Liberia: Empty politics? 2023

We natives must defend ourselves from the Congo People’s return. South easterners have always ruled Liberia. Central Liberians will elect a president this year.

If he becomes president, married Alexander Cummings would legalize homosexual partnerships in Liberia.

Charlyne Brumskine, a Congolese novice and longtime Liberty Party member, speaks Bassa but not well.

Despite his claims, Honourable Boakai is too old to be president.

Jeremiah Kpan-Koung, his running buddy, sells humans. Who buys human parts and where?

George Weah is promiscuous. President Weah is married and steady. Jewel Howard Taylor divorced Charles Taylor but used his name politically. Don’t we all get to choose our names?

Poor Tiawon Gongloe wants to be president and talks a lot. Tiawon abandoned human rights law, right? Should I continue 2023 election mudslinging? According to an Igbo adage, wickedness is a hill that each person climbs and decries.

I’m not criticizing politicians.

Liberia struggles. Liberia is one of the poorest nations in the world after 175 years of independence. 96% are unpaved. Our county capitals are not connected by paved highways, and during the rainy season, large parts of the southeast, northeast, and northwest become inaccessible.

Youth unemployment remains high. Liberians have one of the lowest electricity rates. One doctor serves 20,000 Liberians. Unsolved killings pose security issues. Drug-addicted youngsters, known as zogos, are flooding the streets in increasing numbers.

Liberians pick their presidents every six years, especially after the 2003 civil war. From sunrise to night, Monrovia’s more than two dozen radio stations and those in Zwedru, Robertsport, Tappeta, and Voinjama feature gorgeous phone-in programs with political chat shows.

A studio host using a cell phone announces a topic, and callers pour in. Liberians are opinionated, and radio is our favorite way to vent.

Our publications don’t feature charity balls or brave teens who fought cancer to top their class. Political scandals dominate our daily headlines.

Check Liberian Facebook and chatrooms. Liberian politics are addressed on Spoon Talk, Prophet Key, Suzan Gbangaye, and other online talk shows.

None of our political discussion programs address voter poverty and misery. Race to the bottom dominates. Vote for me because my opponent is evil.

We search for the largest attendance during political rallies and candidate announcements.

Cheer up, guy! The man arrived by helicopter. We shouted!

Since white t-shirts are too inexpensive, partisans no longer print their party or politician names on them. Politicians now wear colored T-shirts featuring their candidates’ faces.

I questioned who introduced berets and aggressive behavior to Liberia. The red berets of Emmanuel Gonquoi’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) or the blue berets of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change.

Liberian youth, including paid thugs recently seen at a church in Monrovia, attend political rallies with clenched fists and cries of Amanda! Awetu!

Battle shouts don’t solve Liberia’s social and economic issues.

Identity politics dominates political discourse. Congo guy and Native man. Never mind that Americo-Liberians have lived in Liberia since the Pioneers arrived in 1822. Never mind that all Liberians have ancestors. After the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai empires collapsed, our ancestors migrated south from the Sahel or to Liberia. American or West Indian.

Demagogues (those who appeal to our emotions instead of logic) mislead us by talking about identity politics or muckraking (mudslinging) like this man or that lady is from this tribe or religion and can’t be President, Representative, or Senator.

A great tactic because once they appeal to our emotions and use our society’s divisions, we don’t ask the hard questions as they enjoy Liberia’s resources.

How would you create employment if elected president?

Will you restore our roads and provide electricity?

How will you fight drug abuse and insecurity?

Our 30+ political parties have similar policies and platforms. They all talk about job creation and economic growth.

And why we vent our anger at sexual minority rights and where a person’s great-grandfather came from: some unscrupulous politicians pull the wool over our eyes and eat the cookies to benefit themselves while we shout Amanda! Awetu! on empty stomachs and praise them for the crumbs that fall on our tables as generosity.

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