The 3rd Leg

in Individual

As we are all susceptible to some sort of periodic rituals, habits, norms and formally adopted rational activities and procedures I too am often stricken by the phenomenon despite my conscious efforts not to. Here comes an American quadrennial greatest rational act of politicking campaigns and voting that no rational citizen can and should his face and ears of and his /her fingers refrain from jotting some words, lips and tongue uttering some sounds on the general and particular affairs of things presented by the contending aspirants and others that simply are shoved under the rug.

Like all having heard enough and not nearly enough or at all I found something that intrigued me and wanted to let it be known and see if it falls on some one's ears not that it mattered to me if it did, But because it felt to me that it ought be made , not that it has not been made clear already for I have witnessed before ideas spread at the speed of light even before the individual who conceptualized them takes them of his chest. It is just to remind we are in an age where we have information traveling not only at the speed light but ahead of it. If what I am about to write has been an established and written and narrated story, my apologies in advance for I had not known or encountered such a document and interpretation and I would have none other than a sincere gratitude to anyone who will enlighten me of such a prior existence if one wishes. If I may start with two quotes the story that I am about to tell, these two will stand out the most and may summarize it the best. "Politics is local" and "Epluribus unum"= from many one or one from many".

And the symbolisms of pyramid symbol the one the dollar bill and the Washington monument. From many to one and from one to many is in fact a description of the pyramid looked at from two vantage points from the top down or from down to top or if inverted it would be from one to many and from many to one if looked from below and then from above except that it won't be stable for it is needed that it be anchored on the many for stability. While our freedom and economy stands on its apex our democracy stands hierarchically on its base. It is a dual hour glass type relationship and synchrony where one is a mirror image of the other the mirror at the edge.

From the multitudes of the citizens the most able, the most willing and the most extra ordinary ideals are chosen from the widest spectrum of ideological persuasions and run in what is called the primary campaigns on their own individual platforms prior to party conventions contrary to party formulated platforms. It was not it seems without thought to preempt the formation of multitudes of parties and political blocks that it was meant to be that way. Because all political blocks on both side if the great left right divide have and can run their candidate on their platform and test, stir and steer the waters. Thanks to the foresight and wisdom of those who formulated such a political equation the two legged three pronged American system has lasted as much as it did and it will for a foreseeable future without a need for a third suspended leg.

When I mean suspended it is often does a good service to remember those third party and independent candidates that came and pass and ask where are they and why they did not make it anywhere in politics . It seems their national effort which lucked local constituents that are elected to office legislative executive or otherwise would look like a democracy standing on the apex of the pyramid that simply was not stable and durable and it wasn't never mind that they would have neither enacted nor enforced any of the policy initiatives promised by the campaigns just by being elected to the top executive office. This phenomenon of an independent candidate often creeps up during the quadrennial campaigns and dissipates in to the background and most of its issues and agendas taken up by lobbying groups and doing a much better job at getting it done.

Lobby is one of the means where ideas and issues that are not aired or taken by the two parties are given due consideration and pushed in the legislative and executive bodies as a second preemptive strike against the 3rd or independent party formation out of the dissatisfied, disgruntled groups that lacked voices in the two parties platforms sparing the American system from fragile coalition governments that often fail before its term is up for ineptitude to govern which are prevalent in some of the matured western democracies. The other main point that may not be passed without being given due consideration when these third party or independent aspirants show up they have often showed up at the top and national level without due consideration to the local level constituencies and local level politics.

Just like them third world political campaigns and elections where elections are often about the presidency and Primministership and then every power level will be filled from there down the line like the pyramid standing on its apex and very unstable for it is anchored on the individual that comes with an individual and goes with an individual. May be democracy should look at itself hard and determine whether it has to follow the natural course of growth from the simple to the complex, from the simple individual will, freedom and aspiration to the freedom of the multitudes and a freely elected individual and collective leadership out of them free or as is often the practice in a negation of natures order of things start from atop, the most complex, the few and an individual and trickle down to the bottom and the many in a self evidently failed effort. The struggle for the top post when everything else down the line is either ignored or deemed irrelevant the struggle would have been nothing more than a struggle between few who are endowed the might, the position and possession by simple accident or chance of being in time and place in a condition.

Democracy's full or partial for that matter realization demands and is strictly conditional upon the participation of the multitudes of citizens and building the institutions, mechanisms and instruments of implementation and execution from the very remote localities to the greater metropolises and capitals. As such it remains a dream that could only be realized by a hard work of building the so vital institutions from the bottom up and not by a heavenly intent and wish of an individual or group that often start from the pinnacle of power. These I feel is the endemic and systemic misunderstanding or intentional disregard that afflicts most 2nd and 3rd word aspiring democracies.

Though the American system has dealt with it for centuries and simply acquired immunity, the fact that such a scenario by way of independent presidential aspirants often appears is a reminder and a lesson that could draw attention to the causes of democracy's demise elsewhere and everywhere in the word and a reexamination of the practices of many the world over and our own stance in judgment.

Why is democracy so fragile in Afghanistan? Why is it so hard to build it in Iraqi? Why was the Kenyan election so bloody in a country that has enjoyed peace and stability for so many years and served as a model for most Africans? All I suppose were pyramids standing on the apex. Was there an alternative? may be hard to answer and I dare not, But I am sure of one thing and that is, everything would have been different if the pyramids were standing on their base.

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Ayele Teklemariam has 1 articles online
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The 3rd Leg

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This article was published on 2010/04/04
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