I am an American, so I know the frustration and depression that can come from following the news. But most of us do so anyway, knowing how much current events can affect our little lives, from the condition of the roads we drive, to the taxes we pay, to how we can survive when we’re old and sick. We also follow the news because we want to be knowledgeable voters, so we can affect the things that affect our little lives, from the condition … well, you know. “I’m not political” isn’t something to be admired; it’s lazy, a cop-out, an abdication of personal responsibility.
Yeah, okay Jody, we get it, but what does this have to do with an island blog or the Turks and Caicos?
Well, folks, you may not like it, but unless you are the most casual and infrequent of tourists, it behooves you to put the same amount of attention you pay to American, Canadian, British or other politics into what’s going on in the TCI.
Indeed, there’s a lot going on. The Beaches resort is in a feud with the government over who owes whom large sums of money. The two political parties are assigning blame and/or taking credit for such things as new clinics that haven’t opened, fire trucks, a still-damaged dock and foreign investors who gain the fast track to citizenship. It can be hard to keep up with it all, and harder to maintain neutrality.
Sometimes, when I was bartending at Pelican Beach Hotel, one of the local guys would ask my opinion in a political argument. I would reply, “It’s not my country. No opinion,” which was a perfect answer for a bartender, but an imperfect position for someone trying to live in the TCI. Also, it wasn’t true. I was beginning to form opinions. I was listening and learning, not because I would be able to affect things, but because I sensed that it was important to know what was happening to me.
Things WERE happening to me, and they continue to happen to all of us … sunbirds, temp residents, work permit holders, frequent visitors and, of course, TCIslanders. All this stuff in the news will affect our plans for aging, how much we spend on travel, whether we can make a living, how easy it is to live that “easy life.” It’s all important to our little lives.