Since 23 years ago when we first became a family member of the greater American Community, there continues the mentality of exclusion of the CNMI in the review of substantive policy matters from both Pennsylvania Avenue and our detractors on Capitol Hill.
Usually, the bully pulpit approach is employed to redefine the basic requirements on policy review as detailed in the Covenant Agreement.
This is further exacerbated by new political stalwarts loaded with greed who itch to lord over these isles without an inkling of the historic intent inherent of specific provisions in the agreement.
What usually goes wrong with both the obvious lack of consultation with local leadership over substantive policy matters and lack of understanding and appreciation of the historic intent that established the basic framework of relationship?
There’s the willful exclusion of our tiny and often inaudible voices on policy matters that would eventually affect us positively or adversely. Naturally, the latter is more often the case. As we try to discuss with the other side our differing views, intransigence sets in from their side of the table, completely compromising a vehicle where mutual interest can be discussed in deliberative fashion.
We know by heart that Ed Cohen, the special representative to the 902 Consultation Talks, is a very reasonable gentleman fully wary of our aspirations under the terms and conditions of the Covenant Agreement. But there’s nothing he could do and not when Interior and the head of the Interagency Department in the White House have given him his marching orders of dos and don’ts.
We hear President Clinton boast of the “economic good times” and his desire to ensure that “nobody’s left behind”. Yet, there’s a gaping discrepancy between such pronouncement and the contradictory agenda of his staff at both the White House and Interior. Such an agenda all wrapped under the wonderful term “reform” (when in fact it’s a scheme that emanated from the US Textile Labor Unions) had local leadership puzzled over what was said and subsequent actions that renders such grand commitment basically vacuous.
As simple folks here at home, the heavy bombardment from the liberal media in collusion with our detractors for “reform”, came close to breaking our resolve to hold our grounds steadfastly in defense of our freedom. The evil geniuses of destruction in both our livelihood and the democratic process somehow failed to fully cover their tracks.
While we don’t relish what they must now endure, it’s their own doing and may the current probe render them justice for their alleged violation of federal laws. After all, no man is above the law, federal or local. This difficult situation would not have emerged had the people involved in alleged overt political activities stayed the course of “assisting the NMI attain a higher standard of living” by ascertaining that President Clinton’s commitment to ensure that “nobody’s left behind” is in fact an inclusive policy that embraces the needs of the CNMI. It is a fiduciary responsibility after all!