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EDITORIAL: Take politics out of the gutter

Barbados Nation

EDITORIAL: Take politics out of the gutter

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For the thousands of Bajans who follow American politics the first three months of 2016 have not been the exciting period we had expected during a presidential election campaign in the colossus next door.

Instead of insightful analyses of debates and town hall meetings on domestic and foreign economic and social policies that would hurt or help Barbados and its Caribbean neighbours there has been a dreadful race to the bottom of the proverbial bottle where the dregs usually settle. That’s particularly true of the Republicans who want to be their party’s standard-bearer in the November race for the White House and to be President Barack Obama’s successor.

With a general election due in Barbados in less than two years, anyone looking for electioneering ideas and tactics for Barbados’ two major political parties, the disappointment has been palpable.

The one lesson we have learned from Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner and Senator Ted Cruz is why we should continue to keep a spouses and families out of political campaigns, something we have done with aplomb for decades.

In recent weeks, the Republican candidates have focused attention on the possible relationship between a man’s small hands and the size of his penis; the five or six alleged extra-marital affairs Cruz reportedly had during his marriage – accusations he has vigorously denied; a nude photograph of Trump’s wife Melania; and a threat by the billionaire businessman to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife Heidi, a possible reference to suggestions she had suffered from a bout of depression.

How far down the gutter are they planning to descend? We would welcome a turn around in campaign style.

What we want to hear from the candidates in the US election campaign are their plans for immigration reform that would have a profound effect on most Caribbean families dreaming of going to America; policies to accelerate the pace of economic expansion at home and abroad that would affect us; US-Caribbean trade; and further normalisation of relations with Cuba.