Eight years ago, the US and Ghana saw the victory at the polls of two political traditions that bear more than a passing resemblance to each other.
The Republican Party in the US and the New Patriotic Party in Ghana had both won victories over two parties that bear the name Democratic- the Democratic Party and the Democratic Congress.
The two vanquished parties incidentally had two very charismatic outgoing presidents- President Bill Clinton (54 years) and President Rawlings (53 years). Both leaders were exiting after eight years of rule and their respective Democratic parties were being led by their Vice Presidents- Al Gore and John Mills.
By far the most striking parallel was the fact that the two parties that won the elections in the year 2000 use the Elephant as their symbol. Another significant similarity is the fact that both the American elephant and its Ghanaian counterpart are right wing elitist politicians who believe that opportunities must be created to enable the elite to expand and grow their fortunes (businesses, properties etc) and somehow that good fortune will trickle down to the lower class eventually.
The two democratic parties that lost in 2000 symbolized the left or the left of the centre- groups that believe that deliberate policies must be used to expand opportunities for all and particularly for those who are not in the elitist class- the poor, the disadvantaged and the vulnerable.
Both elephants won a second term of office in 2004 after four years of rule and have been in the saddle for the last eight years.
These eight years of rule by the elephants have coincidentally brought about the same results whether in America or Ghana. The few have benefited at the expense of the many. It has been the rule of the few for the few as opposed to the Democratic agenda of having a rule that inures to the benefit of the many.
The US elephants have presided over arguably, the most calamitous economic management in the history of America. In Ghana, the elephants have displayed unparalleled greed, selfishness and economic insensitivity- inflicting incredible agony and pain on the people while profiting themselves, their families and their cronies.
One of the biggest tools used by both elephants has been the deception of the people. President Bush, the leader of American elephant, deceived the American people and led them into a needless war. In Ghana, President Kufuor's rule has been characterized by broken promises, double standards and plain use of deliberate lies.
Another major characteristic of the two elephants has been the use of the instrument of fear- The American elephant loves to frighten people that if they make the mistake and vote for the Democrats, terrorists will attack America because the former do not have the strength and the resolve to protect America. The Ghanaian elephant employs the following lie- if the people vote for the Democratic Congress, the country will see tyranny, no freedom and all manner of atrocities.
The value is the same
Whether in America or in Ghana, the two elephants show the same base, vile and reprehensible characteristics.
It has been eight long years of the rule of the American and Ghanaian Elephant- eight years of deception of the people; eight years of broken promises; eight years of greed and profiteering by the few at the expense of the many; eight years of America's image in the world tumbling due to George Bush's arrogance while Ghana's global image has tumbled due to Kufuor's immoral rule that has transformed Ghana into a continental hub of cocaine and narcotic drugs among others.
In America and Ghana the clarion call is the same:
Enough is enough- Enough with eight years of misrule, of lies and deception, of insulting the intelligence of the majority, of corruption and profiteering by the few at the expense of the many. In both Ghana and America, the word on the street is that after the last eight years, the people cannot bear to have four more years of the same. 'Eight years is enough,' is the clarion call.
So come Tuesday November 4, the people of America will send the Elephant packing and push it with McBush into the bush. A little after a month, Ghanaians, will reciprocate this call of destiny by sending the Elephant here into the bush as well.
This will give way for the emergence of leaders who are truthful, who are modest, who are intelligent and who will care about the majority rather than concentrate on the few.
The time has come for the rule of the few for the few to end.
Welcome the American democrats led by Barack Obama and welcome the Ghanaian Democrats led by John Mills.
Adios to the Elephants- enjoy your time in the bush.
Credit: Henry Acquah, Kokomleme, Accra
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