By Joseph S. Sherman, Washington, DC
Monday October 31, 2005
Surprises are always being strewn around along the way to the end. You never know who is good and who is bad until near the end. Once more we are witnessing a strange political phenomenon in Liberia’s presidential elections where political stooges and failures are conniving with former military tyrants to usher in a puppet government come the run-off elections in November 8. 2005.
We are also witnessing hypocrites and political opportunists who practice the very things that destroyed Liberia teaming up to make mockery of a country that needs a pragmatic and visionary leader who will restore the country’s credibility in the international arena.
Liberians may think that these conspirators are opting for a lasting solution to the more than century old debilitating and pandemic problems of the country. This is quite an intelligent plot by the conspirators to manipulate an incoming government, thus making another mockery of good governance, accountability and prevalence of the rule of law. Since these political failures and military tyrants can not have their way in the first elections they will rather throw their heavy weight in support of a candidate whose presidency will resort to the much failed state Liberia find itself today.
But the fact is, these conspiratorial schemers ways of trying to explain events are beginning to drastically influence the electorates come November 8, 2005. Even some sectors of the electorates have become so hungry for quick-fix conspiracy explanations and they are beginning to gravitate toward any quasi plans no matter how ridiculous.
One way to start thinking about reform in Liberia is to distinguish between political failures and opportunists. Those that depend on puppet presidents for their survival, an believing that the rank -and file are replaceable commodities, and that social priorities-education, health, justice, and relief-are unimportant so long as the public produces enough bodies to use as soldiers and workers. If Liberians keep deluding themselves this way, they will continue to respond with slack-jawed bewilderment and senile indignation to violence, self destruction, and lack of good education and general erosion of their human dignity.
This utopian thinking that educated people have failed Liberia has engendered some of the worst abuses of power in history, as evidence in the 14-year civil war. Most erstwhile creators of puppet governments and state utopia behave like dangerously immature parents. They expect their charges to accept all their ideas. They see their charges as embodiments of noble innocence, only to turn violent against opponents who fail to conform to their whims and caprices.
How will Liberia measure up when it comes to producing a thriving citizenry? Reform will start when the electorates put the raw sewage of political opportunists and failures through an adequate treatment facility, and elect a visionary and pragmatic leader who will not be pulled by nose and dictated to by political stooges and sycophants.