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Populism versus realism

Al Gore, the former Vice-President of the United States, produced a 2006 documentary called An Inconvenient Truth. In this film, he spoke about the oncoming climate change. Many, too many, did not want to hear it and labelled what he said as unpopular.

Some 15 years later, what was unpopular then is recognised as the sobering truth now.

Al Gore did not choose populism. He chose realism.


You see, anyone can get up and say what is popular, no matter how far-fetched it is.

Conversely, very few will get up and say what is unpopular, no matter how true it may be.

As prime examples:

Anyone looking to be popular can jump up and say more Bermudians should work in the trades. Lots of mothers would agree to this.

Meanwhile, authentic leadership is putting the trades back into our high schools.

Anyone looking to be popular can jump up and say grocery prices are too high. After all, who would dare disagree?

Meanwhile, authentic leadership would look for ways for us to grow our own foods.

Anyone looking to be popular would say, let’s keep giving out financial assistance with no conditions attached.

Authentic leadership is about teaching the less fortunate how to stand on their own two feet so they can become self-sufficient.

Anyone looking to be popular can hop on the latest bandwagon and claim that they agree with whatever a group of people say.

Even if what they say defies science.

Authentic leadership is standing up, taking your blows and educating your people about the cold facts of a pandemic.

Essentially, saying whatever is popular at the moment is what anyone looking for attention would do.

However, authentic leadership means finding out the facts and working to help others understand those facts.

Even if a proportion of the population does not like the facts, and, yes, even when they protest against the facts, real leaders must stand on those facts.

Wrong road

On more than one recent occasion MP Michael Dunkley, in an attempt to be popular, has gone to great lengths to say that the Travel Authorisation Form should be scrapped and that we should follow the protocol for entry into America.

Those looking for immediate popularity will claim to have quick fixes to every issue

The entry into America being a negative test at check-in, and where non-immunised persons do not have to quarantine upon entry.

“The One Bermuda Alliance suggests that now it is time to consider eliminating the TAF, and the expense involved with it, and instead have a policy similar to the US where before boarding a plane to the island the traveller will have to show a valid negative PCR test…"

So, let's take a look at what is happening in America right now:

● Delta variant raging in more than 40 states

● Covid numbers going up among unvaccinated persons

● Ninety-five per cent of Covid-19 deaths are of unvaccinated persons

Yes, let’s follow Mr Dunkley’s advice.

Opposition leader Cole Simons has also attempted to pander to populism by stating that mandatory quarantines should be eliminated.

“Premier [David] Burt should drop the paid mandatory quarantine and allow Bermudians to isolate in their own homes.”

So, let’s look at countries that do not have mandatory quarantine:

● United States: 290 Covid-related deaths per day

● US Virgin Islands: hospital now at capacity

● British Virgin Islands: 23 Covid-related deaths this month ... and counting

Does anyone want to follow the advice of Cole Simons?

Populism versus realism

It is easy to scan social media and find out what people are complaining about and claim that you “will do better”. All in an attempt to be popular for a week or so.

However, not so easy to actually do the research and be willing to tell the people the fundamental and cold, hard truths.

Along the way, the people see things for what indeed they are.

Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail at carib_pro@yahoo.com

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Published July 23, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated July 22, 2021 at 6:45 pm)

Populism versus realism

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