President David Granger is losing face in the tempestuous teapot that is Guyanese public opinion. He risks losing more. It is not a stretch to say that he is losing some credibility. It is not anything that he himself is doing; it is what Mr. Granger is not doing with those around him, and who by their actions demean if not degrade him. I implore (with appropriate deference) His Excellency to listen. He must act and soon.
The whispers are not so muted anymore; they are no longer isolated to a patch here and a smattering over there. In fact, the whispers are no longer hazy, surreptitious, behind-the-hand mutterings of a few disgruntled rowdy elements. Rather, they represent a growing insistent chorus of the genuinely concerned and alarmed that what is happening redounds to the president’s disfavour, and to the increasing detriment of the entire nation. The president loses goodwill daily.
Mr. Granger loses personal and presidential goodwill because of the troubling, counterproductive, and ugly disruptive actions of his comrades. They are as close as to be on the very inside; they are as open books on the outside. Stated less politely, the many financial shenanigans and political vagabondages of the just as many stalwarts and seasoned political swindlers assembled around the table of leadership are visible and audible and perceptible in the ranks of the populace. It is a populace that was once hopeful; nowadays, once hopeful assumes a more and more distant feel to it.
Upstanding citizens, inclusive of a solid number of his party’s supporters are worried that these miscreants and their ills are so embedded as to be upending and self-defeating. In the meantime, the country hurts and shrinks. People want to see movement; they want to see the corrupt moved out and far away before they can do more damage. Now others might be reluctant, even apprehensive, about telling the president where he stands in all of this. I am not; and I proceed to express (respectfully) how he has suffered and is taking a continual beating. I use the language of Wall Street, familiar to me, but not in any way a stranger to sensible discerning Guyanese.
Mr. Granger’s stock is still high. But here is the key: it is not as high as before. The promise has faltered; there is falling. Care has to be taken that a freefall does not follow. Though public opinion is volatile, the charts and trends point mostly downwards. For there are a host of resigned shrugging shoulders, and hands held shoulder-high that capture those universal voiceless expressions of: what to do? Where to go? What now? What next? And what else? There are no comforting answers for increasingly desperate Guyanese, and especially when they gaze at the president. I sense that the gaze is now increasingly wistful, as if reminiscing on what could have been….
Slivers of that gaze encroach personally. By my own evaluation, the president possessed some of the attributes of stardom. I confess that he struggles today to not join the realm of disappointing angels. No! he did not dirty his wings; those near to him, even dear to him, did so for him. So-called friends and neighbours prosper through perversity; meanwhile the president diminishes in stature.
For his part, Mr. Granger came like new air; the heavy weights of predecessors were not his; now, there is spreading risk of the expansive staleness of the old, whether recent or vintage. Because of all these reasons, and myriad more, and what is tethered to his personal and leadership legacies, he must act. The president must be rid of the assorted tricksters and sharpies in the midst, and who wilt before the withering glare of a distressed unforgiving public. Otherwise, he will be remembered as one good man in bad times who allowed himself to be surrounded by badder people; a man who hesitated while a nation languished.
In sum, the president has to move quickly and unflinchingly to purge; the political price would be welcomed beyond party confines, by the wider nation. In closing, I appeal to Mr. Granger: doing nothing is not an option. Thus, he can be tainted irreversibly.