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Post factual politics; the Africanization of the West

By: Basil Jide Fadipe
Medical Surgeon, Teacher, Social Commentator
Justin Fadipe Centre
Commonwealth of Dominica
West Indies
fadipeb@cwdom.dm

Politics in Africa has always been and still is a uniquely brutish winner takes all contact sport; It is not unique because it is a hit or be hit macabre duel, ….politics everywhere is after all cast in that sorry mould …. its uniqueness comes in its below the belt kind of hit, disregard for rules or facts or principles ; just one huge and unbecoming contest not over power of ideas, but ideas of power. And where rules exist, they are so tenuous they are impalpable and the impalpabilities render them uniquely vulnerable to flagrant flouting; lawlessness intrinsic to African political culture remains the greatest bane to continental progress.

Hardly is the term “post factual ” politics more the case in any part of the world than in Africa ; Hardly that is, ….until now … when like a horse , Trump rode post factual politics big league to the White House : starting by playing his opponents like a fiddle, then ending beating them like a drum; Trumpery shot his ‘inventor’ ( Trump) into the political stratosphere as rocket fuel does the astronaut.

The trump phenomenon is the earliest sign yet of an africanization of the western electoral process; ….a process in which African political leaders have become well honed at hawking untruths in ornate wraps competing amongst themselves which untruths sell best and in what electoral constituency. Poor hungry african voter like his poor angry rust belt or brexit equivalent too beleaguered ( and ignorant) to be bothered about fact checking, laps up the sweet nothings from these political aspirants, poverty or group identity exploited to the hilt, electoral victory the only bargain.

African intelligentsia and friends had always hoped the continent’s practice of politics will shed its toga of a bruising and mendacious sabre rattling in favor of a westernizing model with its relatively sanitized fact based open contests until Trump suddenly popped up on a high wire extravaganza betraying the somber reality that Africans hold no monopoly over meretricious political incursions. In one short election cycle, Trump reversed everything of a tested model deploying to stunning advantage African style political demagoguery, tribe/ race baiting, poverty/ anger tap and vapid messianic platitudes, milking the protopathic sensibilities of a people or group as a farmer would the laden udder.

That is unsettling enough!!! More unsettling even is the new inclination by some ( including many who for good reasons were then opposed to his despicable style ) to want to elevate trump to the level of a Ceasar, along with a foreseeable short step from branding his tactics the tactics . What a doom prospect.

Should the west evolve in a trumpian direction in its electioneering culture , it might not only be a race to the bottom , it may come to spell the beginning of the end of western civilization . Why would a potential aspirant intent on high office want to trek the harder road of fact based contests, constrained by need for mutual decencies and polished discourse when by merely locating himself inside a post factual bubble simulating the Trumpian foot dance of disregarding the facts exploiting either the poverty ( Africa) and or anger ( American/Brexiter ) of voters , a softer ride to victory is not only possible, trump has shown it to be probable .

In Africa the trumpian model has earned the process nothing other than unending hostilities, cycle after cycles between groups pitched one against another by reckless campaign rhetorics and post truth realities. Is that kind of Africanization of western politics in the preservatory interest of the west ? !! What is now obvious more piquantly so than before is the ubiquitous role of the poor/ marginalized in shaping electoral outcomes . This is so because the poor/disgruntled will always be the weakest link in any democracy chain and where they happen to constitute the larger electoral bloc inside the particular democracy the process can only get to be as sanitized as the poor/ disgruntled renders it.

Just as ominous is the new reality that in the west just as it always has been in Africa, electoral ideals can be hijacked from unexpected quarters, the poor/deprived too ready to look past whatever the glaring ugliness of the candidate is, the messianic promise of rescue the only bet! Tied into the trump victory is yet another frightening prospect ! Until now, people in the west had always been able to stay ahead of the rest of the world in any knowledge based contests ; the littlest American easily able to outcompete arriving giants from outside and so job security for him was always assured.

Immigrant outliers all along patiently took positions in the queue, but constantly tooling and retooling themselves to jack up individual market appeal and market value; now many are so qualified the table has turned. Immigrants, still playing inside the rules they were faced with , came from the rear to the front of the queue outcompeting the winners of yesterday in those very knowledge based contests. but only to the chagrined resentment of winners of yesterday the new losers hoping to finagle old but tested rules, toss knowledge out the ring, to be replaced by mix of nativist and color driven contests, their savior, no longer competitive knowledge/skill sets but raw trumpian emoting and trumpian braggadocio .

When a civilization that once walked its way into preeminence through dint of hard work amongst its rank and file, all other peoples outcompeted fairly and squarely , suddenly now has to rely on banal impulses of race and group identity for quotidian survival, the only foreseeable way ahead for such a civilization is ‘down’ Trumpery is a looming threat to western civilization even worse, an incremental if unintended drift towards an Africanized model many of us long to jettison.

 

 

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The Pain before the Paen!

