9 November 2012

Liberia: Emulate Americans, Eschew Politics of Bitterness


How can we draw from the lessons of Tuesday's presidential election in the United States of America where the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, immediately conceded defeat and congratulated President Barrack Obama over his re-election? We believe that the swift manner of congratulations and the graceful conduct of the defeated candidate proved to be a shining example of patriotism and submission to the overall will of the people.

Although the electioneering campaigns were acrimonious, they were not bloody as the case is often in Africa. The voters democratically chose between Obama, who asked his fellow Americans to renew his mandate, and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts who wanted the job.

The elections highlighted the centrality of the people to their country's politics. Most of the issues were about the welfare of Americans. Whether in war or peace, America is in perpetual search for resources to improve its peoples.

Both candidates, during their debates and while on marathon campaign trails, discussed a myriad of issues.

Television viewers around the world were too busy watching the enlightening presidential campaigns. Many agree with Romney on some issues including his opposition to same-sex marriage. But based on the work Obama has done in the past three and a half years, others agreed that he deserves a second term.

Obama's achievements are legion: Top on the list was that he possibly prevented a third world war. Had America been led by a Republican war-monger these past three years, there was no doubt that Iran could have been attacked in a bid to stop its nuclear ambition. Obama ended the war in Iraq; has almost defeated the Talibans in Afghanistan, and treated all sides fairly during the Arab Spring. Osama bin Laden is dead and other terrorists are feeling the heat around the world.

The American economy is looking up and many Americans are back to work. The Obamacare or his health reform is revolutionary. Indeed, most Americans have attested to Obama's greatness as a leader. Only racists and hawkish Republicans - the stumbling blocks he has encountered in Congress - can hold a contrary view.

Romney may have his strong points, but he had nothing to offer except promises. He did not successfully demonstrate he could perform better than Obama. America's image has improved greatly and the world today is better than it was four years ago, thanks to the American leader.

In view of America's place in the world, voters did not forget the need to maintain the peace and hope of the past three years. If a dress is clean, there is no need to change it. Four years ago, Obama received universal admiration and was celebrated across the world. Because he did not betray the trust reposed in him, Americans were left with no option but to re-elect him.

With such a healthy political atmosphere, we enjoin our political actors to emulate the American politics. This is one of the elements that have made American democracy the envy of all nations. The greatest threat to the stability of our democracy is the reckless bickering that happens after elections in a country like Liberia. A lot of time and energy is decimated on frivolous litigations and the pursuit of bitterness which indeed affect valuable time for the delivery of electoral promises.

Therefore, while we challenge Liberia's political actors to learn from the American electoral event, we also enjoin them to eschew politics of bitterness by conceding to defeat after elections instead of engaging in endless protests, demonstrations and litigations.

We also congratulate the American people on the successes of this election. We have confidence in President Obama's ability to lead America out of the current economic challenges bedeviling the entire world.

We are particularly delighted at the conciliatory posture of the President and his emphasis on the values that unite America rather than the divisions that manifested during the campaign. His constant reference to patriotism and a sense of duty to America by Americans in his acceptance speech is another lesson we must imbibe in our quest to build our democracy. We believe that with this election, America has once more blazed the trail in overcoming its internal stratifications for the overall benefit of their country.

It is also our hope that remarks by American ambassador Deborah Malac that the partnership between the United States and Liberia will not change despite the outcome of the US presidential election will suffice. "The United States will continue to support Liberia's efforts to rebuild and to achieve a brighter future for all Liberians," she declared at the election night reception that took place at her residence in Mamba Point, Monrovia.

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