WAY FOR MARTELLY TO DEFUSE THE BOMB

Haitian President Michel J. Martelly

When President Martelly returns to the country from his week-long trip in the United States, he will have to address the nation to state his administration’s position on the contention between the executive and the legislative –generated by the arrest on Thursday afternoon of Deputy Arnel Belizaire at the Toussaint Louverture Airport in Port-au-Prince as he was entering the country from his trip in France.

This speech will be the most important and delicate one he will ever have to deliver since he got in the National Palace six months ago, for it will have the potential to make or break his presidency.

The situation in Haiti as we speak is like a bomb that is ticking and needs to be defused as soon as possible. That means time is of the essence; there is absolutely no time to waste. As he is going to try his best to defuse it, he will have to be extremely careful to not let the unexpected worst occur.

My advice to him is to not try to pass the blame on anyone. The only best way for him to appease the situation and send everyone home with a happy face is to take personal responsibility for what happened and admit it was a technical faux pas in the way the prosecutor, Mr. Felix Leger, went about to carry out the order that was explicitly given to him.

Not only does he need to give the reasons as to why what he intended doing did not work out as expected, he also needs to include the nature of the miscalculation. Otherwise, he will have a hard time to get himself out of it and put the situation behind him.

There is nothing more humble when a leader is strong enough to be honest with his people to admit his missteps; the people love that. This will make him come out as a strong man, a man of character willing to go down so his lieutenants could be safe from enemy fire. That is, indeed, what responsible and resolute leaders do when the though gets going.

All responsible leaders mess up at some point in time during their tenure in command. And when they do, they always take personal responsibility because the bulk always stops with them. Only the coward ones pass the blame on their subordinates. President Kennedy, for instance, took full personal responsibility in the wake of the Bay of Pigs disaster.

Less than three months after President Kennedy took office, in April of 1961, as the United States wakening from the embarrassing disaster at the Bay of Pigs, when CIA-backed Cuban exiles hit the beaches of their home country only to face defeat in their attempts to overthrow the Fidel Castro government in Cuba, Kennedy took full personal responsibility for the disaster. He did not try to blame it on anybody but himself. In his address to the nation, he eloquently said: “I am the responsible officer of the government.” The strategy paid off. He then got his highest approval rating of his presidency -83% in the Gallup Poll.

President Kennedy, then a newly elected president, per most historians’ accounts, made many mistakes in his handling of the Bay of Pigs invasion. But he learned very quickly from them to better himself for the job he was elected to do for the country.

Politics is a learning profession, meaning politicians learn how to respond to issues and adapt as they go.  There is no one silver bullet or blueprint as to how to avoid and solve all problems. Each issue is unique in its own genre.

So this is President Martelly’s crisis to deal with just like the Bay of Pigs disaster was President Kennedy’s embarrassment to deal with. Like President Kennedy, President Martelly has a lot of learning do. The way he will respond to this issue will tell a lot of his character. I can only hope he does the right thing, what all responsible leaders would do in his situation –taking personal responsibility and not trying to pass the blame on anyone. That is how trust and confidence that leadership will be better in the future is instilled.

My REFLECTION OF THE DAY 07/15/2011

The Republicans want to solve the deficit equation solely by cutting spending. They believe that doing so will keep more money in the treasury, which will eventually balance the equation.

The Democrats, on the other hand, believe otherwise. They finally agree to cut spending, which will negatively affect medicare and medicaid, but opt to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans is not something the Republicans would support; it goes against their core ideological value. They argue that these people are job creators in the economy; therefore, taxing them will undermine their ability to create jobs, which will slow down the economy.

But we have a problem, though. The republicans’ argument for not wanting to raise taxes on the rich does not seem to make much sense to me; I refuse to buy it. We had tried this trickle-down economic philosophy during the Bush administration; unfortunately, it failed to solve the equation; the economy had gotten worse.

These wealthiest Americans were not creating jobs when they were getting tax cuts after tax cuts under Bush. Instead of seeing jobs being created in the economy, we witnessed the opposite -jobs fleeing the economy to go overseas, causing the recession in the first place.

So I wholeheartedly am in agreement with the approach proposed by the democrats to solve the deficit equation. We had tried the Republican way before; unfortunately, it worsened the situation. We have got to be really stupid to be wanting to keep doing the same ineffective thing expecting different results. It is time that we try something else.

YOUR WHITE MASTER GAVE YOU HIS RELIGION TO PROVE HIS LOVE FOR YOU

Let me ask you a question; hopefully, you will use your brain, not your blind faith to dissect it. Can you please tell me one thing that is to work in your advantage as a Black person that the White man let you have without a fight?

