It was a strange road that forks off Death Valley in Papago. The lush green hills rolled up Mt. Tagpochau silhouetted by a setting sun. The glare hides a relevant road sign declaring, "Do-Nothing" on the left side, "Did Nothing" on the right side. I was like, "Wow! What masterful stroke of genius!"
For a while, I tried to ignore the lingering metaphor’s fearfully troubling message, you know, the embarrassing velleity-weakest form of desire to do right but unaccompanied by commitment-that has deepened hardship in the islands.
It kept echoing in my mind even after I passed the area. What does it represent? Hopelessness? Deepening paralysis from fiscal implosion and accompanying calamity? What’s the root of this mess? Is it the obvious lack of leadership? Or is it just the figment of my imagination?
I was hoping for the latter but the truth is too difficult to ignore. It was a haunting message that started unraveling after the announced plan to impeach the governor, preceded by use of DPS personnel to shield the former AG from receiving the court-issued penal summons unsuccessfully, doctors and nurses resigning; impending bankruptcy of the Fund; and, the mystery power plant contract of $190 million that came crawling out of the governor’s office.
Why did the governor allow filthy socio-political phthisis-total waste away-of opportunities to do something timely to ease the steady downward spiral of the livelihood of governance headed to the abyss of abject poverty? Why the homophobic demeanor by some legislators to face the beast of impeachment and actually make a difference? Why the voluntary emasculation of your authority? Are you in collusion with the administration to ensure that the lives of your people continue sliding into the unbearable miseries of a listless economy?
How admirable the proactive role and courage of responsible observers. They have said their piece about the absence or lack of leadership in the islands. Some have doubled up hoping to jolt the release of the rigor mortis upstairs but apathy came cascading down. We had to step aside as a mystery power generation contract came crashing down the ravines of the hill. Quipped an op-ed writer, "JR! More may be hatching up there was we speak".
Obviously, trust no longer exists in this administration. It forcibly focuses the laser beam of conscience against people at the helm who have neglected their fiduciary responsibilities for far too long. Is voter demand that they move out of the way too large a pill to swallow? Is it their desire to perpetuate apathy and the resulting accumulation of misery here? Would not conscience and humility set the stage for failed leadership to step aside so governance can start anew?
The forked road of "Do-Nothing" and "Did-Nothing" is a far elixir-fitting answer-from the experience governance has had to endure in total abandon. Hope someone is listening while the headwind is calm and the rough seas navigable.
The deepening mess was never the trust governance surrendered when it handed the trophy of leadership to a now nouvelle dismissive and arrogant administration eight years ago. Nor does governance deserve the piling heap of hardship that has already crossed the threshold of their tolerance level. It’s now a dinner table matter we mull as we pray for another complete meal the next day. The mess is too serious to ignore. Brace for it!
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For dissenting statists
Definitely, those who work with the powers that be see the hardship downstairs from a substantially different prism. It’s business as usual!
The mounting mess at home can easily be attributed to length of term of career politicians who’ve opted to ignore accountability at every turn. It now inflicts abusive use of power by fiat whimsically.
Though there may be hideous subtleties of corruption in progress daily, it should dawn upon purveyors that it’s too difficult to throw or hide them under the rugs. Sooner than later, the strong rotting scent would permeate the entire room, the stench unbearably too powerful for normal human beings. Most people would exit before maggots begin crawling out of the cushy carpet. Point is: there’s nothing under the sun that could be hidden, permanently.
The NMI is broke and we’re left in complete abandon to fend for ourselves. Politicians toy with our health and wellbeing ignoring the requisite seed funds for CHC and other basic needs. As leadership fails on this score, more of our dedicated doctors and nurses leave. It’s hard enough going the extra mile as dedicated professionals. But they aren’t ready to shoulder the blame that filthy politics has wrought against our only public hospital.
The Fund would also go broke in less than two years. Other essential services would cave into bankruptcy given the consistent disappearance of revenue streams. As fiscal calamities take their toll against this administration, we sit under your favorite coconut tree pondering if this (new hellish hole) is the paradise we voted for eight years ago. With dismissive arrogance, is there really hope to rebuild the bridges that came tumbling down under the wobbly disposition by an obvious leadership who’s lost Christian humility and compassion?
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The hellish land of despair
When you hear the crafty expression of "the sky’s the limit," it usually means people still have hope that something would break for the better. Yes, difficult the times may be, they still have some reserves in their grand sense of hope that the dark would soon turn to light.
But when their tune changes to "back to basics," then it depicts their having exhausted what’s left in their bags of hardship and ready to head somewhere for greater opportunities for their families and business startups.
It’s good listening to your people on a shoulder-to-shoulder basis at the village level where we once stood together. It’s a level playing field where we both could hear some meaningful conversations once more. It’s time to engage in this form of conversation given the truth that comes from the people you’re representing in our governmental institutions. It begins and ends on government doing what must be done with the "consent of the governed".
Leadership is the ability to place the interest of others over yours. Is this how you see it or has your vision shifted elsewhere thus the negligence in perpetuity? Is dystopia and the consequence of famine your crowned achievement? Do we settle for "Do-Nothing" and "Did-Nothing?"
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John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of Department of Public Lands.