Sunday, December 11, 2016

To 'The Good People of Ghana': Was Ghana on the Ballot Paper?

Dear 'Good' People of Ghana,
I must begin my post today by saying my next planned letter was to the outgoing president, not you. However, I saw the need for a short grammar (and patriotic) lesson, so here goes! The adjective used to describe you in my heading and greeting will be the focus of our discussion.Please allow the dictionary to explain to you what 'good' means and then decide for yourselves if the word is being used properly above:


good
ɡo͝od/
adjective
  1. 1.
    to be desired or approved of.
    "we live at peace with each other, which is good"

Let us observe a moment of silence. Have you decided if 'good' is the right adjective yet? No? You need some help? Ohhh, you'd like for me to help you decide? It would be my sad duty to do so. 

We just elected a new president by majority vote last week. However, according to the numbers, it was really the swing voters who won this election for our incoming leaders. 45% of us always vote for the NPP, 45% always for the NDC, and 10% of us actually look at the evidence before us and then select a leader. This 10% decided to vote for the NPP this year after considering the evidence before them, but you would never know the way stalwart NPP faithfuls are carrying on.
According to you NPP faithfuls, you're the ones who won this election and not the rest of us. Allow me to present anecdotal evidence from Facebook:

"Hypocrisy is when u knw u didn't vote for Nana Addo yet u take to ur Facebook handle to say Ghana won... Did Ghana contest an election? Mtchewwwwwwwwwwwee."

"To those NDC commentators who have all of a sudden become so patriotic and are shouting Ghana has won, ..... if it is because you are afraid you will be trolled then you have missed the shot paa. You shall be trolled and trolled well paaaa."




These posts are all over Facebook. I have seen them shared by many people, and worse, there are posts that are insulting anyone who supported the outgoing government, if they even post congratulatory messages to the incoming government. The terrible spelling and short-hand aren't the only things making me wince when I read these posts.

This brings us back to our discussion of 'good': are the above posts to be desired or approved of? When the outgoing NDC's supporters did this in 2012, we all condemned their behavior. When people were throwing about insults and involving themselves in dirty politics, NPP supporters were the first to say they were different. Are you really different? When members of the 10% who helped your candidate win this election, but were not known supporters are happy at the outcome and saying Ghana won, you ask " was Ghana on the ballot paper?". 

Really? Is that the most patriotic response you could come up with, young patriot? Our president elect won this election because the majority of Ghanaians voted for him. This means the majority of Ghanaians won this election, regardless of their party affiliations. He won because a majority of us believed he was the most qualified to lead. If you truly hold this to be true, then you will accept that it is Ghana that has won by getting a great leader. Even if the person did not vote for your candidate, the nation getting new leadership has won. Our elections proceeded peacefully and the incumbent government conceded in humility. That, my dear young patriot, is Ghana winning. If you don't believe me, go visit Gambia and then come back and let's talk.

This post is for the 80-90% partisan population of Ghana. I'm sorry to break it to you, but you have NOT displayed behaviour that is to be desired or approved of. You are NOT the 'good' people of Ghana (and I haven't even started on the fact that 99% of you claim to be christians or muslims with at least a univesity degree, and yet behave in completely uncharacteristic ways!).

 Re-think your auto-support system for your parties. Re-think your attitude that makes an enemy out of anyone who shares a different political leaning to you. Re-think your divisive behaviour that has pitted our people against one another for all these years and left us with little to show for it. Re-think your bad work ethic, your own moral compass that allows you to accept and give bribes, your inability to make decisions based on facts and not your emotions. Re-think your misplaced passion that our nation, and not your party, desperately needs.

Speaking of facts, re-think your lack of desire to find them, read them, watch them, listen to them or evaluate them objectively because of your party-colored sunglasses that clouds your vision. When you, who call yourself a party supporter, can't even read the abridged version of your own party manifesto but attacks the one who did and voted based on what they read, how can Ghana go anywhere? When you're happily and proudly bullying people online because their party lost, boasting of trolling them because you were just waiting for the opportunity, you should pause and re-consider. 

Consider that you have now sunk to the very same level that you once
abhorred, and are now 'a mythical, cave-dwelling being depicted in folklore as either a giant or a dwarf, typically having a very UGLY appearance'
Those were the dictionary's word for a troll, not mine. Don't like that definition much? How about 'Being a terrible human being on the internet because you can'? That's a dictionary definition for trolling too.

We are here at a turning point in our nation's history. It is time for everyone, regardless of party affiliation, to be hopeful, pray and support the new government. It is critical that we do so. That support isn't just going to be in the form of letting them know they're doing well, it will be to work hard, clean up our own individual corrupt habits and hold them accountable. It is the age of information. Read and educate yourself on what has been promised, and become someone who engages in useful dialogue that will help us grow. Instead of focusing on political affiliations, focus on ideas and vision and accountability. And if someone asks for the government to be accountable for promises made, don't use your auto-partisan-ness to attack them. They love Ghana too.

Our outgoing president His Excellency John Mahama refers to you as 'good'. Our President Elect Akufo-Addo addresses you in a similar fashion. If 'good' was a person with a lawyer, it would probably drag you off to court on Monday for character assassination, misrepresentation and false advertising. Let's make sure that changes.
Sincerely,
Ghana President for a Day