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OPINION | Epitaph 111: The smokescreen for gaslighting the summit

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I WILL be the first to say the Governor gets a passing grade for his efforts to prevent the spread of the virus which is separate from the “politics of this pandemic” where the Governor gets a failing grade. 

The People of the CNMI are clearly caught to choose-a-side in the epic battle between “the Dems’ Teamwork” or “GOP’s Team-perks.” But the choice is really easy between the Teamwork of the Democrats FOR the People that hasn’t been experienced in the CNMI since the days of mid-1990s when we actually had a surplus in Government revenues as the Team-perks of the GOP has been a rollercoaster of self-profiteering FOR the GOP squandering the CNMI’s economy.  But the days of GOP smokescreens and gaslighting WILL come to an end by the Feds and/or the Voters, it’s just a matter of time.  

While the Governor professes this is no time for politics he is clearly using every opportunity including the “Covid-19Website” that was meant for the pandemic to promote this “POLITICAL AGENDA” and still no phone numbers to call yet as he wants everyone to register for testing on line when the majority of people don’t even have internet– duh, just check it out for yourself. Our troubles with our Government didn’t start back during the Trust Territory days because the CNMI has experienced many years of prosperity prior to 1998 when the GOP took over our Government up-to-today but that was all a smokescreen provided by the Summit. PSS wasn’t always having funding issues until the GOP took over just like the Retirement Fund was doing GREAT until the GOP started robbing it until it was dead literally. The Governor is using this pandemic like a smokescreen to distract the facts that all point to the GOP’s continuous negligence, poor governing and even criminal activities for the past two decades.

Given the outcomes of the Summit it was clear the promotion of the Summit and the outcomes was all about “Political EXCUSES and rational for MORE cuts” with virtually no solutions to restarting our economy. I’m sure most citizens thought the Summit would be ALL about SOLUTIONS but given the outcomes of the Summit we only got CHARGED with more cuts which are really understandable in this pandemic.  But why use the Summit to gaslight the cuts like the cuts were coming from another source? The Governor’s REAL problem is he can’t OWN anything unless it something that is complementary to him or his agenda(s) just like #45 — they are using the same “GOP Playbook.” The Governor wasn’t man enough to say he had to make the cuts so he PAYS these people to say it for him like he does with all the other bad news that comes from his emissaries but he is always out front on Facebook when it’s good news-politricking.

I think and hope it is the objective of every citizen affected in this pandemic is for the CNMI to come out of this BETTER than when we went in with “New Beginnings” but it is very apparent to me and many others the Governor’s goal is more about his Party coming out of this pandemic in a better place to continue CONTROLLING the CNMI. But creating new beginnings from this Black Swan event is like a Forest Fire that destroys but with that destruction comes NEW nutrients (change for humans) that actually helps to restore and even make the Forest more robust and flourishing with new life. If we truly learned OUR POLITICAL lessons being taught by this Black Swan Event, we KNOW we WILL surely be better-off politically if we slash & burn off (get rid of) the GOP for now until they can revive their Party with NEW People of real CHARACTER! Too many of them have literally become corrupt which is why WE the People nor Independents can hold “oversight” over the Governor’s activities anymore-for TRUE! The Governor continues to use the pandemic and anything to gaslight him and his administration. Now he is putting the BLAME on the PAST GOP Governors to try and save the present GOP just like #45 who turns on his fellow GOP that he appointed — HELLER!

This pandemic will continue to expose our weaknesses as it will TESTs us offering true lessons for improving our life on planet earth that WE the People need to learn. More than anything WE have ALL learned how fragile life really is for humans on planet earth and that WE must ALL learn to work together as a “Team-of-Humans” as we will see more Black Swan Events and it’s just a matter of time. Now we all know why the Bible tells mankind to “study the ways of the ants” if we want the best functioning society possible (ants are AMAZING Team driven Species we can learn from).

Gaslighting the Summit and Restructuring our Government after FIVE (5) GOP Governors — DUH!

