Jamaica Observer - Guest editorial

We can’t say we’re surprised by reports that American President Donald Trump is losing support among Republican lawmakers after last week Wednesday’s violent siege of the US Capitol by his supporters whom he had encouraged to march on the Congress.

Neither are we amazed by the fact that it took those legislators this long to publicly acknowledge the hammerlock Mr Trump has on their party has tarnished the Grand Old Party (GOP).

The cold, hard fact is that many of those legislators are salivating at the massive support Mr Trump continues to enjoy across the United States, and are basically afraid to alienate that many voters.

That explains why, after last week Wednesday’s assault on the country’s democracy, 147 Republicans in Congress, including eight senators, still voted to reject Mr Joe Biden’s victory in the November general elections.

A report by The Associated Press tells us Republican pollster Frank Luntz has had extensive conversations with grass-roots voters and Republican officials about Mr Trump’s standing since the siege.

According to Mr Luntz: “The professionals are running away from a sinking ship, but his own supporters have not abandoned him, and they actually want him to fight on. He’s become the voice of God for tens of millions of people, and they will follow him to the ends of the Earth and off the cliff.”

How that level of support will play out over the next four years of the Biden presidency is yet to be seen, given speculation about whether Mr Trump will make another bid for the presidency in 2024, or if he will even be able to, as there is a renewed push for his impeachment for the role he played in inciting last week’s insurrection.

Add to that news emerging on Tuesday that growing numbers of Republicans are changing their party registration since the siege, and you get an indication of the political fallout the GOP is now experiencing.

The Republican party, we believe, would do itself well to take this time to regain its soul, for it has allowed itself to be browbeaten by a leader who discarded decorum, tradition, diplomacy and truth-telling.

We are told that powerful Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is among those who have now lost faith with Mr Trump because of the siege. His could be a most influential voice in that process of redemption, if he is genuine.

So, too, could Mr Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary for President George W Bush and a GOP strategist who voted for Mr Trump. Mr Fleischer is reported by the AP as saying he can no longer defend Mr Trump.

“I won’t defend him for stirring the pot that incited the mob. He’s on his own,” Mr Fleischer said.

Concern for the future of the GOP has also been shared by president-elect Biden who, last Friday, told reporters: “We need a Republican Party. We need an Opposition that’s principled and strong.”

Mr Biden, of course, is right, and the GOP would do the American people a great service by engaging in introspection that will hopefully help the country regain some moral authority to address instances of injustice and undemocratic behaviour around the world.

—Courtesy The Jamaica Observer


Yesterday’s back-to-back news conferences, first by the Ministers of Finance and Energy, and then by the president-general of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union, turned up too many contradictions for public comfort.

It just doesn’t make sense on a lot of levels, and from various angles, this shooting of a soldier by a police officer at a birthday party, or get-together, in Point Fortin last Friday.

Every passing day living with the Covid-19 situation is more stressful than the one before in every country in the world. The situation of some people who have lost their loved ones, or their job, or their house, or their friends, or their money, or their sanity is becoming daily more unbearable.

I urge each and every constituent in Tobago where THA elections are to be held simultaneously with by-elections in five electoral districts in Trinidad (Morne Coco/Alyce Glenn in the Diego Martin Regional Corporation; Arima Central, in the Arima Borough Corporation; Hollywood in the Point Fortin Borough Corporation; Cunupia in the Chaguanas Borough Corporation; and Hindustan/St Mary in the Princes Town Regional Corporation) who is eligible to vote in those elections scheduled for Monday to come out and exercise their franchise.

Something amazing is happening in T&T and we must be thankful to the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).

Trinidadians and Tobagonians of low and middle income, who after spending a few measly dollars on a Lotto ticket and then winning millions of dollars, somehow miraculously acquire the art of acting normal.

While it can be said the West Indies cricket team has one of the worst youth players-to-senior team legend records in the history of the sport, it can also be said the Indian cricket team has one of the best such records. WI would therefore do well to study them in great detail.