When Oscar Clarke shook the proverbial finger and uttered those words of foreboding – those who forget the past would be forced to relive it – we were forced to pay attention.
After all, this was coming from a man who remains on his journey, due north, well north, of his biblical allowance of three score and ten and though we have no disregard for aging, we tend to take a closer look when those warnings come from politicians who have entrenched themselves in office because there is association of political tenure with the malady of political dementia and we feel that this may now be Oscar’s affliction.
Especially because this political palsy offers some rare snippets of wisdom, we agree with Oscar when he warns not to forget the past. People should never forget Oscar or Chase-Green or Hammy or any of the old guard who placed personal pride before people and became more squatters than service providers in their offices.
And, Oscar’s notion that the age and size of his party gives it the advantage in “getting the message out” gives us an idea of the extent of the progression of this political disease. Clarke’s message, like many in the old guard, remains one that is nestled in the 60’s, crafted around words like card –bearing member and Comrade Leader. His political cognizance remains confined to the years when leadership meant setting goals for party paramouncy, unaware that the country is now post dictatorship, that politics is now a more nationalistic endeavor in which the younger generation is less indoctrinated, uninterested in developing national socialists and are yearning, striving, more for whatever is closest to democracy, national inclusion and freedom to demand accountability of elected officials – all concepts that Oscar and company have already demonstrated, decade after decade, that their official predispositions are impervious to.
And part of this political dementia disease must be dissimulation. That would be one reason why Oscar would suddenly find GECOM’s lack of a proper voter education program a deficit when he, during his six decades of politicking, was never even a coauthor of such a program. With the dissimulation comes some delusion,too, so that would account for why he feels his guidance along with that of Hammy and Chase Green – with an average age of seventy five years amongst these elderly visionaries – would catapult Georgetown into the future.
Clearly, there is much that could be said about Oscar’s affliction, especially when he surmises that the energy of the youth would need the experience of the ancient to function in the political climate that is Georgetown.
But we won’t waste time giving him a full physical, aware that he is not one to listen to doctor’s orders. We’ll just tell him that age is not a prerequisite for political wisdom nor is political experience a direct product of age.
We’ll also say that we respect our elected leaders but are fully aware that elected leadership was never meant to be a profession.
Public officials are expected to know when to retire with dignity and that’s never when a career is well past its stale – date, when politicians in obvious shambles are insisting on forcing their obsolete ideas onto the ever evolving carousel of politics; when those politicians have been tried on the political scales and consistently come in several pounds under weight.
Oscar and company may need some assistance in finding their way out of the office they have squatted in for decades.
We can guarantee that, as they leave, there will be several volunteers to turn the lights off for them.