EXPOSING a fallacious argument ought to bear no relationship to the origin or presenter of the argument. The application of a simple syllogism which allows one to draw a rational conclusion from two given or assumed propositions (premises) having a common or distributive middle (e.g. all cows have horns; some goats have horns; therefore some goats are cows), is a sufficient test. But keep in mind that, rational conclusions are not always scientifically correct, as the above example proves. The common or distributive term above is horn; the argument seems plausible but, its conclusion is clearly false and invalid.
Some persons make worse mistakes in their attempted syllogisms by unwisely drawing conclusions from statements that have not been properly examined and lack a distributive middle. Such persons arrived at conclusions by neither deductive nor inductive reasoning. Unfortunately, these persons are unafraid to vent their ill-founded biases and emotions in the public and social media, speaking as if their words are intended gospel! Of course such persons are bent on mischief that obeys no rules, only their skewed politics.
Take the arguments advanced by some, that Allen Chastanet is undeserving of their support as political leader of the UWP and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia. Some say he has ‘not won a seat (constituency), and that he is not an MP.’ He has since accepted an invitation from former Minister for Education and MP for Micoud South, Mr. Arsene James to replace him as a candidate in that constituency. The other illogical gibberish is that Allen’s family already holds economic power and should therefore be denied political power. Such spurious and fallacious arguments and incomplete thought processes make sense only to morons, imbeciles and nincompoops. The third and perhaps most asinine argument of all is that Allen Chastanet is a white man and that St Lucia does not need a white man at the head of its government at this time.
Let us examine these nonsensical statements in turn. First off, there is no legal or constitutional requirement, custom or practice which requires an individual to first become a Member of Parliament (MP), before seeking the leadership of a political party in Saint Lucia. The political history of this island is conclusive proof, if any be needed. In the last general elections Ausbert d’Auvergne was not an MP when he formed the National Democratic Movement (NDM), and took the builder’s hammer as his party’s symbol. And of course d’Auvergne became the political leader of his party. Then there was former UWP stalwart Therold Prudent, who was not an MP when he formed the Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM). Prudent had cut short his busy schedule in North America and returned to the island in time to register his political party to contest the general elections of 2011.
Then there was the professional agriculturist – a person who seemed determined to decriminalize and embrace all of the wonderful and natural goodness in Cannabis Sativa which he saw as a crucial part of God’s glorious creation. His was called simply ‘The Green Party,’ remember him? None of these three had previously held or contested a parliamentary seat. And they were all protected by the constitution and the laws governing political parties and general elections in Saint Lucia. Allen Chastanet at least has the distinction of contesting a general election.
Allen was appointed a Senator and Minister for Tourism in 2006, by no less a person than Sir John Compton, father of the nation and first Prime Minister. When rationally examined, it will be seen that Chastanet has more legitimacy to lead the UWP into government, than any other at this time. Besides, he has the most hands-on experienced in the largest foreign exchange earner –tourism – on the island. Interestingly, the SLP is busy trying to court ‘de white tourist’ they have so maligned, without any regret for the banana industry they killed.
We now turn to the fallacy that Allen Chastanet and his family have economic power and therefore ought not to be given political power. Naïveté or, plain stupidity? Such a bland statement without further elaboration seems a paroxysm of emotion based on fear and personal insecurity of its advocates. This senseless none-sequitur is obviously spread by malcontents, dissemblers and assorted petty criminals and con-artists, using politics as cover for their lack. If we examine the accusation more closely we must ask: Whither Chastanet’s wealth? As a guide one ought to read ‘Room at the Top’ a short summary of Michael Chastanet’s life, (Allen’s father). One may also ask whether there has been any ‘giving back’ to society from the Chastanets. The evidence is there for those who care to look.
To think about it more carefully one would more likely trust someone with economic power who has been nurtured by his father to appreciate hard work. Such children are not spoon-fed as some modern-day parents with sizeable incomes, and who unwittingly punish their children towards obesity and juvenile diabetes, tend to do. Allen Chastanet has been taught the virtues of hard work, thrift and sacrifice by his father who knows it first-hand. This country needs workers and managers like Allen Chastanet and not angry, reckless and tainted ‘graduates’ in its government apparatus.
In earlier times, Saint Lucian youth were taught appropriate proverbs and lessons in morals, warning against jealousy, greed and such like vices. ‘One does not put a hungry man to share food,’ and Saint Lucians learnt not to trust hungry politicians with deep pockets, little religion and lesser morals. Evidence suggests that there are more persons entering politics today, to serve themselves rather than their constituents, or country. For example, some suggest that a ‘Chastanet-led government should ‘throw-the-book’ at anyone found to have abused Taiwanese aid funds. But who will cast the first stone? For answer we ought first to choose a leader who does not need government to feed himself and his family, or to fill an inward hunger arising from the lack of a father’s love.
The third and most ridiculous accusation is that Allen Chastanet is a white man and therefore ought not to be allowed prime minister of this poor ‘blackward’ and hypocritical island. The political education offered by the St Lucia Forum (1970-73), seems wasted or deliberately twisted by con artists and politicians, for convenience. The pride and self-confidence and acceptance of themselves for who and what) they are, that the Forum taught has not been followed up. With pride, self-confidence and better education the Forum hoped that their inferiority complex would have been a thing of the past.
Inferiority breeds insecurity and allows Allen’s opponents to play on the ignorance of party hacks and perpetuate hatred of opponents. Instead, people should be busy learning new skills to compete and survive in a globalized, competitive world. In this new world there is little time and room for inferiority. Ignorance, lack of skills, racism and religious intolerance are dying off faster than some would like. Who will teach these truths, Allen or, the SLP misfits who believe that a person’s height matters more than his character or ability in helping the island progress?
Let his opponents tremble with the fear of being exposed but the electorate would be well advised to stay calm and remember that, there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. Debunking the anti-Chastanet fallacy, and moving forward as a united people, is an idea whose time has finally come.