Mid-Term Elections 2018: No Vote; No Voice

Go Lean Commentary

It’s a BIG Day (November 6, 2018) in the US; it’s the Mid-Term Elections to choose the new Congress.

As related in this previous blog-commentary, the Caribbean has No Vote and No Voice in the US elections for the power of their leaders.

But one Caribbean stakeholder – “Rock Star” Rihanna – has chimed in with her own power; she has a voice and a vote. She has declared:

Please stop the music.
See the full news article in the Appendix below, to see how she has forbidden any of her music at Trump rallies.

For this election, there is a lot at stake for this American eco-system – as the only Super Power in the western hemisphere – this affects the Caribbean in an impactful way as well.

Bad things happen when Good people do not vote.
The opposite of justice is not injustice; it’s apathy, indifference and inaction. – Senator Corey Booker Nov 5, 2018.

The United States of America is the richest, most powerful democracy – a government of the people, by the people, for the people – on the planet and yet their power does not appear to lie with the population, but rather the passionate. So many times, the winner of campaign races are not the people with the majority, but rather the people who are passionate enough to show up and vote … consistently. The current federal administration – under President Donald Trump – seems to have little regards for the needs of Caribbean people. So now is the first chance for America to chime in on their support or opposition of this President. This is the actuality of the Mid-term elections.

The results are in:

  • In summary, the opposition party, the Democrats, has won back the US House of Representatives.
  • The Senate remains with the incumbent party, the Republicans.
  • Many State races revert to the opposition parties, except for Florida and Georgia where both Democratic gubernatorial candidates have apparently lost. In Florida, Andrew Gillum would had become the first African-American governor in the State; while Georgia’s Stacey Abrams would have been the first African-American female governor ever … anywhere.

The quest for a pluralistic democracy is still not complete. (When its No Vote and No Voice, it gets even more difficult).

The Caribbean remains inconsequential to this American process. Even the American territories remain with No Voice, No Vote and No Progress. That previous blog-commentary related:

[For] the US Territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, … American economic prosperity does not always extend to the islands. The emigration (brain & capital drain) for these islands has been acute for over 100 years and continues, unchecked today. The pattern of the US Territories is what the rest of the [Caribbean] region does not want: half abandoned; where the emigrated population exceeds the on-island population. These islands are paradise – there should be no reason to leave. – Book Go Lean…Caribbean Page 244

The US as the regional Super Power does not mean power nor prosperity for the neighboring Caribbean region. We are not protégés; we are parasites. The solution to assuage Caribbean crises is not America; we must do the heavy-lifting to reform and transform our society ourselves.

Solving our own problems; providing for our own needs; handling our own affairs – there is an umbrella word for these activities: Independence. (With independence, our Vote and Voice matters).

The Go Lean book – a roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) – provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions for a Way Forward, a guide “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform, transform and promote independence. We need to be able to deliver without dependence on “overseas masters”: Washington, Paris, Amsterdam or London. Our focus here is on Washington. Though our quest is not to impact the US – notwithstanding the Diaspora living there – there is the need for the CU to limit our scope to the 2 American territories and other 28 lands in the Caribbean. One advocacy in the book (Page 120) is entitled “10 Ways to Promote Independence“; this allows for the heightened delivery of basic needs. See the headlines, summaries and excerpts from that advocacy here:

10 Ways to Promote Independence

1 Lean-in for the Treaty for a Caribbean Single Market
This treaty calls for the unification of the Caribbean region into an integrated market, thereby expanding to an economy of 30 member-states of 42 million people. The vision of the CU is independence! But independence as a regional entity, one Single Market. The missions of the CU entail empowering the economic engines, securing the homeland and assuaging the emergency crises of natural disasters.The current state of the CU region would equate to the unsettled period in US history from 1776 until the accedence of the constitution in 1789. If independence is likened to the birth of a new nation, then the CU would be considered the adult stage of this fictitious entity – partnering in a marriage; ready for growth (annexation) once settled and stable.
2 Autonomous Rule for Territories
The CU treaty includes the American, British, Dutch and French Overseas Territories. Though the legacy powers are among the world’s biggest economies, such prosperity has not always extended to these islands. The CU only seeks autonomous rule from their legacies, not sovereignty, and receivership status in the case of any financial insolvency.
3 CU Neutrality
The CU Federation must “get and give” independence. Many CU agencies are configured as independent entities from the political structures within the region. This is especially noted with the Caribbean Central Bank, Federal Elections, Organ Procurement, Education Testing, Federal Courts and Self Governing Entities. The independence of these service providers must be assured with compliance reviews and audits – these protect public integrity.
4 Elections Management – International Monitors
5 Security Independence
The CU region has enemies, (narco-terrorists, and sworn enemies of legacy nations). So the collective security pact will create a Homeland Security Department, to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The CU will coalesce with the Defense Forces of the US, France, Netherlands, British Navies for Intelligence sharing and naval patrols and shore leaves. The CU will acquire tactical defensive weapons: helicopters, submarines, drones, & anti-aircraft systems.
6 Energy Independence
7 Financial Independence
8 Disaster Response Independence
Every hurricane or earthquake should not constitute an international crisis. Adults are required to be prepared for rainy days, so too the CU must position relief supplies and recovery equipment to quickly respond to events and aftermaths.
9 Food Independence
10 Foreign Aid

Yes, the Caribbean must stand-up, rise-up and act responsibly to fulfill it needs; our Vote and Voice must matter. Such an independence mandate is embedded in the implied Social Contract for every member-state. The Social Contract is defined as follows:

Where citizens surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the State in exchange for protection of remaining natural and legal rights.

