Barbadians are being advised to “forget [Donald] Trump” and switch their focus to the next general election constitutionally due here in just over a year.
In an hour-long video on Facebook in reaction to Tuesday’s election in the United States, in which Republican Donald Trump defeated the favourite, Democratic Hillary Clinton, President of the Barbados Economic Society (BES) Jeremy Stephen stopped short of saying Barbadians had made a mistake in 2008 when they re-elected the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), and that Americans had made a similar mistake Tuesday.
However, he attributed the result, which makes Trump the 45th president-elect of the US, to “undereducated and angry” voters, and advised Barbadians to be smart when they decide on the next Government if they wish to prevent “voters’ remorse”.
“Forget Trump. We have our own politics here to deal with now. What Trump did last night was to prove that West Indian politicians knew something all along – pandering to the undereducated and angry can give you some surprising results.
“This is why it is important for us to vote with logic next election. Don’t let 2008 happen again where you feel voters’ remorse because you got angry at the polls and didn’t use your head,” he recommended.
“So use your head either way. And I know there is no clear-cut winner despite one party saying that they are focused and ready and the other one is saying we should vote on morality.”
The University of the West Indies lecturer somewhat sarcastically compared the DLP’s 2008 home drums beat first campaign to Trump’s threat to deport illegal immigrants and build a wall along the US border with Mexico to prevent Mexicans from entering the US illegally.
He made specific reference to the Guyanese who were repatriated following the DLP’s victory, suggesting it was an action that affected Barbados’ economy.
“They [the DLP] haven’t been talking about closing border. Oh no, they did. They sent home the Guyanese that were helping to prop up the economy. And they haven’t been very pro CARICOM [Caribbean Community] either. Interesting,” Stephen said.
The economist insisted that there would be consequences if the “so-called people who believe they are not educated” did not take the emotion away when they vote in the next election.
He said the evidence was there for all to see, and that the US would soon begin to feel what Barbadians have felt over the past eight years.
“It is up to you to vote with logic and not emotion. The so-called people who believe they are not educated, vote with logic, not emotion. There are long-term repercussions; and luckily we in Barbados have seen eight years of it already. The Americans are now about to see what that means,” Stephen warned.
“Forget America. Watch the next three months from January going forward in the United States to make your own determination. For now focus on [Prime Minister] Freundel [Stuart] and [Opposition Leader] Mia [Mottley]. We need to get our affairs straight, at least show them [the United States] how to do it right,” he added.