Decision 2020 – Voices From the ‘Peanut Gallery’

Go Lean Commentary

Shut Up … all of you in the Peanut Gallery.

This is how this expression is often used, as the Peanut Gallery is a derisive dismissal of people thought to be inconsequential. Yep, in many people’s opinion, this is the disposition of the people and places of the Caribbean region. See more of the definition here:

A peanut gallery was, in the days of Vaudeville, a nickname for the cheapest and ostensibly rowdiest seats in the theater, the occupants of which were often known to heckle the performers. – Source: Wikipedia

Back in the old Vaudeville days, the section of seats way in the back, (aka, the cheap seats), where typically your rowdy, rude, hecklers sat, was known as the Peanut Gallery. Maybe these patrons were annoyed that they couldn’t see the performers or the stage well. Maybe they were envious of those who could afford front row, orchestra seats, or maybe they were just rude, judgy folks whose ignorance allowed them to take pot shots at people trying to do their best. Whatever the reason, the Peanut Gallery patrons had a reputation for being critical and rude. – Source: Retrieved November 13, 2020 from:

The American hegemony is influx, they are undergoing their 2020 General Election and the decisioning for the President of the United States (POTUS). Only American citizens in the homeland – 50 states including Alaska and Hawaii – get to cast votes in this election. But other people have voices and opinions. In fact, residents of the two American territories in the Caribbean – Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands – only get to voice their preferences by voting for party candidates during the primaries. Despite no November 3rd General Election vote, the opinions of people in these US Territories may still have some audience, considering that high emigration rate for citizens of these islands. Their family and friends, who have since fled the islands, may still submit to Caribbean influences in their voting patterns.

This is also true of the non-American territories; these countries also feature a high societal abandonment rate. Many previous citizens now reside in the Diaspora; many in the USA.

This was the assertion in the recent blog series for October 2020, plus a subsequent one in November; that the Caribbean eco-system is affected and relevant for Decision 2020. This was the theme of the traditional Teaching Series for the movement behind the 2013 book Go Lean…Caribbean. The Teaching Series always addresses issues germane to Caribbean life and culture.

The full catalog of this 5-part Decision 2020 Teaching Series were as follows:

  1. Decision 2020: Puerto Rico claps back at Trump
  2. Decision 2020Haiti’s Agenda 2016 ==> 2020 – Trump never cared
  3. Decision 2020Latino Gender Gap – More Toxic Masculinity
  4. Decision 2020More Immigration or Less
  5. Decision 2020What’s Next for Cuba & Venezuela
  6. Decision 2020: Hasta La Vista Mr. Trump
  7. Decision 2020: Voices From the ‘Peanut Gallery’

The election is over – on November 3rd, Joe Biden defeated the incumbent Donald Trump – but still, the analysis continues.

The 2020 campaign for POTUS generated a lot of attention – and passion – in the full Caribbean region. But Caribbean people may find themselves as nothing more than “voices from the Peanut Gallery”. The same as in the Vaudevillian theaters, the Peanut Gallery in this case have a reputation for being critical and sometimes even rude in their analysis of American politics.

Caribbean people have published opinions as to which candidate they would prefer, or who would be better in the White House from their perspective.

Without a vote, these comments, criticism and support present themselves only as “voices from the Peanut Gallery”; as hecklers only; see the comedy portrayal of Peanut Gallery hecklers “Statler & Waldorf” in the Appendix VIDEO. See an actual opinion article here, that emerged from the Bahamas, by a creditable Economist and former Cabinet Member:

Title: Smith: Outcome of US election has implications on The Bahamas’ survival
Sub-title: Leading economist says Bahamians better served with US administration which approaches COVID “more seriously”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Former Minister of State for Finance James Smith indicated yesterday that the US presidential election set for tomorrow has wide-sweeping implications for The Bahamas’ economic survival amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the former minister, the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic leaves “much to be desired”.

“Generally speaking, it is in Bahamians’ interest to have an administration that would take this thing more seriously, clear it up for the United States and hence for us,” Smith told Eyewitness News.

He underscored the different approaches to the coronavirus pandemic between US President Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, and the proposed plans of former US Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for US president.

For example, while Trump has been opposed to making mask-wearing mandatory, Biden has called for a national mask mandate.

Health experts, who project a “dark winter” with the virus, have pointed to growing evidence that wearing face masks reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

The candidates have also taken different approaches to the campaign amid the pandemic, with Biden instituting social distancing measures and limiting attendees, while Trump has allowed large crowds to attend rallies.

The virus has killed more than 230,000 people in the US and more than 9 million Americans have contracted the virus.

“This election I think has another dimension to it because our main industry is tourism, which is dependent on the administration’s view of containing the pandemic in a sense that unless the US president can control, [the US] will continue to have a very depressed economy, meaning high unemployment, people not working, and people running down savings,” he said.

“When that happens, they’re unable to travel.”

Smith, a leading economist and former governor of the Central Bank of The Bahamas, continued: “The longer it takes them to get their pandemic under control the longer we have to wait to be able to successfully open our tourism economy, and we obviously depend on them for 80 percent of the tourists.”

Smith said in the past there was a belief that The Bahamas stood a better chance in the past with Republican administrations, which would not lockstep with the OECD’s policies and “tend to be not as hard with our financial services as democrats”.

But Smith said The Bahamas’ once robust financial services sector has contracted in half following a decade-long siege by the OECD.

Reflecting on the Obama administration, the economist said the former president was in lockstep with the international financial services watchdog and its KYC (Know Your Customer) AML/CTF compliance regime.

