By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh
Politics is not for the faint-hearted; it is for the brave. With politics come betrayal and criticisms from within one’s own ranks. To practice this art, one must have courage amid intimidation, persecution and death. That is reasoning enough to discourage or retire anyone from politics.
Liberians have seen their share of those painful drawbacks in politics. Because of the setbacks, loved ones, relatives and friends constantly advised their youths and the aged to “leave the people thing alone.”
Many listened, but refused to “leave the people thing alone,” respectfully reminding their relatives, friends and loved ones that Liberia, indeed, belongs to all Liberians–it does not belong to any one individual, or a coterie. To leave Liberia in the hands of a power-hungry clique would be painfully suicidal.
So a group of “radical revolutionaries” from the United States and Liberia, who once refused to “leave the people thing alone,” fomented a popular uprising that played a crucial role in bringing down a sitting government. That rebellion would later spill over to the successive Liberian governments.
But the terrible conditions of yesterday, like human rights abuse, hunger, inequality, slave labor, and so on, that once unified the opposition in the late 70s and 80s are the same today in the 90s, except that it was Tolbert, Doe and Taylor, and now Ellen.
Many of the former revos, who once denounced the social, political and economic ills of the Tolbert, Doe and Taylor administrations in Liberia are now allies of Ellen’s mobocracy that violates all norms of a civilized society.
With their ever-present skills at manipulating and articulating (twisting) issues that are dear to the hearts of their political preys, those backstabbing, cutthroat hypocrites and spineless wimps have become today’s worst oppressors of the helpless Liberian majority.
This attitude of yesterday’s political saviors, who would rather seek gravy now than maintain their beliefs, speaks volumes of the concerns of those who once advised their loved ones to “leave the people thing alone.”
Patriotic Liberians, who are in the forefront of the Liberian movement for democracy wished they could “leave the people thing alone,” mind their own business and retire to their villages or some cosmopolitan city and enjoy the Earth and her wonders.
But many patriotic Liberians believed sincerely that the people thing is their thing. They also believed that they cannot go home and be a part of the corrupt and lawless country and government of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
However, until there is genuine rule of law in Liberia as expected in a civilized society, Liberians definitely will not “leave the people thing alone.”