Thursday, April 25, 2024

If only we could reimagine career politicians as glorified two-faced, sneaky beings, we wouldn’t be obsessing over politics!

I often find myself wondering why people are still surprised with patronage appointments and that political leaders use politics for personal gain. Patronage appointments and the use of politics for personal gain have been on since the advent of politics and it shall remain so. 

I know that this column had in the past credited yesteryear politicians for having been substantially different from the current crop most of who are just attention-seeking traitors and fashion maniacs and decorated delinquents who are famous for vulgarity and the corrupt use of their mouths to falsify reality. 

The column had credited the old generation of political leaders for having been leaders of integrity and for showing tremendous foresight in their collective desire to have a prosperous country that provides opportunities for all irrespective of circumstances of gender, disability, sexual orientation and ethnicity. 

For this, the column owes no one an apology. Perhaps a majority of our old generation of political leaders were not really career politicians [used to refer to people who are in politics to primarily make money and accumulate power]. 

This is so because it would seem indisputable that there is a mindset that is common in those who have made politics their full time job work, essentially in that they think fundamentally different from the average citizen. 

They are pathologically greedy, inward looking and self-absorbed such that almost all of them merely seek to want to use politics in order to succeed in getting what they want by whatever means. 

I have worked with, for and against many aspirants to political office and I have found this selfish desire for wealth and power to be a universal characteristic of them all regardless of political affiliation. 

Obviously, they are able to make you believe that they are different from the other crooks until they get hold of power or when they are unable to get what they wanted as quickly as they wished and prove that they are in fact cut from the same cloth. 

All politicians pursue politics for personal gain first and foremost and only dedicate the remainder of their time to the service of the public essentially as a way to legitimize their gains. 

However, they have successfully made us believe that they are in politics for the public good or for our own good as if we were a danger to ourselves. 

Their primary concern is themselves and their families, the rewards that accrue from many of the unethical activities that they engage in and their own position of power that they need in order to continue to fool others. 

This explains why it would be very easy to influence a politician to adopt a position that works to his advantage even if it could costs the public than to prevail over the same politician to take a position that would work well for the community at his expense. 

It is a hard fact that no politician would ever vote to limit the amount of time he/she will be able to use the system to his own ends. That is why the opposition and the ruling party legislators are always like-minded and speak with one voice when they debate their benefits and that is why they would publicly denounce a proposed change because it does not favor them for now only to bring it back later when it suits them.  

And this should not surprise us anymore because it is just the nature of politics which could better be understood by applying the Machiavellian catchphrase that ‘the ends justify the means’. This catchphrase should help us understand why politicians and career politicians particularly are as dishonest as certified criminals. 

Someone has suggested that for those who may wish to understand politics and the nature of politicians much deeper than just applying the philosophical principles that are often flaunted with impunity; principles we have since come to be accustomed to, they have got to split the word politics into two fundamental words. 

Splitting the word ‘politics’ would give us the following words: ‘poli’ and ‘tics’. Poli is a derivative of the word ‘poly’ which literally means many whereas ‘tics’ is an improved version of the word ‘ticks’– those small, ever hungry creatures that live by feeding on the blood of other animals. 

Thus, the profession of politics or poly ticks is actually the craft wherein many smart and hungry people feed on others or use unsuspecting citizens to get what they want. 

Botswana like all other countries of the world has an abundance of dishonest, double-tongued and ever hungry people (ticks) who are using unsuspecting voters to fill the trough by hiding behind the artificial need for a few to govern the multitudes.  

American political humorist, Mark Twain remarked that ‘politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other’

The ability of politicians to deceive and feed on the poor and the rich alike is an unprecedented feat that should explain why we continue to blame them for our woes and even express our deep-seated hatred for them but nevertheless return them to office in the next election in ways that seems to certify our limited choice in politics and/or our silliness. 

It is because of our votes that politicians have so much power. It is because of our votes that MPs cannot be prosecuted for words spoken in Parliament even as they use such privilege to defame the very people whose votes took them to Parliament. And it is because of our votes that they are able to steal from the national treasury and/or accumulate the power that they use to circumvent the law and secure their honorable status in society.

Thus, it would seem that the politicians’ willingness and ability to lie, mislead and deceive the public is promoted and sustained by the voter. This is so because we would complain that they lie parliament and that they are ineffective as our representatives, but when an opportunity is availed for us to remove them, we instead return them and even threaten to kill for them before we complain about them yet again. 

But that voters are responsible for the behavior of politicians is not meant to protect these rare characters or make them somewhat better than they are because the painful reality is that politicians are inherently treacherous, crooked and sneaky. Politicians have an inveterate notoriety for engaging in deceptive conduct and trading in falsehood for their own ends.

The rampant, daily deceitful rhetoric is actually every politician’s native gift which is why all politicians happen to be over confident about anything including their next journey to heaven or hell. 

Whereas the ordinary citizen would readily admit to his/her limitations, the politician on the other hand would as a matter of fact go about his/her crooked business with brazen assurance which is why they believe that anybody could become state president and indeed they do aspire to taste executive power by any means possible.     

Thus, it is in the nature of politicians to be two-faced so that voters would never succeed in second guessing their next move. 

In politics, it is said that the honest politician is a mythical creature who can easily be bought so cheaply, and when he/she is bought, will not stay bought long enough by the current buyer because they are still eligible to be bought by the next buyer until they are deceased as according to the myth that ticks (from poli tics) can re-grow their bodies if the head is still intact. 

Thus, for the sake of your health stop obsessing over party politics in spite that it shapes your future, because obsessing over it affects your well-being and life satisfaction. Politics will kill you, yet most of you are just pawns in a do or die game between career politicians.

We just have to treat our party politics as a kids’ riddle played by naughty and wicked adults. 

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