The Scourge Of Fanatical Politics In Botswana

It is election year in Botswana and political conversations are rife in,i imagine,most households and ours is no different. The other day i was having a conversation with one of my housemates about whose turn it was to buy electricity and ,to neither of us' surprise,it quickly turned political.

The conversation's main point was the lack of moral restraint,in my opinion,of some of the politicians campaigning for office during the rallies,stemming from a comment made by one of them regarding the incumbent president's daughter.I argued that although i agree that politics are a dirty game and there is freedom of speech,it does not mean that we should throw morals and dignity out of the window to score cheap political points.

On the other hand,my housemate argued that politics will always be politics and for one to survive,they ought to be both loudmouthed and also have the thick-skin necessary to handle the shots being thrown back,to which i rebutted that those aforementioned qualities have nothing to do with the ability to represent the populace in public offices but morality does.

My housemate then proceeded to give an example of one of the presidents of the country's opposition,citing his seemingly timid stature and nature as the reason he will unlikely be able to lead his party to victory and thus implement their policies.His argument was that,unfortunate as it may be,our people revere and hence vote for politicians who are boisterous and seemingly confident in whatever they are talking about,regardless of how nonsensical it is,a point i totally agreed with and mentioned on my last post.

Alas,politics are less about who has the most implementable and feasible policies and more about who has the most efficient way of convincing the electorate that whatever they are spewing out of their mouth is the holy grail. The game of politics is more like traveling salesmanship in that,the product itself is merely a means to an end,the end being the money the customer forks out and in this case,the electorate's vote and unfortunately,the gullibility and revering of fanaticism by the populace is making it easy for these rambling empty barrels to make their way into public offices.

By nature,humans will always, first and foremost, conform to and side with what they are familiar with because we associate familiarity with safety,a concept i have already covered extensively on this post. This trait,or more accurately,this vice,affords politicians the much needed way to dupe the electorate into ignoring the content of their rallies and focus more on character,something they have a truckload of unlike the former.

Instead of focusing their rallies on what they will do for their people,they instead resort to doing what people want to see,entertainment in the form of robustious speeches which have absolutely nothing to do with what they will do for the electorate knowing that it is human nature to idolize this kind of behavior,idolization which will translate to votes during election day.

Using the aforementioned words that spiked the discussion between my housemate and i as an example, the shock factor they exuded ends up arousing awe in the electorate which can consequently create a cult like following for the person who uttered the words. Even the discussion on social media and other platforms becomes more about those words instead of the other content of the rally which is of more national relevance and importance.

Fanatical politicians do nothing but fuel the populism machine which leads to governments and states being in the hands and control of boisterous and seldom efficient personalities,a situation which does nothing but stagnate the nation whilst the characters reap the rewards that come with being in public offices.

Just like most of us are not gullible enough to get duped by traveling salespeople into buying something that will be of no use whatsoever to us,we should also not be naive enough to get befooled by rambunctious politicians,from either side of political spectrum, be it the ruling or opposing parties, who are only good at being entertaining characters at the freedom square but have no content that will move the country forward when they are in office.