Why supporting Rawlings is a waste of time and energy…

Mon, 9 Apr 2012 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Saturday, April 7, 2012

As a follow-up to my article on Rawlings, entitled “Let’s leave Rawlings alone to thrive on risks, not peace…,” I explore further why I don’t think that supporting Rawlings has any benefit for us.

Mind you, I am not condemning en bloc the ideals undergirding his politics, especially those that emphasize patriotism and a conscientious use of our resources for the good of society (couched as “probity and accountability”). But I don’t support his strategies for implementing those ideals, especially within the context of his abrasive politics many years after he has left office.

I have many issues to take with those still supporting Rawlings to cause confusion all over the place. What does supporting Rawlings now translate into?

That he is still relevant to Ghana politics cannot be completely denied because he serves as a critical voice, especially if he offers any useful suggestion, not only bad-mouthing those in authority. But so far, he hasn’t done so. He is known more for constantly ruffling feathers with his loud protestations and insulting behaviour, which has virtually reduced him to a bugbear if not a pest, after all.

Now, here is the main issue: Do these supporters of Rawlings expect him to bounce back to power to implement policies to achieve what he is accusing others of not accomplishing? What is the motive for supporting him against those in power now and have better chances of being so than Rawlings?

Or are they praying that he will get someone else in power to implement his ideas? Of course, that might be the only option left for him; and as we can tell from his wholehearted support for his wife’s manouevres to dislodge President Mills, it is the only viable option left for him. But the NDC activists read deeper meanings into that ambitions and cut his wife to size.

It is not feasible for Nana Konadu to lead the NDC to the 2012 elections and the lid has been put tight on that pot of ambition. Rawlings’ hopes of passing through the back-door to return to the citadel of power were dashed; and he seems more incensed for that matter; hence, his persistent horn-locking escapades. Nothing will come out of that foolhardiness to improve his circumstances, if he cares to know the bitter truth.

I am saying that Rawlings had as many years as others won’t ever have under our ongoing democratic march. He should know and accept this reality and live the rest of his life in some measured peace, if he can work for it. Now at 65 years and losing steam—which is the natural consequence of ageing—shouldn’t he redirect his energies to better use than this Don Quixotic life that he has chosen to live? He can continue fighting the wind(mill), if he thinks that’s how to bounce back into politics. But he will be better off leaving us in peace to live our lives the way we want to live them.

You see, the doors to the corridors of power are shut tight to Rawlings. He had almost 20 years to do all he had up his sleeves to improve living conditions and facilitate our country’s development. He did a lot but made mistakes and created new problems that can’t be solved to date despite strenuous efforts made by his successors. Yet, he won’t leave these successors alone to do so, which is irritating.

So, now at the touchline, shouting himself hoarse for attention every minute of the day seems to be his preoccupation instead of either living peacefully in retirement or finding better ways to use his energy to serve society. After all, it is the ordinary Ghanaian tax-payer who continues to sustain his lifestyle. That tax-payer expects to get something useful in return, not the rabble-rousing activities that have become his choice of weapon to fight those in power.

In the NDC, he is problematic. He has managed to whip up sentiments against the Mills government and dragged hangers-on like Kofi Adams and Michael Teye Nyaunu to join his circus of noise-making embittered politicians.

In fact, Kofi Adams and Teye Nyaunu have been the most mindless people that I have come across in many years. Having thoughtlessly followed these Rawlingses only to lose their own political bearings and be out of contention for a brighter political future, what more do they have to hope for? They could have hastened slowly as they charted their own political paths; but they decided to spend their energies confronting the very powers that they depended on for political survival, overturning the table on themselves and endangering their political careers in consequence.

Now pushed away from their perch in the party, they must be counting their losses and looking for the means to repair the damage so as to re-launch their political careers on a different trajectory. They will be fighting against the current, though.

Considering where Rawlings has pushed himself, I don’t know whether to pity or condemn him. Since he shot into the limelight on May 15, 1979, some of us have supported him till he left office. We still regard him for his good works and are in a position to support him only if he does what is expected. But for as long as he continues bulldozing his way through the political landscape and destroying his own image thereby, he shouldn’t count on us.

Even the great eagle doesn’t hog space to fly all the time. It gets tired and finds somewhere to perch so that other birds can use the environment that Nature has provided. So it is with governance too. Having spent almost 20 years on the seat, can Rawlings not lie low to allow others the elbow room and peace of mind that they need to use their God-given talents for national development?

Now, here comes another nagging point: How does Rawlings expect anybody to implement his ideas if he is at loggerheads with all those who matter?

Or is he hoping that an electoral loss for Mills will give him the chance to take back the NDC? At which time and age he will be more bothered about his own welfare and security under an NPP government?

Oh, what a misplaced priority he has!

I think the onus to repair the strained relationship between him and all those he has antagonized and alienated lies on his shoulders. He will be better off if he does so because unlike those people, he isn’t at peace (either with himself or all others).

I bet you, former President Kufuor and the incumbent Mills don’t seem to be weighed down in any way by any heavy conscience because unlike Rawlings, they aren’t carrying any baggage. They may not be everybody’s “darling” but they have less to worry about than Rawlings does.

When the NPP took over from Rawlings, how many times did we hear then Vice President Mills complain about his personal security? Did we hear him say that Kufuor had hired mercenaries to kill him?

Let’s turn to Kufuor too. Now out of office, have we heard him complain that his life is in danger because of the Mills government’s underhand dealings to get at him? He might have complained about the ESB that was denied him or later restored, even if not to his liking; but he hasn’t told as that someone is after his life.

These two have continued to live their lives in peace regardless of the circumstances in which they find themselves. Rawlings, on the other hand, hasn’t. Why is it so? That’s an important question to ask because for as long as he fails to see himself in the mirror to know who and what he is, nothing anybody says or does will change his circumstance.

In the long run, I think that he will be better off if he stops centering everything around himself. And to those supporting him to confront the governments that have been in power after him, I say that they are wasting their energy casting pearls before swine.

Rawlings can’t return to power and there is no way his ideas can be implemented unless he offers them through the proper channels to be considered for implementation or discarded if found to be inappropriate for our current political dispensation. What is difficult to understand about this simple issue? And why will anybody waste time and energy supporting a lost cause?

As is already determined for us mortal beings, this world is not our home (re-echoing Jim Reeves). Nature will definitely beckon all of us to itself. But we must ensure that we live and let others live too. That way, we will be prepared to give a good account of ourselves in the life beyond. Is Rawlings listening?

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.