ON MERGERS AND/OR COALITIONS,MAKING OF “STRANGE BED-FELLOWS?”SOME THOUGHTS

The Liberian Political Grapevine is a-washed, inundated by and with rumors of reported, last-ditch posturing by the registered Political Parties of Liberia, for mergers and/or coalitions. The much talked-about Ganta Coalition Conference initiated by Nimba County Senior Senator Prince Johnson is, apparently, on the rocks, with numerous speculations of possible parings of president-vice presidential teams of UP/LP, CDC/NPP and many others. Some political parties are engaged in religious retreats, tarrying, and seeking devine assistance in their political journeys to the Executive Mansion.

But the Liberian Nation and People must recall Mr. Charles Taylor’s “jungle justice” and should be concerned and worried about the Coalition ofCDC-NPP and its apparent intrigues of the reported political “meddling-manipulation” in the forthcoming General and Presidential Elections (2017) by none-other thanMr. Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia now behind bars in far-away British Prison, convicted of political Crimes against Humanity and serving a 50-year sentence, manipulating elections in Liberia. Sounds like the powerful Crime Don of the Mafia!

According to the VOA Nightline program aired on Sunday, Mr. Allen White, former chief investigator for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone, says that the former “President Charles Taylor is interfering with the 2017 election in Liberia.He has been in discussion with Senator George Weah (CDC, Montserrado County, and Political Leader-Candidate for President of Liberia) who recently signed an agreement to join forces with Jewel Taylor, Taylor’s former wife, for support seeking the presidency and (Mrs. Taylor) the vice presidency. George Weah will be at the top of the ticket, ensuring that there wold be no criminal court established in Liberia. There are also other allegations that when he (Taylor) left (Liberia) there were millions of dollars that were buried and left behind so whoever gets elected and they seek to get his sentenced reduced and to get him back in Liberia will be worth that while”.

Mrs. Jewel Howard-Taylor, NPP, is the current Senior Senator, Bong County and Executive member of the Charles Taylor-founded National Patriotic Party (NPP). Political Parties after April 12, 1980 The Liberian political parties organized after the 1980 Event “gold rush” for multi-party, pluralistic, democratic political process authorized for the first time in Liberia, embarked upon establishment of the prevailing multiplicity of political parties, organized and managed along ethnic/tribal lines, the argument (for this approach) being:

a) The century-long history of exclusion, marginalization, oppression and denial of basic, civil, political liberties of indigenous, ethnic/tribal citizens, interests for which political parties had been and are organized; and

b) The tradition of the overwhelming majority of the population of the political state and the historical, socio-cultural nation-state (of many tribe-nations) in which the Tribe had been, still is, the only visible, tangible, traditional source and guarantor of interests, upon and for which governments are instituted to secure, defend, protect and preserve such interests.

Now, according to modernist political thought and practice, political parties are organized, managed, identified and recognized by a set of beliefs (“shared beliefs” or philosophy), the practical application and achievement of and to which the political parties are committed, if elected, generally defined as Liberal-progressive or left and Conservative-traditionalist or right. These beliefs are socio-economic and political views held by the two main organizations (there are others) on the political spectrum identified.

Liberal-Progressives believe in Change, Progress and government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all; that it is the duty of the government to alleviate social ills, protect civil liberties and individual and human rights; that the role of government should be to guarantee that no one is in need; and that Liberal-Progressive policies generally emphasize the need for the government to solve problems.

Conservative-Traditionalists believe in preserving past experience, personal responsibility, limited government, individual liberty, traditional values and a strong national defense; believe that the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals; and that Conservative-Traditionalist policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve their problems.

All of us political beings want the same things in life. We want freedom, justice, the chance for prosperity; want a land free of poverty, hunger and disease; few people suffering as possible; we want transport/communication nation-wide; we want to have crime-free land, homes, streets, etc., etc. But the argument is how to achieve these wants and desires.
The terms “left” and “right” define opposite ends of the political spectrum. In the United States (US examples), Liberal-Progressives are referred to as the left or left-wing and Conservative-Traditionalists are referred to as the right or right-wing.

Modern Political Ideology
The Liberian Political Culture had been defined not by competitive, modernist political “beliefs” or philosophies or ideologies, but by, basically, raw political power and, particularly, the wealth perceived to be associated with such power – graft, greed, bribery, thievery, lies, deceit, public/private dishonesty, etc.

Arguments for Liberal-Progressive and Conservative-Traditionalist Ideologies or any other such argument for competitive ideologies had been, and are, none-existent, in practical terms, on the Liberian political spectrum. The multiplicity of political parties presently-prevailing were organized, managed and promoted on socio-economic, ethnic/tribal, leading personality lines, with competition for graft, greed, money, money, et cetra, et cetra.

Come to think about it, I recall a breakfast table incident at a motel in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, where we, ULAA members-delegates, had gathered for a national convention to inaugurate the ULAA President and officials elected for the period 1979-1980. The officials elected included Mr. Charles Taylor as ULAA Board Chairman. At that breakfast table were the late TambakaiJangaba, Mr. Charles Taylor and BaiGbala.

It was Mr. Jangaba who asked the question and said, “gentlemen, supposed, just supposed, ULAA is elected president of Liberia and we assume political power, what political beliefs or ideology do we intend to practice”?

Mr. Charles Taylor responded first, while engaged with southern pancakes and eggs. He dropped his fork and knife, and looking directly eye-ball to eye-ball to Mr. Jangaba and BaiGbala and said, “look, Tambakai and Bai, you guys are book boys, college people; for me, Charle Taylor, I do not care about Socialism, Communism, Democracy, etc., etc. All that I demand is top of the government and dollars, dollars and dollars”. We were stunned, had no response.

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