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OPINION | Epitaph 143: Thinking small but wanting to grow big         

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YOU can’t grow big thinking small, especially in today’s life on planet earth as life is truly competitive, as my MaDear once told me with her wisdom in a metaphorical way about living out here and being an activist on this island: “the big fish eat all the little fish so you Ambrose Milton Bennett better learn to grow big.”

I know my story best which is why I continue sharing it in these Epitaphs from a “metaphoric and theological perspective” to make it simple and clear so everyone can see how EASY it is for the CNMI to grow big and be prosperous if we ONLY stop refusing to GROW!  I came to the CNMI as an unknown individual living by the simple creed of growing in life to be: “better for God, better for my family, and better for my community/nation” as life is really that simple.

Like all of us who have some kind of gift, I was just a “gifted seed for blooming with my writing” that was placed in the CNMI by the powers-that-be and not by accident as the odds of meeting my wife and ending up here are literally astronomical in the trillions. I have only been trying to grow and contribute to our community but true to the flaws in human nature there were those who don’t want me to speak-out being critical of leaders and things in our society and taking ownership in the CNMI as a mainlander — it’s called racism. But like most Blacks who face extraordinary challenges due to our race I had to bring my “A-game” and managed to grow.  Now I can’t go anywhere without someone THANKING me for writing and being the voice of the voiceless (the average person sitting-in-a-cheap-seat) which is humbling appreciated and all inspiring to keep writing. In fact, I am now just as well known as the Governor and even appreciated MORE by many and for that I am truly humbled and forever thankful.

The People of the CNMI have also wanted OUR Commonwealth to grow but the “conservative and small-minded attitude and approach to governing by the Republicans has been the People’s BIGGEST problem with their desire to remain small but wanting to grow a big economy, which actually defies all the economic theories for progressing an economy. The Republicans dangled the casino in front of us for over a decade as if it was going to grow our economy but in reality, the Big Fish Investors from China were slowly “salami-slicing and consuming the Government and the CNMI” just like my mother said about the big fish eating all the little fish. The Republicans in the Legislature let the Governor give-away OUR Marianas Resort and OUR Community Chess fund with no checks on the Governor and they even turned Garapan Housing for Locals into a “Chinese Housing.”  These Republicans really need to be ashamed “of what they have done and what they have failed to do” and they need to start attending Mass and Confession — for REAL!

I TOLD and warned readers the CNMI was being “sold-out” but thankfully believe it or not, the ONLY thing that saved us from the Chinese Investors was the Feds and this pandemic, which was really one of those “blessings-in-disguise” that we hear old people with wisdom talk about.   Instead of growing the CNMI the Republicans have been KILLING the CNMI’s efforts to grow as they killed the Retirement Fund, they killed Mariana Resort, they amputated the Hospital that almost killed it from Government financial neglect, they killed the Garapan Appeal & Entertainment, they have NEVER fully supported “parents & our children” giving PSS pure HELL to just get the money they are DUE by LAW, and the list just goes on and on. I’m just wondering how much DEATH is voters going to tolerate coming from this group of Republicans.   In fact, the CNMI is now worse off economically than it was over two decades ago as the Republicans were busy doing favors for IPI but literally running away the Internationally known Investors (Kan Pacific & Tony Roma’s) and now the Hyatt is on the ropes and Garapan has continued to decline as the main Tourists Gathering Place ever since the Republicans came to power in the late 1990s and closed the street but didn’t put a roof over the so-call Mall. It seems that everything these Republicans touch is “DOOMED to DIE” like a person with bad-hands who kills all the plants they touch — for TRUE!

WE the People must HELP the Democrats this time around if WE truly want the CNMI to GROW and be the Great Chamolinian-American Commonwealth that the Local People actually voted for it to be when it became a Commonwealth. FYI readers, any first year Economics student will tell you the CNMI should have been “diversifying our economic base” and I have personally offered the Republicans dozens of ideas to expand and diversify our economic base but they were only concerned with their narrowminded casino idea that has backfired in their faces and OURS.  They even had the NERVE to ask us-regular-folks for new ideas — not ashamed ha ha!!! But this pandemic has been a blessing in more than one way as WE now have the opportunity to “re-set our government & economy” and create the conditions for real sustainable growth. I’m not against all Republicans, just the group we have now which is why WE must keep in mind that wisdom I have shared before from the genius Albert Einstein who said “you can’t fix a problem with the same mentality to caused the problem” which means this group of Republicans MUST GO!

When the People of the CNMI planted the seed of America they were imagining the CNMI blooming to become very much like the mainland when it comes to opportunities prosperity and abundance of things that only GOP loyalist enjoy. But I’m sure the imagination of many has become a clouded vision that has even made it impossible for many to even see the possibility of achieving the American Dream of career, success and prosperity. Our Government is ALL about GOP Poli-tricking when it should be about PROMOTING the health, welfare and prosperity for ALL, not just the GOP — thinking small but needing to grow big. If the People imagined a BETTER CNMI than what we are witnessing then it’s time to CHANGE our gardener and methods for growing. The most powerful thing that one can process is NOT education but one’s IMAGINATION as everything we see and use today on planet earth evolved from someone’s imagination, not their education. If we can find the will to think big and IMAGINE a better Government, we will try and find a way (with Democrats) to achieve that goal but we must WANT it first. Our imagination is everything as “our imagination is the preview to life’s coming attractions,” as Albert Einstein once said. 

All voters need to think about the following questions before they vote. Which leadership is really thinking BIG for the CNMI? Where do you imagine we will we be headed if we stick with the Republicans? Imagine How will our goals be achieved for improvements when the Republicans are asking YOU for ideas? Imagine What role can and will the People play in our tomorrow as WE have already been constantly back-stabbed by the Republicans in favor of the casino Investors? Imagine Where will WE place our eggs in the future that are now all in the basket of some Chinese Investors who are trying to “ditch-us” literally? But most importantly imagine What will our Government look like in our not too distant future given all the corruption and failures of the Republicans? These are just some of the things that voters need to be contemplating and imagining that will have an effect our GROWTH as a Commonwealth.

Just keep in mind the CNMI can only grow as BIG as we think and as good and great as WE the People can IMAGINE but WE must take control of OUR Government and STOP the  “conservative Republican thinking small” so we can grow Big with the “liberal minds of Democrats” —  it’s really that simple!  I’m sure many if not the overwhelming majority have their lessons with this group of Republicans because if WE haven’t, we are doomed to keep suffering from the same mistake of electing the wrong majority to lead our Government. To be continued: One People One Direction. 

The writer is a retired teacher, former CNMI Board of Education Member, James Madison Fellow (U.S. Constitutional Scholar) and a Fulbright-Hays Foreign Scholar who resides in Kagman III.

 

 

 

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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