Extremism and Do-or-Die Politics Versus Accountability And The Power of A Citizen's Vote
EDITORIAL: In this age of unlimited social media expressions, fake news, random bloggers, armchair critics, partisan pollsters, overzealous surrogates, paid talking-heads, extreme-radio-shock-jocks, scramble-for-ratings news-media, no-need-to-vet-the-news broadcasters, anything-goes-to-get-high-traffic websites, among others, it is no wonder that leadership, policies, and politics have become the subject of intense debates and the results of elections have become prone to scrutiny, skepticism, suspicion, recount, or disputed in several common ways. As a result many become stressed-out and some even fall sick because of their reactions or their consumption and assimilation of the affairs of politics and governance. It therefore becomes prudent for the average person to approach the situation from a perspective that insists that neither leadership nor politics need be a matter of do or die, nor should it encourage or sustain perpetual hate, bitterness, and rancor.
The most significant influence (and civic value) a citizen has lies in how he/she expresses the power of his/her vote. That is a fruitful way for the populace to peacefully make their preferences matter in the affairs of the polity. A citizen's right to vote is a powerful tool if harnessed properly, but it becomes regrettable and even dangerous when treated with recklessness. That is why one has to vote with reason not sentiments, vote like a patriot not a traitor, and have a preference but not a relentless uncompromising or sometimes baseless insistence on opinion or partisanship. The type of leader a people become blessed or cursed with is often times the reflection of how seriously or carelessly such people treated the electoral process or their political institutions.
There will always be a reward and the soothing of clear conscience for the leader who puts the masses before himself and sincerely works to better the lot of those he leads. In the same vein, there will always be a reckoning for the leader who manipulates the populace or leads them astray rather than inspire them to be better. For the leader who had a chance to stand for what is right but chooses to let travesty prevail so he could maintain or extend his leadership. For the leader who has a responsibility to lead but chooses to mismanage. For the leader who pilfers the coffers of state rather than apply state resources to the wellness of the masses. Same goes for the voter who knows how much good his/her vote could do but chooses to allow his/her vote to be compromised.
Regardless of whatever we do, from wherever we are, or in whatever status or classification we belong, at some point we each have to account for the life we live and for what use we make of our opportunities. After all said and done, one will be judged by how much love or hate, and how much good or bad he/she did bring to others.
An African Events Editorial