“Even though Bahamians would tend to generally favor the Democrats because of the multi-diversity of the party and etc. and of course the African Americas generally supportive of the Democrats that would have been our political choice, but we always felt the Republic administration were usually more favorable on the economic impact on The Bahamas,” he said.

“But with the course of this pandemic, I am thinking that the critical consideration for both the US and us is basically controlling or severely mitigating the impact of the pandemic.

“And as you know the current administration is almost pretending that it does not exist.”

He added: “Indeed it could be argued that if they had taken it more seriously, the US and world leaders, who have some of the best scientists in the world — and if they had kept along with the WHO — the entire globe could have been further advanced in dealing with the pandemic, which would have helped us as well because we are always able to get direct assistance from the United States in matters like this.”

In July, Trump announced the US withdrawal from WHO, declaring the organization had failed its mandate and “declined to adopt urgently needed reforms, starting with demonstrating its independence from the Chinese Communist Party”.

The US has continued to cut ties with the organization, which is expected to conclude in July 2021.

The economy has traditionally been a major issue in US presidential elections.

This time around, much of the debate has centered around the pandemic and the government’s handling of the health crisis.

The impact of the pandemic on today’s election, ranging from voter turnout to whether it will be a key point on which voters will base their choice, remains to be seen.

During a Foreign Press Center virtual tour of the US election hosted by the US Department of State, Quinnipiac University Poll Director and Vice President Dr Dough Schwartz noted that despite an impeachment of the president, racial justice protests, the pandemic and a contentious Supreme Court nomination, the US presidential race has remained “very stable”.

“The economy is usually a major issue in U.S. Presidential elections. This time around, I would add the COVID-19 pandemic being a major issue in the election. Simply because it affects people so directly in their daily lives and has had a big impact on the economy. That is something that is affecting the U.S. election.”

In the polls, Biden has led Trump nationally and in numerous key battleground states.

Source: posted November 2, 2020; retrieved November 3, 2020.

So in this editorial-article, the protagonist recommended the POTUS selection of Joe Biden from a pandemic protection perspective, but Donald Trump from a laissez-fare Offshore Banking regulation perspective.

What a pickle to be in?!

This is why the Go Lean roadmap has lamented the “parasite” status of all Caribbean member-states, not just the Bahamas. We are squeezed between “a rock and a hard place“. The threat of the COVID-19 Pandemic is a Clear-and-Present Danger; there must be remediation and mitigation in our communities. On the other hand, the jobs and economic output from the entire Offshore Banking industry should not be sacrificed.

A parasite disposition is a viable threat to our societal well-being. We are just “voices from the Peanut Gallery”. Instead, we need to be protégés of the American hegemony, not parasites. We need self-determination! This is a familiar theme – transforming from parasite to protégé – for the Go Lean movement; we have repeatedly blogged on this subject; consider this sample of previous submissions: Toxic Environment – Time for the Caribbean to Grow Up and Be Great American Leadership: “Leader of the Free World”? Big Hairy Audacious Goal – Need ‘Big Brother’ for Pandemics Parasite Model: Charity Management – Grow Up Already! Parasite Model: Beware of Debt Slavery and Vulture Capitalists Parasite Model: Greece: From Bad to Worse Parasite Model: US Territories – Between a ‘rock and a hard place’ Parasite Model: Dreading the ‘Caribbean Basin Security Initiative’ Being a Protégé: Korea – A Dream for Latin America / Caribbean Being a Protégé: How Best to Welcome the Dreaded ‘Plutocracy’ Being a Protégé: America’s Navy – 100 Percent – Model for Caribbean Being a Protégé: How to ‘Prosper Where You Are Planted’

Transforming from parasites to protégés – what a challenge?! But it is conceivable, believable and achievable.

There is an opportunity for us to deploy strategies, tactics and implementations. There have been Best Practices employed by others. Look at China, as depicted in a previous blog-commentary:

‘Free Market’ Versus … China – Two Systems at Play
… This is “two systems at play”. This Hong Kong/Macau reality is the most pointed Lesson from China for a new Caribbean. We can employ the Two Systems-One Country approach so as to introduce Self-Governing Entities with their “own governmental system, legal, economic and financial affairs, including trade relations with foreign countries”.

There is wisdom to this strategy. China elevated itself from poverty to prosperity for 1.3 Billion people in just 40 years. Well done.

China accomplished their transformation with “one hand tied behind their back” due to their embrace of Communism. It should be easier if we lead with Free Market principles. This is what we have learned from the better examples in American history.

The Go Lean movement posits that America will always pursue America’s best interest. So being a parasite of their ecosystem is not beneficial to us. Being a protégé means that we must develop (transform) our own ecosystem, so as to benefit ourselves.

Let’s get busy in doing the heavy-lifting to reform and transform our society … to be protégés and not parasites of the American hegemony. We do not want to only be considered the Peanut Gallery. We want our voice to be heard … and respected.

These cannot just be empty words. We really have to do the work, the heavy-lifting, to make our Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play.  🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), 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 and 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 Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – 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.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

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.

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


VIDEO – Statler & Waldorf Heckle James Corden’s Monologue –

The Late Late Show with James Corden
Published Jun 26, 2020 – James Corden is excited to try new technology that brings a virtual audience into his garage, and unfortunately for him he finds out his first audience is none other than Statler & Waldorf from “The Muppets.” And James learns quickly that you should be careful what you wish for.

More Late Late Show:

Watch Full Episodes:

Watch The Late Late Show with James Corden weeknights at 12:35 AM ET/11:35 PM CT. Only on CBS.

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