After Two Years, Guyanese Have Been Subjected To Culture War

There is the saying that when America sneezes, the whole world catches a cold. That saying is tied to the reality that the world seems to gobble up whatever is spilled from the US of A. we love their food, their fashion trends and their music. We even love their style of governance. How often we hold up the US freedom of democracy as a bellwether to how the world should operate. However, there has been a slight turning away and decrying of the American-way, with the election of Donald Trump.

The world looked on and wondered for a moment, What Happened? We saw an uneasy shift away from certain, basic, long-held, American ideals, to a more closed-door, imperialist, protectionist form of anti-Semitic, racists rants. This new normal is now called “Trumpism”. I who have long been a supporter of the all-inclusive, big-tent, moral, ideals of the Republican Party, don’t even know this GOP party any more. It was therefore no surprise that over the last few days, when put to a test, Trumpism lost.

America is too much of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, melting pot, for the kind of cultural warfare that Donald Trump has launched. That approach cannot gain a foothold in the USA. And so, after a full year of holding its nose, America has sneezed, electorally. And I hope and pray that the ripples of that sneeze bathe Guyana. After two years, we as Guyanese have been subjected to a similar culture war, when we were promised different. We have been seeing shakedowns of the many supporters of the last administration. We are seeing the victimization of people who look like the likely supporters of the last administration. And while Guyana has never really been known for its non-racial politics, this constant tugging to the two extremes of the racial divide, is wearing thin on the peoples of Guyana.

Exit polls in the US show that the reason that the Donald Trump kind of politics lost in the recent elections, was because the folks in the middle came out in their numbers, and opposed it. The truth is that the folks who are diehard “Trumpers”, voted to support that un-American ideology. But they lost! And they lost because there are more people voting in America, who understand where they want the country to remain, than those who want to change it, into a racists State.

In Guyana, we have our work cut out for us. Because the challenge is that we seem to have a lot of people who are fighting to keep Guyana as a racist State. There is this dogged solidifying of the people who are content to leave Guyana mired in our racial divide; when everything we know tells us that that is the foremost reason for our blight and stagnation, as a nation.

However, if there was one other takeaway from the recent lost to Trumpism, it is the fact that not only did the swing voters (who wanted to give Trump a chance a year ago), swing back to reality but young people came out in their numbers and voted against the racism and Trump’s cultural-war. That’s what Guyana needs to upset these 50-years of polarized racism. We need the middle/swing voters of Guyana, coupled with the visionary, progressive, optimism of the youths, to turn this ship of racism around. It will not be easy but we can do it.

The exit polls in the US also showed that the majority of voters did not necessarily vote for the Democrat, they just simply voted against Trump and what he stands for. America has sneezed. Let’s hope that come next elections, Guyana catches her cold.