By: Basil Jide Fadipe
Medical Surgeon, Teacher, Social Commentator
Justin Fadipe Centre
Commonwealth of Dominica
West Indies
fadipeb@cwdom.dm

Want to talk records ? Here is one. …Attorney at law then …Law professor then …First Lady Arkansas then …First Lady United States then …American senator then …Presidential candidate then …Secretary of State then again …Presidential candidate. One long unbroken career, …a lifetime ….if by half inside public gaze ; and to jig the memory just in case every of her climb mined with gut- wrenching distractions; When it wasn’t a Ken Starr, so called “independent” investigator, conducting inquisitions rather than inquiries it was a partisan congress fiendish kangaroo sessions , witchhuntedly in hot pursuit or the FBI rooting for smoking guns or just own peers ….green eyed rivals or as cruel irony would have it, her own husband …mind-bending philanderous soap operas; ….every of her steps, dogged by every kind of hoops

Yet ….with grace and felinity, she prevailed, poise and purpose her leitmotif “Grow to help as many as you can, for as long as you can, in as many ways as you can ” Or words to that effect . That was the charge to young Hillary Rhodham from mum. Scrutinise her records all of thirty years and counting, that ‘charge’ rooted as it were in authentic ‘Methodist’ tradition has remained Hillary’s chief push and intellectual lodestar. If these don’t command unstinted admiration

Or constitute unchallengeable grounds for presidency what else will. Scout in any part of the world, the United States in particular, to check how many there are who could hold any office or public influence for all or some of thirty years, and all there are to unearth are token misdeameanours …..mal- routed emails and allied trivias. In less than a decade of power or influence, most public officials, I’m certain would be foot or neck deep in some manner of greed or misappropriation, self enrichment or cronyisms, Or all kinds of self indulgent shenanigans each to the grade of a mortal not venial sin

Hillary….Nope !! The Clintons remain some of the most investigated Americans in history!! Yet each witch hunt ( that is what they all are ) turn up only a set of VENIAL sins, …Hillary’s ….no more than “carelessness”, ( FBI chief ) ….. non indictable mole-hills Yet make mountains her distractors wish. In the nature of things , responsibilities such as Hillary’s must needs have involved lots of correspondences, each day heaps enough to mop up endless hours For those who care to know, it is also in the nature of things that the more cerebral of our daily commitments are best executed late in the nights when the world is full of sleep, the air, relatively cleansed of distractions .

Certainly for me, the dead of the night is the prime of my ‘day’, the unique interlude inside my circadian when my neurones shuttle the fastest. And I’m willing to bet it is same for many my kind. Imagine….for the likes of Hillary. For the hard-at- it addictive worker, It is instinctive, in-ostensibly so to never want to part with work; ready even to carry home, unfinished work; ….lie on the sofa or in the quiet of the study, slaving away to beat up on assignments and deadlines , innocently unmindful of what protocols may demand or what regulations may be thereby flouted.

Why in the case of Hillary do detractors seek to make a ‘song and dance’ of this, imputing crime not credit. I suspect only because inside the shark-infested red oceans, of adversarial politics swimmers, more so the naive/ innocent do so at own risk. …each swimming lane, a via dolorosa, the gory attacks hijacking the neutrality of the waters. ….and of course, in the religion of democracy, majority, no matter how wrong is moral. It’s the reason virtue will often be mangled by those who will work themselves into knots inventing untruths and muds against the other.

When a Hillary mindful of mud inventors and slingers proactively girds her loin, witch hunters out to target the ungirded see girded loins they scream ….crucify!!! ….they d rather open flanks, game for their poisoned arrows. Hillary constantly staying a step or two ahead of her detractors, fogging their views, smoking their plots is construed as lack of transparency: why would Hillary or anyone want to live inside a transparency that can only offer assasins perfect aim. Drain the swamp, then demand visibility; not the other way round . So stellar the career and character of Hillary Clinton, the world is unable to resist the constant crave for a piece of her, ever ready to part with thousands, even millions to secure her attention.

What a worth !!! Yet critics, malefactors and detractors would rather cry tally-ho ascribing taint and corruption where they should learn a lesson or two in the merits of self-transformative self slug. Hillary has slugged all her life inventing a Hillary. ….the product a jewel so uniquely precious every market wishes a stake . To not be tempted by the magnetic luster of a self invented Hillary is to be …..at best a visual wreck, at worst a castrate insensate caricature, There are those who would wish to have us believe she bartered office for money They will want to force this absurdity despite knowing as well as anyone else that in or out of office, Hillary’s field force ….its lure and market reach never stops expanding .

To be sure that’s no aberration; ….persons who have selflessly served others particularly via the unique privilege of high office, like vintage wine only appreciate with time, often legendarily too long into life after office. It is the megalomanic self agrandising kleptocrat who vacate office, nobody wishes to see except behind bars Hillary is that “Jewel in the crown ” the perfect fit for the presidency, ….tuesday the 8th her rendez-vous with destiny. ….email hyperboles no more than the travails of a winner, …the pain before the paean.