Gambiana

Opinion | Gambian politics feels like a reality show

Everyday politics in The Gambia feels like a ‘Reality Show,’ with more shocking, heart-breaking postings on social media by the hour. 

Gambians defended falsehood, vulgarity, legitimising myths, implicit bias, and mitigating discrimination, promoted sexism and internalised misogyny, promotes mediocrity than meritocracy, beautify, and romanticize ignorance. 

They loathe intellectuality (the most misunderstood word”intellectual” amongst the Gambia and why they see intellectuals as freaks), and promotes essentialism, tribal bigotry, xenophobia, intolerance of diversity. 

They never speak out against hate and religious zealotry and prejudice increasing against specific groups as simply “immaturity,” and chose to overlook it.

In politics, it is essential to examine and differentiate what a person says of themselves and what they are through their actions. Actions speak louder than words. 

I am not too fond of the type of Gambian politics because of this inherent trait of disingenuously cunning demeanor people wear. The crass vulgarity and how people get emotive is all that umbrage my being. I do not anticipate doing active politics, but a person behind a politician fascinates me.

An honest, competent, and foresighted leader should address all significant concerns affecting his/her subjects by efficiently using all resources at his disposal. 

These issues may be food security, affordable health care, universal free education, transport and communication, trade and industry, employment opportunities, internal and external security, the exercise of fundamental rights, and ELECTORAL REFORMS.

Therefore, when a leader studiously avoids engaging wherewithal available to him to tackle a seemingly intractable issue firmly in the public domain, then that leader is a deadbeat.

A country cannot run on chaos and lack empathy for others–or just common decency. Patriotism is about having a moral conscience and bringing a nation together– not dividing us and defying everything this country stands for. 

It also disrespects the thousands who have risked or sacrificed their precious lives fighting for our democracy, equality, and freedom. Until recently, our heroes and heroines are this time around rejects, the new world is being born, but the old order has not yet died. 

There is a blatant, transparent, sustained media campaign to manage public expectations and perceptions about disunity and disintegration within the opposition, civil society activists, and ignoring the political class gymnastic and political masturbation. When will enough be enough? The time for reconciliation is long overdue.

The political class loves poor, ignorant and greedy voters. A public that cannot think, critique, judge, and evaluate issues readily embraces fanaticism, dogmatism, and hypocrites.

However, in my adult life over the years, I learned one valuable lesson, when a person treats “others” with disrespect, they will soon do the same to you, and it is simply uncompassionate.

Unless we find genuine human empathy, we will be easier victims of propaganda than the politically manufactured kind. 

Politics, in sum, has become an increasingly mystic, unpredictable business to write or think about in New Gambia.

By Alagi Yorro Jallow 

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