With only one real choice, Caribbean Americans need to vote in November


An unsigned Op-Ed piece from Philadelphia’s Tribune.

The news media is painting the current political climate in America as very somber as the citizens of our country try to figure out who the best candidate is to hold the highest office in our land. Back home in the islands, the leaders of the Caribbean region are on pins and needles because they know that their future hinges on whether the citizens vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Who is the best person for the job? Not only will the Caribbean leaders be glued to their television screen but all world leaders will be poised to hear the final Election Day outcome on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

As Steve Benen wrote in a MSNBC article back in March, this election is being watched on the world stage. Diplomats from countries all around the globe are watching to see the outcome of this election. They are very concerned because of the inflammatory statements that are being spewed forth from Donald Trump’s mouth. Here is one: “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively,” Trump said. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” This sounds very much like a small child telling a tall tale. Yeah, that’s right.

What’s on the minds of Caribbean Americans as they listen to each candidate’s position on the issues?

Dahren D. who is 27 years old, and a true Jamerican (Jamaican & American parentage), said that he is not too keen on either of the candidates. “I feel that they both have their gimmicks, their antics just to get the vote of the people,” Dahren said. “I feel that they do not truly have the interest of the people at heart. There is some information on the internet that makes me undecided.”

When asked if he will vote in November, Dahren said, “Right now I don’t have a plan. I may vote but ultimately I know that the president is the face of everything but he cannot do anything without the House.”

Lloyd Cummings, a Caribbean-American who is a Philadelphia resident and host of Caribbean Magazine on WURD, represents the over 60 age group. He passionately stated that “one candidate in this political race has confirmed that white supremacy is alive and well. This candidate has been associated with David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan. He is fueling the fire of those who are avid about keeping minorities and immigrants out of this country. “Based on the behavior of Donald Trump it is obvious that he is not qualified to be president of the United States,” continued Cummings. “I can’t help but wonder what educated people are thinking about him. It has been one year and Trump has not revealed any policy to move America forward.”

Furthermore, Cummings said that regardless of what the politicians say or do, the goodness of the American people always come out. “I am speaking about the ordinary law-abiding citizens who work hard to provide for their families and educate their children,” he said. “These people make up the majority, who unfortunately are often silent.”

“As far as I’m concerned,” Cummings continued, “Trump reminds me of a leader who had the same attitude and caused much upheaval in the world; what I’m saying is people also cheered for Hitler. I encourage everyone to get out and vote this November.”

Elaine Maddix, who represents the 40 to 60 age group, said that this is no contest. “How can one compare Hillary to Donald when they have absolutely nothing in common,” she said. “When I see this whole political spectacle unfolding, day to day, I am flabbergasted that some of the American people are so desperate to get President Obama out of office, they would vote for Donald Trump. I hate to say it but it seems as if they would applaud if he went up to the microphone and passed gas. They are OK with anything that he says and that is pretty sad.”

There is a quote that is often used back in the Caribbean by the old folks. “He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool; shun him” (translated: the person who thinks he knows something and doesn’t realize that he knows nothing is a fool, stay away from him). Could this be the Donald? “He who knows and knows that he knows is wise; seek him” (the person who has knowledge and knows that he is knowledgeable, is wise, seek him out). Could this be Hillary? Wisdom is definitely a leadership quality that is desirable in a president.

As President Obama said as he addressed the Democratic National Convention (DNC), democracy is not a spectator sport. Jump into the arena and participate. Get out there in November and vote. There is only one choice! H-i-l … Oh, right. I can’t tell you what to do.

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