Al Seymour

A meaningless existence without decency

  • No quick answers: US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Lewis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport after attending a fundraiser yesterday in Kenner, Louisiana (Photograph by Evan Vucci/AP)

Governments in a deeply troubled world are struggling to operate with full transparency, which demands honest disclosures on all matters concerning the people they serve.

Issues vary from country to country, but at the root of most problems is usually a huge gap between the desires of the people and that of their government. Apart from dictatorial regimes where people are at the mercy of those in power, democratic jurisdictions are expected to operate under the banner of decency, transparency and truth.

In reality, that seldom happens in the best of governments; mainly because too often political objectives are held higher than truth.

This is not to say governments in free societies expect support without question. But often, when governments are confronted with questions on a sensitive issue, careful consideration is given on a response to avoid political damage while trying to sort things out. What most governments should understand is that the people are fully aware of that tactic, and while they accept that governments need to be careful how they address sensitive issues, they also must be mindful that the people are entitled to truth if transparency is a key value in serving them.

In this modern age, most governments are challenged over a wide range of issues such as healthcare, economic conditions, crime, illegal drugs, child abuse and education.

No one can wave a magic wand to erase problems that have been festering for years. While the whole of society must be involved in tackling problems, governments must take the lead by being more transparent in communicating with the people.

It always boils down to people wanting the truth over glossy statements that leave more questions than answers. That happens in many countries and in America at the moment, there is a boiling pot of political confusion over whether the President should be impeached or not for issues dealing with being truthful while serving the people.

When the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth is faced with the possibility of impeachment proceedings, it is a concern for democracies worldwide. Some experts feel America’s soul is at risk if decency and truth are no longer values to be held high by those in leadership positions.

For millions of people in various regions where leadership has failed to promote proper values, the world is far from a peaceful place.

There are no quick answers to suicide bombers, as was seen on the morning of Easter Day in Sri Lanka, where hundreds were killed during a time of worship.

These stories fade from the headlines after a few days, but in the shadows are shattered families and lives that will never be the same.

Most of the world can only watch and wonder if such activity can be stopped. The world could be facing a critical issue of quality leadership at a time when materialism and economic power seem the order of the day.

We need leaders, more than ever, who are willing to put their reputations and images on the line to defend freedom, decency and truth, no matter the price.

No government — and, yes, that includes Bermuda — should be hesitant in making certain that transparency and truth are out front on important matters concerning the people. Bermuda is a wonderful place on this earth despite our problems.

As long as the people are the highest priority, there will be hope that we can do even better. Closing the gap in communication will help in keeping proper values alive for a better Bermuda.