If you look around or if you go down to dig into the historical archives, you will realize that everything we Black folks have for our own emancipation, we had to fight with our lives to earn them -for example, the independence of the Haitian people from the brutal French system of slavery in 1804, the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to abolish segregation and discrimination in the United States, the end of Apartheid in South Africa in 1994, etc… And even after we earn them, we have to be constantly guarding them so that he does not trick us and take them away from us. That goes to show you how much he cannot and must not be trusted.

Yet, without a fight, he brought you Christianity -his imported religion -and handed it to you. You embraced and made it yours. You are so much of a defender of his own religion, more so than he basically is, that you are willing to kill your own brothers and sisters over it –something that does not even belong to you.

You think he cares so much about you that he wants your soul to be spared. While you think he has got to care so much about your soul to be handing you his so-called soul-liberating religion, don’t forget that it was forced on you at a time when you were being treated worse than a pet, not any kind of pet. He submitted you under some of the most egregious and inhuman treatments ever. In spite of it all, you still believe he lets you have his religion because he loves and cares about you so much, huh?

When will you start opening your eyes to see and using your brain to start asking pertinent questions? Let’s use our ability to reason to brainstorm on this issue for a change. Do you seriously believe that the White man let you have his religion because he so much loves you and cares about your soul being spared? If his religion was as good as he told you, do you think he would have let you have it without a fight? And if it was to be working for you, why did he have to force it on you when you had to fight with your life to earn your freedom from him? Let’s talk. Maybe I am in the wrong. If so, please answer the questions and convince me that I am.

CHARACTER ASSASSINATION IS NOT A CRIME

Successful politicians do not only know how well to articulate their plans to their constituents, but also how best to assassinate the character of their opponents. How do you assassinate someone’s character? You assassinate someone’s character by using their vulnerabilities to convince the electorate to believe that the person is UNFIT for the position. You don’t know about your opponents’ character flaws by looking and smiling at them. You have to dig and unearth the stinky corpses.   

Here in the United States, we see nothing but that. Character assassination is the essence of American politics. Do not take my words for it. All you have to do is to take a few minutes of your time to watch a few political ads. A very slim portion of them is dedicated to introducing and positioning the candidates. For the most part, they are attack ads, and their sole purpose is to assassinate the character of the challenger.

In the Haitian political landscape, the politicians do not create or raise controversies, which is probably the reason why I have found it to be overtly boring. I barely see a political advertisement introducing a candidate, let alone an attack one. The ones I have come in contact with only tell the electorate what the candidate’s identification number is and where to make the check mark to vote him/her.

These Haitian politicians do not even talk about themselves in the ads; they worry more about putting the illiterate and hungry masses in the streets playing RARA POLITICS. I have seen a few candidates doing this crap, which I think is embarrassing, disparaging, condescending, demeaning, low and outdated.  

Anyhow, let’s go back to the topic. As I was saying, character assassination is the best way to fight political battles. You do not win these kinds of battles simply by presenting and positioning yourself; you do by assassinating the character of your opponents.

Have you ever asked yourself what had stopped Marc Bazin, the leader of the MIDH, from winning the 1990 presidential election in Haiti? That man was unstoppable. He had the persona, the savviness and the money to finance and run a well-structured campaign. But what he failed to realize was that money alone does not win elections. You need to be presenting yourself and your agenda and attacking your opponents. The strategy for his defeat was perfectly crafted that he was politically dead before the news even got to him.

How did his character get assassinated? The Haitian left painted him as an emissary of Washington. That’s exactly what they did, and before you know it, he was powerless with all the money he had.

The framing of the leader of the MIDH as Washington’s emissary worked perfectly because the public sentiment at the time was VERY antagonistic towards Washington. And the left did not spend a dime in presenting their candidate, Jean Bertand Aristide, who had just been relieved of his priesthood duty by Vatican for his revolutionary and leftist ideology of liberation theology. Aristide, as popular and powerful as he was, did not need any introduction to the political scene. With only a few months of campaigning, he could topple Bazin’s chance to win the presidency.  

Other politicians got eliminated from the scene simply by being labeled the M word –MAKOUT. Coming from the brutal dictatorship regime of the Duvalier, the people were highly repulsive of anyone having ties or acquaintances with the regime. So if you are a candidate, once you are framed as a TONTON MAKOUT, the ceremony for your political funeral is inevitable.

In conclusion, character assassination is a great strategy of battle which politicians use to annihilate their challenger. It works wonders. Politics is not supposed to be fair. How could you be fair in playing a game which must be won psychologically? Before you win in the polls, you must win in the minds of the people. So politicians should not be spending money in just presenting themselves and their agendas to the electorate; they should also work just as hard to assassinate the character of their opponents. It is despicable to see in this 21st century these Haitian politicians using the same archaic RARA POLITICS as political tool to get the attention of the electorate. Character assassination is not a punishable offense, so use it.