By Jerry Roker
for Bahamas Press
The PLP government is not the instigator or the perpetuator of the decline in public dialogue.
For sure, there is something larger at work, something in people’s character that has been unleashed by the advent of social media — the free expression of intolerance and condemnation without consequence is a cheap thrill easily gained.
But at the same time, you can’t ignore the Opposition’s role in feeding a take-no-prisoners approach to our political life.
From the start of the Government’s mandate in 2012, the Opposition, without a moment of serious reflection on why it was no longer the government, has been embarked on a relentless campaign of disinformation and distortion to drag down and undermine almost everything the PLP Government is doing.
The intent echoes that of the Republican party in the United States, whose Senate leader Mitch McConnell said his aim was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Mr. McConnell’s statement suggested his party’s political interest was more important than the national interest that was expressed through the election of Mr Obama. You could say the same for the Opposition’s approach to politics here in The Bahamas.
So where does it come from, this bloody-minded approach to politics? Certainly, Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, his surrogates and allies in the press’ extreme and threatening language, and all that it reflects, is an important influence.
The approach being employed by opposition forces is simply just a sustained programme of disinformation and shallow criticism for criticism sake.
A sustained programme of disinformation? Things start falling into place when you take that on board.
This is not to say that the PLP cannot raise the bar when responding to its critics,
— but the point has to be made that this low point is not the PLP’s doing. It’s sort of like a school student trying to get his work done while another keeps throwing spitballs at him. What would you do?