TUMBY BAY - As Chris Overland and others have observed, Donald Trump is undoubtedly the worst president the United States of America has ever elected.
Chris calls him a serial liar and fraud, but he is worse than that. He is an existential threat to democracy, not only in the USA but in the whole world.
If you heaped up all the terrible leaders that currently hold sway in the world today he would surely sit on top of the smelly pile.
With that in mind it is instructional to consider what constitutes his supporter base.
Apart from the usual rabid neo-liberals his base largely comprises two main groups, those with poor educational backgrounds and those aligned with fundamentalist Christian groups. Quite often those two things go hand in hand.
If you look a bit closer at the aforementioned smelly pile you will probably notice Peter O’Neill sticking out from under Trump’s substantial right buttock.
The inference here is that perhaps the same sort of gullible uneducated voters and/or fundamentalist Christians who voted Trump into power might have also voted O’Neill and his cronies into power.
This then suggests that if American and Papua New Guinean voters were better educated they might not have inflicted Trump and O’Neill on their respective nations and on the world at large.
So let’s play the blame game. Whose fault is it that Papua New Guinean voters are poorly educated and easily conned by spivs like O’Neill?
The first inclination would be to blame Australia and say that it is guilty of leaving Papua New Guinea without enough educated elites at independence in 1975.
That may have been the case but it is now a specious argument. It has been nearly 44 years since independence. There has been plenty of time to correct whatever problems existed in the system that Australia left behind.
What can now be clearly stated is that it has been successive Papua New Guinean governments that have let down the education system.
And in doing so they have not only created but have also perpetuated the election of politicians who are wholly unsuited to leadership.
Just consider, if there had been a well-informed, discerning and educated voter base Papua New Guinea would not now have all the problems it experiences in so many facets of its existence.
With good leaders Papua New Guinea could have put its considerable resource assets to work creating an enviable society in its region.
Schools would be well-resourced, hospitals would be centres of excellence with dedicated and competent staff and landowners and their environments would not have been stripped of all their assets for no return.
In short, if Papua New Guinea had grasped the educational nettle at independence and made it their number one priority most, if not all, of the problems it now experiences would probably never have happened.
It is now very late in the day but there is still time to correct this national tragedy. Given the right leaders the situation can be turned around.
The benefits may not flow to the present generation but they would start with the next generation and build on their strength in generations after that.
And, as an added bonus, they would help in no small way with the survival of democracy, In Papua New Guinea and in the world in general.