“Whataboutism” is a Cold War Russian political tactic recently embraced by U.S. politicians. And Bahamians, loath to miss out on a trend, have lovingly co-opted it for this political season.
Whataboutism is a deflecting strategy. Any time a criticism is levied one can point to some failure of someone else – despite how tenuously related it might be. The politician, or government, using it avoids answering for their own failures – instead they point to a scapegoat, usually a political rival.
A purely hypothetical, and simplified, example: “Mr. Christie, how do you answer for millions missing, or unaccounted for, from the Public Treasury?” Response: “What about these examples of the Ingraham administration’s misspending?”
With this example the conversation shifts to either defending the previous administration (if you are a supporter) or the question is dropped / lost in the pursuing argument. What is not being discussed now is the original question.
This is the natural progression of the blame game Bahamians love.
It creates a cycle where we Bahamians no longer address problems head on. We get stuck in an endless loop of pointing fingers, defending our leaders and looking into the past. Meanwhile the issues of the present, and especially the future, are left unresolved during a critical time when they must be tackled.
I urge my fellow Bahamians to focus these next few months. Think critically and logically. Pursue the truth. Do not be swept up in propaganda from one politician or another. When you ask a question of someone who wants your vote then you must demand an answer. Do not let them get away with saying “What about…..”