Often-times, when it comes to our political leaders, less is more! Indeed, the less said, the better. We have especially found that to be the case with U.S. President Donald Trump who can’t seem to control his baser instincts and resist the urge to consistently “stuff his foot into his ample mouth.” At all hours of the morning, the good leader of the free world is apparently consumed with responding to every slight, be it ever so small via twitter. His manic need to win at all costs compels him to talk and talk and talk, even against the advice of those who know better, and even at his own peril. It is not difficult to imagine that one of the good president’s idle, whimsical or reckless remarks or postings will come back to haunt him, perhaps as evidence of obstruction of justice!
Of course, if we venture south to the islands of the Caribbean, we find politicians of like ilk. Men and women who can’t seem to muzzle their traps, and end up doing more harm than good to the causes they profess to espouse. Case in point, the learned attorney general of our fair island, who recently suggested that the leader of the opposition United Progressive Party should persuade, nay, tell his party’s supporters to vote “Yes” to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). It was an unfortunate and universally denounced remark, and it is not beyond the realm of possibility to surmise that the case for the CCJ was set back. Especially in the eyes and ears of a wary public that is instinctively opposed to politicians and lawyers, who are seen as having ‘skin in the CCJ game.’
Then there was Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, he of increasing tone-deafness. Notwithstanding the fact that his ‘reception’ for the new president of the CCJ, Justice Adrian Saunders, was widely condemned as a comingling of the judiciary and the political elite, he then added insult to injury most foul by prattling on about ‘son of the soil’ in an obtuse reference to the learned CCJ President and his Vincentian extraction. Again, for cynical Caricom nationals, this apparent crossing of the boundaries was proof positive that the legislative and judicial branches could not be trusted to remain separate and impervious to interference and undue influence.
Not surprisingly, the woefully oblivious good doctor, recently waded into the upcoming Antigua and Barbuda referendum on whether we should stay with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as our final appellate court, or accede to the CCJ, by urging Antiguans and Barbudans to vote “Yes” to the CCJ on November 6. Here again, the good doctor turned off many, even as he signaled his own intention to forego another referendum in St. Vincent (the first St. Vincent referendum went down in defeat in November 2009) and simply amend that country’s constitution in favour of the CCJ by an act of parliament. Needless to say, his verbiage was quite off-putting and proved to be more of a hindrance than a help.
“[Politicians’] words are like leaves, and where they most abound, much fruit of sense is seldom found.” We here at Observer media seem to believe that perhaps it is best for the politicians to stay silent, not only on the CCJ matter, but on most things, because never mind their supposed noble intentions, they always seem to unwittingly do more harm than good to the cause. Of course, we could go on and on and on with head-scratching instances of politicians opening their mouths and well, . . . . polluting the environment. Instead of providing clarity and elucidation, they further muddy the waters. From Washington to Kingstown to Bridgetown to St. John’s, these garrulous politicos are wont to letting it rip – fast and furious, and we could cite legion examples of their rants, musings and pronouncements, but that would be superfluous. Suffice it to say, as Bassanio once declared in Shakespeare’s MERCHANT OF VENICE, “[They] speak an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man . . . [Their] reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff – you shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you have them, they are not worth the search.” We suggest that the politicos hold their peace!