THE Sun continues to rise in the CNMI and times are changing quicker than we can adjust with the pandemic but I will leave the firemen alone out of respect for Ed Propst and his appeal and respect for their right to not take the vaccine. The main reason I was pushing so hard for everyone to take the vaccine is because I had the audacity to DREAM (think) that the CNMI could be the first place in America to announce 100% vaccination which might even make the national news that would surely help us reopen our economy. Just imagine if we could announce to the entire world that our entire population was fully vaccinated allowing us to FULLY open as a Tourist Destination with limited restrictions.  Only people who test positive on arrival would be quarantined. With everyone vaccinated the virus we would indeed be nothing more than a “flu” in the CNMI with no threat of killing people.  We had a chance to be the FIRST in many ways with this pandemic ravaging America for the very FIRST time but I now see that it will never happen.

But I know how hard it is in America for a community, state and even our nation to become One People headed in the same One Direction to accomplish the same goal, a mantra phrase I have been using since I started writing in the newspaper over 30 years ago because of the sheer POWER of One People One Direction. I was just hoping that something would trigger this phenomenon that usually only happens when there is a war or catastrophe.  I know We the People of the CNMI have been One People One Direction when it came to typhoons and our “social camaraderie” but the real earnest was always on the Feds and FEMA and not so much on our Government and the People to rebuild.  I was hoping for something more prolific like the People being ONE in a large majority for “Political and Economic Changes” as I never thought about a pandemic. But we still have 2022, that is right down the road so political and economic improvements can be achieved if WE “carpe diem”!

100% is goal we have all aspired to achieve in school and while some truly pursued this quest for excellence we all know there were and still are those who “just want to get by” even if it means cheating. We all know how some students literally cheated their way through high school on tests and homework which is why it should not be a surprise that we see people in Government STILL CHEATING —for TRUE!  The main reason the CNMI is not 100% on what we want to do and why We are NOT One People headed in the same One Direction economically and politically is because of the division led by Republican leadership.  The voting record in the past election and now in this pandemic has clearly demonstrated that the CNMI still has a way-to-go before being able to say “We the People are ONE” politically & economically.  But I guarantee that whenever the People of the CNMI can come together as an overwhelming majority politically for BETTER government, the CNMI will become a much better place and the people will surely have a much better quality of life because that is what happens with the POWER of us all being ONE to create OUR OWN progress & prosperity! Stop depending on Republicans — it AIN’T happening!

Just to show you what I mean about the “power-of-one” we must look at the “Socialistic Model” because it is the best example we have as humans being “one government” and it is also why “socialism” is the opposing form of Government to a Democracy.   For those who don’t remember, the Soviet Union was once far ahead of the United States in many ways that required “mass workers devoted to the same task or goal, the unlimited use of mass resources both human and technological, and the ability to get society fully behind the goals of the government.”   There are really some good things about socialism like “health care for all at no cost” which is what Bernie Sanders was trying to do along with “free college for the poor” while Republicans tried to label him a socialist as he was trying to turn America into a socialist nation and that everything from Russia is bad.  No one can disagree with the fact that everyone in a society or community is working together to accomplish the same goal that the chances are highly likely they will accomplish the goal.  When the CNMI made up its mind to become “one people one direction to become a Tourist Destination” — WE have been living the results of that commitment ever since.

Under socialism the Government can delegate what resources (people & physical) will be used to accomplish the goals of the Government. There is NO opposition to what the government wants in Socialism which makes it easy for the government to accomplish whatever it wants to accomplish. The BIG problem with Socialism is that there is no real FREEDOM and the leaders are NEVER truly “fair nor treats people equally” in the system which is why Russia is known for the immense amount of corruption that goes on as “a way of life” because the system is also driven by favors and under-the-table deals coming from the top-down.  Heck, there is even proof that Putin is corrupt and even a murderer but there is virtually nothing the people can do about it but protests and sometimes even the leaders of these protest usually end up dead or in prison.

The CNMI is not a Socialist State and we must respect everyone’s rights even if it harms the potential for others to overcome challenges like the pandemic and denies the CNMI the ability to move our economic meter out of the red into the black. If the CNMI was a socialist state, the firemen wouldn’t have a Right to reject the vaccine but this is America where we all have freedom and rights.  But Freedom & Rights aren’t FREE-of-Charge and I just wanted to demonstrate to readers and firemen the cost of the firemen’s “freedom & rights” that the rest of the CNMI must pay. Hundreds of thousands have already paid the cost with their LIFE for people to exercise their RIGHT not to wear a mask and virtually every time someone exercises their right, the cost has been or will be paid by someone.  Economists will also tell you; “there is no such thing as a free lunch or free goods in stores,” as someone has paid for the product.  But if the firefighters don’t trust our scientists and want to pay a lawyer to play Russian-roulette with the virus & their life it’s their right.

But I do want to sincerely apologize to our firemen and their families if they felt offended and you can or should thank Rep. Ed Propst for speaking out on your behalf. He is a TRUE Champion FOR the People even when it’s not favorable. But at the same time, I hope you can respect MY RIGHT to speak out in opposition on behalf of the over 20 thousand, including myself, who have been vaccinated and wanted to attain the 100% goal. It was never personal, I just care more about the “BIG Picture of the CNMI for us ALL” than any single individual or group.  Maybe ONE DAY there will be something “politically, economically or socially” that we can be 100% for in the CNMI as One People One Direction and I’m hoping and praying it can happen come election day 2022.  I’m sure there are a lot of people will really want something REAL & NEW to celebrate “politically & economically” come 2022 — for TRUE! 

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), a Fulbright-Hays & Humanities Scholar who resides in Kagman III. 

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