I write this a couple hours before the United States’ Presidential Debate. Many of my American friends have asked me, often in a fashion of disbelief, “How do our politics this year look to an outsider?” I laugh and say it’s like theater. A bad performance.
They laugh. I laugh. But growing up with Bahamian politics, I know bad theater when I see it.
We’re not too long away before our own circus starts its three ring act. Our country’s leadership is filled with jokers. And every Bahamian is conditioned to laugh at their own party’s jokes – no matter how bad the punchlines.
But I think the day is coming, it might be soon, where the Bahamian population takes matters seriously and looks at where our country is heading with more nuanced and forward-looking eyes. I believe this because I’ve spoken with many Bahamians who I believe no longer hide their eyes behind their red, yellow or green wool.
Either red or yellow, the only colours that matter are the ones in The Bahamian flag, or more appropriately, what they stand for.
As things begin to fire up on this side of the Gulf Stream I ask my fellow Bahamians, my fellow Abaconians, to not buy into games but instead buy into our futures. I think we will. But the worry is always there that in the coming months people will buy back into old talking points, unimportant criteria and an allegiance to charisma and family lines.
We need to grow beyond this as a country. Politics will always be performance when it comes to election times. But we need to remember that after the makeup comes off these people will be negotiating trade deals for us, setting taxes and planning education policy.
Don’t be reactionary voters. Don’t be uneducated and uninformed voters. Don’t vote a way solely because that’s how your father and mother voted. Be smart. The future is in our hands.
Buckle up, because in these next few months the show will really start. The curtain is rising on our political theater. But realize it is more than entertainment. This is our future.