I guess WE the People are ALL just idiots or something in the Governor’s Mind because his Summit smokescreen couldn’t prevent the TRUTH from filtering through the smoke that he tried to gaslight. First, I thought the Summit was about ANSWERS for TODAY and not a BLAME-GAME on the PAST. WE ALL know the GOP have been mismanaging OUR Money for over two decades under five different GOP Governors and the Governor wants ALL of us to believe mismanagement is somehow the fault of the Government’s structure — come on Governor it’s the LACK of structure with “NO Democrats and NO checks & balances”! WE the People didn’t need for the Summit to assign blame as the problem is so old and well known as the ONLY ones in control was the Republican Party — so the accountability for our FAILURES is obvious — it’s the GOP’s fault. WE are not stupid Governor and most of us learned to read-between-the-lines in high school using “context clues” in Language Arts so you can try to continue gaslighting but it only serves to put the KANDIT (light) on your failures and corruption. Heck, your own DPS Commissioner, who is SUPPOSED to be one of the LEADING Role-models of CHARACTER in the CNMI but he is one of the first CAUGHT conducting nepotism which may even be ILLEGAL by sparing his son from being furloughed and putting him under a Federally Funded Program. I hope the Feds will look into the Cabinet members transferring people to Federal Jobs. 

The problem with the Governor’s gaslighting is there are people who BELIEVE every word the Governor says and there is virtually NOTHING one can do or say to change their mind on anything as if the Governor is perfect when WE all know that we have ALL fallen short at one time or another. These people are now the CNMI’s worst enemy and I’m not saying we should be hating them but PRAYING for them because “they know-not what they do” out of “blind-faith” in the Governor.  In fact, I think it was Republican Tricky Dick (President Nixon) who came up with the political phrase of “putting-a-spin”  on a political issue to favor one’s self as most of us old folks know about politicians saying: “how can I spin this in my favor” which is code for “how can I lie (gaslight) and get away with it” which is something our Governor has MASTERED even though gaslighting is not taught in any creditable Political Science Program due to the fact that “gaslighting” is UNETHICAL misleading the People! 

First the Governor gaslights the Summit saying “the Commonwealth finances after an accumulation of obligations, expenses, and practices that have been left unchecked since the Trust Territory government” which are his own words casting blame on the past, not the present- I guess WE the People are stupid in his eyes. I guess the Governor doesn’t realize WE have learned from years of experience that the GOP is known for using “off-island Consultants and Organizations” so they can get the credit if any and so they can gaslight the results without any accountability. GSU financial advisor and CPA Debbie Milks said that there have only been a handful of years in which the CNMI completed a fiscal year without any accumulated deficit: 1988, 1989, and 1990” But it should be noted that all of these years saw a Democrat Party that was alive and active which means there was real accountability with checks & balances making for a HEALTHIER Government. Maybe it’s time for the Democrats to be the majority again to FIX our Government. 

It was brought out in the Summit that “Any jurisdiction or any country that has a narrow economic base has to expect that there will be volatility,” which is the very reason I have been promoting the EXPANSION of our Economic Base going back to 2001, when I first WARNED about the departure of our Garment Industry in 2005, that came TRUE so this is really another I Told You So for me.  O’Keefe even agreed that the CNMI’s spending problems span decades. “It’s more than 30 years where the pattern of tending to overspend persists and the pattern of having an accumulated deficit persists,” he said, adding that this approach is “particularly inappropriate” given the CNMI’s heavy reliance on the tourism industry. Well the last 22 years is ALL on the Republicans so we KNOW where the blame falls. 

The Governor is literally gaslighting the Summit for shifting blame on the past and the need for restructuring of our Government as rational talking about a “bloated” government, overspending, travels, the need for accountability, and positions that should be audited, when the real problem is the “STRUCTURE of our Politics” that does NOT include “checks & balances” on the Executive Branch. The Governor continues to “deflect and reroute the accountability” when he should be looking in the mirror at his OWN Party and his mistakes as he is the one who hired MORE new government employees “BLOATING our Government” than any other previous Governor — duh & HELLER Voters! They even tried to blame the Medical Referral Program for budget shortfalls which is WHY I Told Them more than once to make the Medical Referral Program a real FUNDED liability — a real plan for success with our budget. We should also have a “Typhoon Savings Fund” because WE know they are coming so why not PLAN for them as a failure to plan is a plan for failure. This gaslighting show of the Summit only served to show and prove what we already knew, our Republicans have been messing up for over two decades yet the Governor is trying to spin-it to the advantage of himself and his GOP Party today — but WE the People are not stupid! To be continued: One People One Direction for Restructuring our Politics to include Democrats!

The writer is a resident of Kagman, Saipan.

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