a warning of transparency to his appointees. The tails of corruption that have hung from his governance have not been pretty, and now he is being hawkishly watched to see how the current matters play out as the general elections looms closer. His leadership style to bring about change to the entire Jamaica and improve the economy has been welcoming but he is not without criticism. Issues surrounding his handling of the COVID19 epidemic including his treatment of ship workers who were stranded at sea, and the death of a young mother at the inefficient hands of the health system are still fresh in the minds of the people. The trust of the people have been breached, and he must work to regain favor with swing voters and the silent majority.
The trust of people to continue with his leadership for another four years must not be taken lightly even though the charge from the Opposition party to provide a new way forward has been lacking. The people are expecting Holness to bring the change and start the revolution in politics that has never been before and it is not just about a social media presence or engagement but tangible and progressive change. The weight is heavy to restore trust among voters and those who consider present circumstances politically as a disenfranchised outlook on voting. The current rise in democracy and accountability globally is changing the way political leaders should campaign and share their visions for the nation. The vision must be focused and not blurred by persuasive rhetoric and statistical data if the majority of the people cannot relate to this tangible change or the promise of one.
The economic health, and navigating this new normal must be a part of this trust as people are looking for restoration after the COVID19 pandemic. Over 450,000 people have died worldwide and the etched sorrows have stained the atmosphere gravely as we seek to work ourselves back to the life before COVID19. However, it will be a new way forward as the past remains behind; therefore, the political campaigns must be cautious as they purport to reclaim the rest of 2020 by delivering rather than selling. These upcoming elections are not just for another term but a capstone to the restart of a generation that almost lost it all with this fettering COVID19 crisis.
The next few generations depend on the choices of leaders today as the repercussions are final in the history of time if wrong decisions lead to a tumult. The opportunity for the upcoming elections in the United States and Jamaica is a right time to turn the keys in the right directions. The trust is valued as the time sensitive unlock to lasting change in the accountability sphere of leaders to produce consistent excellence in governance.