Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Shortsightedness of Party Lines…

The election in the United States is another history. I can remember exactly where I was when McCain conceded. I attended one of the Obama rally and I saw the man live. But that’s not what I wanted to talk about.

As a Christian and an African living in the United States, it is always hard to elect sides – that is, between the Democrats and the Republicans. That is because there are legit issues that confront me in making that choice, mainly from a traditional and historical perspective.

The Dems are traditionally viewed as liberals, with open arms to social groups that the GOP, for their conservatism, would not welcome. It is for that sense of condemnation from the GOP gay groups, blacks and other social minorities would rather support the Dems. It is for the same GOP’s sense of moral soundness that Christians (or rather evangelicals) flock to the GOP.

The independents, of course, swing either way.

We all have the right to associate ourselves with any party we want, because our political affiliations are driven by our personalities.

Maybe I am on of those who fall into the independents category, because I honestly think being stuck with either the Dems or the GOP is crazy.

While I can understand the legit reasons for associating with the Democratic Party as a black person, should the color of my skin alone be enough for me to support the ideals of the Democratic Party? Can any black person stand up and testify that they earned a PhD simply because there was a Democratic president in power?

Likewise, being a Christian is not a guarantee that the Republican Party is automatically suitable for me. Seriously, did you see the craziness that transpired during the Sarah Palin campaigns ? I can understand the whole idea of social conservatism, which it tied to the Christian faith, but what about skinheads and members of the KKK who are typically GOP supporters?

Even more, can anyone stand up and testify that in the past eight years, morality improved in the United States under George W. Bush?

Does this have anything to do with Tanzania? You bet. Just like Americans, Tanzanians are human beings. They are either governed by hope, faith or fear. While I don’t belong to any political parties in Tanzania, I’m of the opinion that folks vote for CCM simply out of fear and not hope for a better future. Granted, there are those who have dared to go the opposition way, but the majority still lean towards CCM.

I am not sure if the opposition in Tanzania could fare better than CCM in terms of bringing positive change, but surely it is crazy to vote along traditional party lines just for the sake of it. I think that is utter shortsightedness.

I really don’t know why folks vote either way, and I am not trying to suggest they should follow my path. Nonetheless, I would hate for someone to hijack my skin color, my faith, or inject fear in my head for their political ambitions. Besides, I don’t recall the last time a politician put food on my table.
Photo Credit: Anyone who took the photo

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