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Victimization Is Bad Politics

by Dickson Igwe
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Resident columnist Dickson Igwe

Politicians who enter the arena of power with a vendetta may last a long time, but seldom end up well. These people are a key source of poor governance, and drive corruption and iniquity with their disruptive style of leadership.

Julius Caesar is wise to quit the politics of revenge.

One of the drawbacks of the game of power is how easily the politician can make enemies. A politician ignores his or her enemies at their peril. Ultimately, the enemies both inside and outside the camp are the nemesis of the politician’s dreams of power.

The First Chief Minister of the Virgin Islands, Honorable Hamilton Lavitty Stoutt stated once upon a time that ‘’ one enemy is one too many.’’ He was correct.

The politician who has an agenda of ‘’getting back’’ at specific folk for this or that reason follows a singular path. He or she is a micro-manager. That means their policy management is poor. A reluctance to delegate power is a ‘’ give away’’ pointing to trouble down the road. 

The vengeful politician is not a diplomat. Diplomacy is crucial in a modern democracy, however. Compromise is part of the power matrix. Diplomacy and compromise are siblings.

The politician seeking revenge loves the politics of exclusion. Divide and Rule is the game plan. This type of politician loves the clique. He or she enjoys playing one person against another or one section of the community against the other. Ultimately, that alienates one person, group, or the other, and that becomes another source of opposition to Julius Caesar.

The politics of marginalization is another device used by the vendetta-seeking politician. In a system where it is difficult to sack the object of the politician’s dislike or hatred, the next best option is to marginalize the victim. This is a waste of taxpayer cash, and the marginalized frequently outlasts the politician in office, in any event. 

The vindictive politician is the classic ‘’Jekyll and Hyde.’’ He or she possesses two faces and is adept at presenting a pleasant face to friend, and an ugly face to foe. It is easy to read these people. Eventually that ugly side over-rides the friendlier side, and his enemies become as cantankerous as the bad acting politician is.

Victimization is bad politics. In a small community especially. Word gets around. In four to five years, the politician needs to return to Jack and Jill Voter if he or she wants to return to office. An angry Jack or Jill will view the polling booth as the place of ‘’payback.’’ Angry Jack is also the source of discontent that mushrooms into a mob against Julius Caesar at an election.

A pool of enemies makes that proposition of return after an election for the politician harder, much harder. The maxim is wholly appropriate for Julius Caesar if he is wise: ‘’ keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.’’

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Dickson Igwe

Dickson Igwe

Dickson Igwe is an education official in the Virgin Islands. He is also a national sea safety instructor. He writes a national column across media and has authored a story book on the Caribbean: ‘The Adventures of a West Indian Villager’. Dickson is focused on economics articles, and he believes economics holds the answer to the full economic and social development of the Caribbean. He is of both West African and Caribbean heritage. Dickson is married with one son.


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