Africans scholars could not have predicted what happened in Western Nigeria known as Akintola Taju in 1962 could also happen in the United States of America. The United States democracy could have tumbled but for the courage of one man. It is really agonizing to realize how fragile democracy is. The greatest democracy in the world we took for granted almost succumbed to calamitous precipitous civilian coup.
Nobody, no matter their differences with Americans, believed it could happen in America. No one wants America to fall on its face despite its vestiges of slavery except those rivals that have not demonstrated the goodwill associated with the best moral principles the whole world admires. China, Russia and not even Britain can replace the majority of Americans’ goodwill. There is a difference between tolerance and handing a country back to the original owners. The so-called Liberals are not willing to go that far. Yet, the Conservatives seize it for their campaign.
The election of President Obama caught many by surprise and some exceptional moral characters became complacent thinking that it was the end of racism and disadvantageous relationships. They never anticipated the backlash that fought back to retake America from the immigrant advocates and extreme left-wing that wanted to hand America back to the American Indians. Forget part of Mexico and Alaska Russia that sold land to America and wanted it back.
Raising emotional issues in any country works against the other party in power, especially if they can fool the masses about how easily the problems can be solved. They rely on force and blame the softie for any ongoing menace. Only to find out after the election that they are worse in the creation of violence. Watch out if an aspiring leader claims only he can solve the problems that beseech the country.
We think dictators always use the power of the Police and Army to dominate their countries. While this is true, there are other reasons if the silent majority refuse to act. Some are indifferent thinking brutality can never affect them, others are just worried about the consequences of their reaction while the rest give tacit support to action they would normally oppose based on rhetoric and outlandish propaganda.
If you ever wonder how parties that represent the minority in Western democracy get elected or how the same minority dominate the House of Representatives and Senate, think about winning by any means. The minority can be so powerful, they can dictate the rules of the political game. In Britain and Canada, Prime Ministers are not directly elected, the Representatives appoint them usually before the General Elections. Britain’s Prime Minister finds out; the Conservative members he appointed into his Cabinet let him know when to leave.
The United States elect their President directly but it is also clouded by Gerrymandering to favor the party in power in the States. Two Senators from each State regardless of the population present another form of disproportional representation. So we can have the Senate elected by a minority of the votes over the majority along party lines. Indeed, the President has been elected by the minority votes a few times in the United States.
Many of the dictators are elected or appointed by elected representatives of the people. They campaign like other candidates but with a niche for those who think that if drastic action is not taken, their society would go down in ruins. This is how the support of the extreme faith leaders become one of their staunch backers. They pray for dominance in the name of God or Allah
What binds these loud minorities together is their intolerance for any view or belief that is different from their own. They hold on to books written centuries ago, old wine in new bottles, schools that preach classes of people and caste system. Their good old days was when their fathers dominate the masses, serfs and slaves. If it was legal then, they must find a way to make them legal in the present by giving them appealing or fanimorous tags.
These intolerant minorities have gained ground by recruiting part of the majorities that are most vulnerable as their public relation officers and spokespersons. Though they give token positions to those few members working against their self interest, they attract the empathy of many more. It gives them the claim of representing a diverse group of people. Anti women, anti Jew and anti Black using women, Jews and Blacks, even in the Supreme Courts.
Authoritarian leaders hold on to the minority base by rubbing their egos with praises the same way Generals call their Army to prepare for war. Dictators use a superiority complex to instill fear of the minority within majority. The belief of those who claim they are born to rule is entrenched in their psyche to dispel any doubt. If it works very well during wars, only highly informed voters can dispel it in social democracy or in Judeo-Christian capitalist democracy.
Some countries have an unelected body from a minority of their population ruling the majority since they believe there must be another branch of government to overrule the unreasonable interest of the majority. Mind you, this is a double edged sword that can cut across every political spectrum. Court and the rule of law are created to overrule popular views like slavery before informed civil society find slavery repulsive. On the other hand, we must not forget that Papal Edict in 1452 authorized slavery before Civil War was fought over it.
When it comes to economic dominance, there is no limit for oppressors in order to gain the bounty of war. The demand for cheap labor encouraged slave owners to sell their own children born by Black slaves without any dissent. These children became workers on their fathers’ land or sold to other slave masters. Just as the Pope’s Edit approved the sale of African slaves captured by Portuguese to work in Europe and Americas.
We cannot forget Africans that are accomplices of foreigners just to gain access to their money so that they can buy mirrors in foreign markets at the expense of their own people. A country like Nigeria went from the land of milk and honey to become the poverty capital of the world under the rule of Authoritarians that seized power or got elected somehow.
Farouk Martins Areas @oomoaresa