I very much fear that I shall not live to see the day when the newspaper headlines in the U.S. Virgin Islands blare out "People, Vote!" and then go on to explain who can vote here, where one can register to vote, and why one's vote is important.
Election year after election year, the same old hackneyed politicians run again for political office. The same old fish-fry routine is rehashed year after year, and the same old promises are made ad nauseum. The government continues to run under a massive financial deficit, our children are basically condemned to a substandard education which leaves them with not much clue about life in general and with nowhere to go, and thus comes about the next generation.
Off-islanders come here with a true desire to make the Virgin Islands their home. Productive people with good skills, they quickly become disenchanted with the prevailing corrupt and laissez-faire attitude which imbues these islands. The "brain drain" of both locals and newcomers has always been, and continues to be, enormous.
There are, however, an enormous number of people living here, both "bahn here" and longtime residents, who don't vote because they don't think that their vote can make a difference. They see what goes on, and they just shrug their shoulders and think that their vote wouldn't make a difference in any case. These are the people who are very quick to complain about injustice and government waste and corruption.
I say to these people, "Get off your duff! Register to vote!" and then carefully evaluate the candidates and determine which incumbent has followed through on his or her promises. Think about who is all just marshmallow and fluff and who is out for their own ends ($65K per year plus a nice SUV isn't exactly pennies!)
So I wonder, shall I ever see that sort of a headline in any of the territory's newspapers?
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