Monday, May 28, 2012

Youth Degradation: A Crime on the Conscience of Politicians

When the facade of altruism takes the front seat in the bandwagon of party politics, revs its engines and sets in motion in the direction of our towns and communities come the beginning of Ghana’s 2012 electioneering campaigns, it is most likely to be met with the same ambiguous pomp and pageantry that has become the burgeoning undercurrent of political rallies and its accompanying rhetoric. It also is, as much desired by politicians, the quintessential setting for gathering young men and women in the hope of sapping their effervescent energies for purposes that are more than less aimed towards the personal betterment of the politician, than the social and economic well-being of the young people whose energies are sacrificed. This, or worse the perfect setting for the appraisal by political masterminds of youthful wisdom, or the lack of it, seeing as this is the only opinion that can be surmised of politicians and their intentions for young people.

It is not with an intrinsic seed of cynicism that I look upon politicians and their super-sweet promises in the year of election, but rather a frustrated and angry countenance fed by years and years of disappointment, when the situation of young people is looked at.

I feel to them young people are but a means to an end, a personally gratifying end shaped by the lucrative opportunities afforded by political office. We are but an energy source, a superficial bunch of malleable individuals designed to be used by the politically astute. When the heat of electioneering dies down, and the beneficiaries of their outcome ascends office, I can plainly see them erasing all memories of the promises that brought them there, I can plainly see them feeling in their pockets, and guessing how deep they can get.

And yet, one is tempted to find fault in ones own disappointment in politicians, when politicians themselves have so very well written their history into the annals of the perpetual disappointers, as to look with disdain upon any who fails to be taught by them. However, with the kind of economic crisis and social despondency travailing the halls of young people today, even the most cynical of cynics would have hoped for that spot of humanity that often breaks through many a hardened heart in the times when it is needed the most. But apparently not with politicians.

The indifferent faces of students leaving the university, the throng of young people in the compounds of Western embassies seeking migration to a hope of a better life, the explosive outbursts of youthful anger in the streets and their readiness to defy authority all attest to the growing discontent with politics, party politics especially, and the governments that arise from them, among the age group whose shoulders would have hoped to carry on the responsibilities of a nation.

But alas, the greater proportion of young people from what is evidenced to me, are becoming ever indifferent to politics, and to a lesser degree governments. So the brute attributes of excessive corruption within government, and the hopelessness of it all, the rapidly decaying and ineffective education system (the subject of another blog) begin to manifest itself in a generation of cynics and detached young men and women who look upon politics and politicians as the personification of evil, an uncaring and divisive set of self-serving individuals. Might be a harsh thing to group all politicians in this bracket, seeing as there are, if only a few, genuinely concerned men and women with the care of their country at heart who happen to carry the tag of “politician”; but so consistent and overpowering are their failings that their few good are often overlooked.

When, then, the times comes when they visit our towns and communities seeking for our mandate for political office, it would be expedient on their part to see what sort of young hands greet them, and how cold or warm those hands feel.