This Wheatake expresses some of my reflections on this moment in the history of my beloved British Virgin Islands. I am making this observation because I live in a culture where some construe that an lndividual is attacking them when that individual attempts to crack open a problem or examine a situation. If anyone thinks that this reflection is an attack on him/her that is a product of his/her synapses.
The term politics today conjures up an image that is depressing, demeaning , and selfish. As a people with our history, we can be more hopeful than that because we have more power than we think and demonstrate. That power is intrinsic, it resides within our minds and our hearts, controlling the choices we make with the overriding influence of chance.
During my sixty plus years of public service, i have seen the good, the bad, anf the ugly, I have seen where things work and where things fail, and I have worked with coworkers of integrity as well as some scoundrels.(paraphrase on Wenner) It is not easy for me to go beyond disappointment, a sense of outrage st some patterns of behaviour, worry about the present trajectory which we are on, and fear for future generations if we continue on this course. I have loved and still love public service which I value as the highest calling to my homeland.
It seems to me that we have lost sight of who we are as a people-natural born and naturalized-and we need to realize sincerely and altruistically, that we have the power and the ability to repair the damages from the fraying which we have been witnessing for sometime. As I see it, the greatest problem we have to address is what most people think and articulate about politics. They think as Peter Wenner puts it, "politics is...inherently dirty, undignified; that most politicians are corrupt, and unprincipled, either knaves ot fools; that those involved in politics only care about their self interest and not about the interest of the country; that it takes no special skills to be a politician-in fact the less experience, the better; that the problems we face as a nation are simple, the solutions are obvious, so either stupidity or malice must explain why the solutions haven't been implemented yet. Many people today have given up on poliuics, believing it to be irredeemable and their frustrations are understandable. ( From "the Death of Politics").
It is misleading to hold a negative view about politics in general and I do not propose to ptoject that view. However, although Wenner is writing about politics in the United States, we can idenyify with some of what he says.
At this time we are at a low ebb in our history. The challenge for all of us is to concentrate on healing what has been fractured or broken, to remember and restore the noble moments of our political tradition in debate, morality, and citizenship. Let us be open minded in trying to understand what has gone wrong and think concretely how to turn around the politics of the Territory.
- Dr. Charles H. Wheatley