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Why I Side with Portia Simpson-Miller & the PNP

Basil Waine Kong, Ph.D., JD

I believe that People’s National Party President; Portia Simpson-Miller, is a rare gift to Jamaica and to humanity. She is charismatic, astute, a visionary, cares deeply about the people and the future of Jamaica. She is an unselfish leader who never places personal ambitions ahead of her public duty. This talented and gifted leader is restrained from letting her light shine because of bad-minded and prejudiced people who oppose her because she is a strong woman in a chauvinistic society. She is also held up to ridicule by uptown people because she is one of the few politicians who consistently advocate for the poor and down trodden. She consistently proposes changes that would “lift all boats” and the defenders of the status quo just as consistently atttack her for her advocacy. According to Sister P: “Many of the rich in Jamaica have never heard of the Sermon on the Mount or the story of the Good Samaritan.” She envisions a kinder, gentler nation as we recognize that we are all in the same boat. This generation must be mindful of its place in history.

Is she Jamaica’s Obama? July news footage and analysis of Simpson-Miller

Our country will be judged by how we treated people in need and what we did to educate, house, feed, clothe and provide economic opportunity, prosperity and security for ALL Jamaicans. All she strives to do is meet the good people of Jamaica where they are (not where we would like them to be), equip them to be better participants in society, and empower them to build a good life for themselves, their families, and their communities. In contrast, The Jamaica Labour Party is only invested in complaining that their fellow citizens aren’t further along, setting them up to fail, and drawing the walls and fences higher around themselves. As a result, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

We live in a sound bite world and people make very quick decisions about politicians based on very limited information. It has been a great privilege for my wife and me to really sit down with Sister P and hear at length what she is about. It may surprise people to know that this intellectual giant with a substantial knowledge of a wide range of subjects is also very humble and engaging.

I asked her the question that is on the minds of many: ”Is Sister P ready to run the country? Can you take us forward?“ She said with confidence, ”I do not shrink from this responsibility, I welcome it. I have assembled the most marvelous talent and knowledge that will help me to move this ship forward. But while I have great faith and trust in my advisors, my imprimatur is to do what humanity, reason and justice tell me I must do. The People of Jamaica are my masters. My contract is between those who came before us, those who are living and those yet to be born. I do not want to make slaves of future generations by burdening them with debt.

I also recognize that we cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong, increase wages by ruining those who pay the wages or help the poor by destroying the rich. You also destroy character by doing things for people that they should be doing for themselves.

Maybe the greatest difference between the JLP and the PNP is that we believe in preventing crises and the JLP believing in trying to deal with disasters after the fact. The truth is that we can do a great deal more to prevent unemployment by preparing our citizens for productive work on the one hand and expanding business on the other. We can significantly reduce how much we spend on health care by promoting healthier lifestyles and we can accelerate our use of alternative energy like the sun on the one hand and more fuel efficient automobiles on the other. Preventing crime and violence is certainly more attractive than catching and punishing criminals.”

When we parted, my wife and I each got one of her famous hugs that also told us about her kindness. I am now among her strongest supporters, and was pleased to be formally introduced in her speech to the delegates at the PNP Annual Conference a few weeks ago. The more I get to know her, the more convinced I am that Jamaica would be in great hands under her leadership and what Jamaica needs right now is to change the party in power. My feeling is: If you want anything said, ask Mr. Golding. If you want anything done, ask Sister P. Thunder is good but it is lightening that does the work.

Bullet Columnist Basil Waine Kong has written several pieces for this journal and especially likes to expound on his favorite subject: his beloved Jamaica. He is a former Atlien (resident of Atlanta GA), and was the CEO of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) for 22 years before his retirement in 2008 to return to Jamaica. This article is reprinted with his permission from his blogsite; Coming in From the Cold… Bob Marley

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