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OPINION: The return of David Granger-let it be done

by GHK Lall

I refer to the online article in Demerara Waves captioned, “Granger hints he is available for 2020 general elections” (DW August 31).  Here is where I stand on this possible return of David Granger: so let it be.

I begin by respectfully recommending that the president abandon the nuanced road and just throw his helmet in the ring here and now.  The sturdy sound should be enough to signal to the ambitious within to make space and stand down.  For as I cast about within the leader’s circle, I am unable to identify any aspirants of substance for top dog.  This country is ready for them; or any of them is anywhere near ready for the rigors of ethical and political stewardship of this society.  I do not think that some of them will ever be, personal visions aside.  There is the belief that these same sentiments have some traction within the party itself.  For the time being, the contenders are merely pretenders, who are better equipped to be potholders and cheerleaders.

Having gotten that out the way, I now focus on the incumbent and this 2020 challenge, by taking aim at the perceived negatives and accompanying positives.  It is said that the president does not talk to the people; delegate too much; manage by abstraction and remote control; and is ill-served by powerful loyalists.  It is further asserted that the president is too cool for this steamy land, that he is surrounded by more than a few managerial deadweights, that his trust is betrayed glaringly, and that his programs are either unclear, unworkable, or uneventful, if not unsuccessful.  Suffice it to say that I find elements in each area of contention with which I agree.

On the other hand, I would point out that the big man gives a man (or woman) a job to do, or a portfolio to fulfill, and he expects results.  Perhaps he should be harder and demand results.  He stands back and having delegated (as recommended) he waits for matters to unfold.  That is the standard I know.  Still, I confess that, at times, the president can be excruciatingly patient, if not cautious.  Maybe, too much so with some of the low achievers and suspect characters.  But the lesson from the previous regime comes in handy: presidential meddling in all and sundry(micromanaging) leaves scant room for ownership, and less for escalation and possible resolution.

In all of this, I assess the president as a long-term thinker, who is more into strategy and less of tactics.  He refuses steadfastly to intervene and douse fires or respond to media fireflies.  In other words, he is stoic in his distancing from and objecting to engaging in the instant gratification demanded by the impatient and critical.  Separately, I support the contention that trusted folks have failed him (worse yet the country) and that he has neither reacted nor acted.  This has hurt his image; it is also the realpolitik of Guyana.  I have serious problems here.  As to the success of his platforms and programs, I say this from observation and experience: this entire society (with rare departures) is hardwired for illegality.  Even the laws on the books are helpful.  Arguably, a great majority is bent irreversibly towards wrongdoing, be such blatant or borderline.  In short, wherever and whenever men meet money, there is mischief.  This was burdensome legacy; it is now established culture, settled mentality, and embedded personal vision.  Having bequeathed this lustrous gift, the opposition knows this; thus, it smirks knowingly. This is the bag that the president holds and he has not shaken it or thrashed soundly.  It flourishes, and this has redounded to the disfavor of a president well thought of many.  I do and I believe that he is the man to be trusted to lead the way forward.

On another note, all of those (self included) who wax at length about transparency and accountability, as well as individual integrity of a particular caliber know full well that those are nonstarters, have no takers, and so much wasted energy that only adds to already suffocating humidity levels.  From private sector to public sector, the amphitheater of activity is crooked and crippling.  From the judiciary to civil society to the economy, it is one national vaudeville girded by the burlesque; authorities search diligently for ways to give cover to criminality.  Stated differently, defend the indefensible by maintaining the status quo ante.  This is where the president has struggled.  I have great difficulty appreciating how it could be otherwise, given the environment.

Now if this is what His Excellency wishes to return to, then my only words are: God bless!  Here is an honest thoughtful man with more stomach than yours truly.  I withhold judgment on good sense.  I think some in the country and a few comrades need a man like him; but the rest have no use for someone of his visions: cohesion, cleanliness (un-bribability all over), old-school courtesies, and conduct becoming across the board (and in parking lots, too).  This is too much for too many.  That time is past.

Last, my concern for 2020 is not about the other side; noise and patter aside, they recognize the signs and portents. Not favorable, not possible; definitely un-American.  Too much damage was done before by the fellow compelled to play bridesmaid and like it.  He should be good at it.  There are many reasons why I encourage the return of President Granger in 2020, but if for one thing only that I wholeheartedly endorse him it is this: to keep some of his own people out.

To the president I tender this gem from Aristotle: amicus Plato, amicus Socrates, sed magis amica veritas (Plato is my friend, Socrates is my friend, but truth is more my friend).