Show Me Your FriendBy Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
5/2/2012 1:29:18 PM -
Whether one believes that Election 2012 is about a competition of ideas, on the one hand, and or which of the two main political parties the voting public deems to be the more urbane and sound in the articulation of its platform and/or agenda, the fact of the latter is that every single vote has to be fiercely contested for and won. In sum, there is absolutely no such thing as the 'non-swing' or guaranteed voting block for either the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) or the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), as some self-appointed pollsters and pundits are naively claiming.
Concomitant with the foregoing paralogical ratiocinative thrust is the equally weird notion that, somehow, the so-called floating and/or swing voters possess relatively far more refined sensibilities or moral decency than those committed voters who tend to invariably vote for either of the two major parties. The unmistaken implication here, of course, is that 'committed voters' are an outright given or can be taken for granted, with little or no liability, while the actual electoral battleground is unwisely shifted onto the so-called independent or swing voters.
I am sorry to say this, but this trend of thinking lacks practical imagination. And, of course, those of us who were born and bred in Ghana and have had to painfully confront the daily hard knocks of country life, such as going to school and to the farm without breakfast, and felling trees with blistered and callused palms and soles, know far better than to sit in plush air-conditioned offices in luxuriously cushioned arm chairs behind generously lacquered metallic desks in order to leisurely engage in neatly composed pseudo-theories and other frivolous forms of political abstractions.
Needless to say, the rest of us who constitute the critical mass of the membership, supporters and sympathizers of the New Patriotic Party cannot afford this air-fairy approach to realpolitik; it is simply too expensive, time-consuming and economically and politically unproductive. We also more than fully appreciate the stark fact that it is insufferably foolhardy in an epic contest of two nearly equally matched factions for only one side to cavalierly and facilely presume to determine both the rules of engagement and the style of the game. Rather, the most intelligent and practical approach is to deftly deploy a synergistic symphony of strategies in order to successfully arrive at the endgame.
You see, Election 2012 is a veritable contest for real power, not a moral victory or potential power, and the mandate to determine the destiny of some 25 million Ghanaians for the next four years. It is, therefore, an ineluctable battle for the soul of the land and people that the Doyen of the erstwhile Gold Coast foresightedly named Ghana. By all means, let those economically smug and comfortable comedians who presume Election 2012 to be a superficial battle for a delectable public image and/or perception contend themselves with the same. Let them, like Narcissus, flirt and masturbate with their own reflection. For the rest of us, Election 2012 will be fought as if our very lives depended on it; and you bet our inalienable right to political, judicial and economic freedom depends on the outcome of Election 2012!
What is even more at once rankling and nauseating, is to be lectured by a rather presumptuous cynic who shamelessly consorts with more than several elements of the core membership of the National Democratic Congress slaughter-machine to the effect that, somehow, the rest of us are lame-brained for daring to match the NDC schoolyard bullies boot-for-boot and also boldly speaking to these hoodlums and hooligans in the only language that they understand.
Well, not quite long ago, many of us woke up to the palpably horrible news that, indeed, the voice of Mr. Talkative Somebody, fervidly and strategically 'romancing' an Avaklasu goon, over how to insidiously widen the internal cleavages among the executive membership of the NDC slaughter-machine in favor of the NPP, had been caught on audiotape. Needless to say, this torrid rendezvous involving one who claims to be smack-dab among our ranks must be taken seriously, because it clearly means that Mr. Talkative Somebody actually privileges his personal friendship with the aforesaid Avaklasu goon over and above the collective interests and well-being of those of us adherents of the liberal democratic tenets of Messrs. Danquah, Busia and Dombo.
Now, it is also a historically known fact that anybody who would secretly collude and/or conspire with another to set the other party's family house on fire, likely has offered the burning down of his own family house in return. In other words, it would be unforgivably suicidal for any of our 'kinsmen' and 'clanswomen' to trust the rather unctuous advice of Mr. Talkative Somebody. For, after all, we have yet to significantly learn of what details of our strategic, political war plan and development agenda Mr. Talkative Somebody must have shared with the Avaklasu goon, or the other side. And since the former is an avid Ameriphile, perhaps, it would do him and the rest of us some good to allude to strategically savvy story of how Mr. James Carville and Ms. Mary Matalin, the respective Clinton and Bush (One) campaign strategists, wisely put their red-hot romance on hold until the outcome of the 1992 U.S. Presidential Election had been determined by voters.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of 'Danquah v. Nkrumah: In the Words of Mahoney.' E-mail: Okoampaahoofe@optimum.net.