The American association does not merit progress. Just look at Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Of the 30 member-states that constitute the Caribbean, only these two gets American systems of governance, commerce and culture. So any plan to elevate the Caribbean region must also consider the legal and constitutional mandates of the US; and yet these territories have No Vote and No Voice in Washington.

The Caribbean must get started with reforming and transforming our societies ourselves – no rescue is coming from abroad.

While any consideration for leading from the Top must partner with American stakeholders, we must do the heavy-lifting ourselves. This prescription does not only apply to the 2 US territories; no these are urgings for all the Caribbean. We still need the wisdom and insight provided in this Go Lean roadmap on how to reform and transform the Caribbean member-states so that they can be better places to live, work and play.

The Go Lean book – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic CU Trade Federation, for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xxiii.  Whereas many countries in our region are dependent Overseas Territory of imperial powers, the systems of governance can be instituted on a regional and local basis, rather than requiring oversight or accountability from distant masters far removed from their subjects of administration. The Federation must facilitate success in autonomous rule by sharing tools, systems and teamwork within the geographical region.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

This Go Lean book stresses that forging change in the Caribbean (American territories and all other legacies) requiring effort from the Top (leaders) and from the Bottom (citizens). Political transformation alone will not do it. As is evident in the US Mid-Term Elections in 2018, politics do not always manifest as hoped, expected or promised. This is even more frustrating when we have No Vote and No Voice. This is why both Top-Down and Bottoms-Up must be pursued simultaneously.

Do it – sow this seed – and in the end, we will reap a good harvest.

The subject of Caribbean people’s political expressions – attempting to forge change at the top – have been detailed in many previous Go Lean commentaries. See this list here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13995 The Sad Reality of the US Territories: No Vote; No Voice
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=11989 The Dynamics of Diaspora Voting
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9626 American Tragedy – Marginalizing The Black-and-Brown Vote
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9354 Courting the Caribbean Votes – Cuban-Americans
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9352 Courting the Caribbean Votes – ‘Jamericans’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9350 Courting Caribbean Votes – Puerto Ricans
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8306 Women Get Ready for New Lean-In Campaign
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8155 Gender Equality Referendum Outcome: Impact on the ‘Brain Drain’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7749 Lessons from Regional Elections
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6937 Women in Politics – The Fight for Gender Equality

Forging change from the top is effective. But we also need to forge change from the bottom. This is how we can make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. We urge everyone to  lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap. 🙂

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – Title: Rihanna tells Trump to stop playing her music at his rallies

NBC News:-  Please stop the music.

That’s the message Rihanna sent to President Donald Trump Sunday night after learning that her 2007 single “Don’t Stop the Music” was played at one of his rallies.

Rucker said the song was played while aides tossed Trump T-shirts into the crowd, as is commonly done at baseball games. “Everyone’s loving it,” he said.

Rihanna’s warning to the president came hours after she endorsed Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, in an Instagram post.

“Florida: You have the opportunity to make history this election,” Rihanna, 30, wrote on Instagram. “The US has only had four black governors in its entire history and we can help make #AndrewGillum the next one and Florida’s first.”

With her rebuke, Rihanna, who was born in Barbados, joins a growing list of artists who have asked that their music not be part of the soundtrack of Republican rallies. Last week, Pharrell Williams issued a cease-and-desist letter after Trump played his 2013 song “Happy” at a rally on the same day 11 people were killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.

In August, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler sent Trump a cease-and-desist letter over use of the song “Livin’ on the Edge” at a political rally without permission.

“This is not about Dems vs. Repub.,” Tyler tweeted at the time. “I do not let anyone use my songs without my permission. My music is for causes, not for political campaigns or rallies. Protecting copyright and songwriters is what I’ve been fighting for even before this current administration took office.”

In 2015, the singer’s legal team warned Trump, then a Republican presidential candidate, over his use of “Dream On.”

Rihanna’s remarks came a day after Axl Rose, who has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration, accused his campaign of “using loopholes in the various venues’ blanket performance licenses, which were not intended for such craven political purposes, without the songwriters’ consent.”

The Guns N’ Roses frontman also said the band had formally requested that its music not be used at Trump rallies or Trump-associated events.

After Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker on Sunday tweetedthat Rihanna’s hit song was playing at a rally in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the singer replied: “Not for much longer.”

She also said: “Me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies.”

Source: Posted November 5, 2018; retrieved November 6, 2018 from: https://stluciatimes.com/arts-entertainment/rihanna-tells-trump-to-stop-playing-her-music-at-his-rallies/

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