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The Hurdles and Reality of Making National Decisions.

Byline: Paul Jeebah Albert

In this essay, I attempt to explain an unscientific, hypothetical scenario - a scenario in which I make some striking parallels between the consequences of decision making on a micro-level (small group), to the consequences of decision making on a macro-level (larger group).

On the micro-level, I use a man-to-woman model as it relates to dating, marriage and dissolution; whereas on the macro-level I use the national government versus citizens interaction model. As one reads this essay, he or she will discover that while the group sizes, the experiences, and the environments are different for both the micro-level and macro-level models, the experiences and results are typically the same. To conclude, I climax the essay making a few suggestions.

President Weah comes to office at a time when his administration has no choice but to face the stark realities of taking over a government from which the citizens demand so much but only so little they can expect to receive because of the government's inability to meet all of their expectations at once.

Nevertheless, if his administration takes heed and remains straight-up with the citizens and be persistent and consistent with its platform, it will weather the storm. Or, if it begins to falter in its utterances and actions towards the people, then its death will slowly occur in a 4-step process which engenders these stages: 1. Bliss 2. Skepticism 3. Inquiry and 4. Real Truth.

The stages of bliss, skepticism, inquiry and the real truth do reveal some clear-cut parallels between both a micro-level (man to woman) social relationship and similarly, a macro-level (government to citizen) social interaction.

The micro-level begins when a woman meets a man for the first time and she consents to dating him. They enter a first phase which I called bliss. I called this stage bliss because it is a very exciting time since the woman is discovering a new found love, joy and happiness in a relationship with an individual whom she does not know wholly but she hopes that the mutual trust between them can materialize into something permanent and beneficial.

Similarly, the macro-level begins with the ushering in of a new administration. The event is usually marked by celebratory ululation and jubilation from partisans, friends and well wishers of the newly elected president. And as it is naturally expected, the jubilations are often accorded with high expectations and thus exerting a lot of pressure on the new administration to deliver on its promises.

On the micro-level, the woman may find after a year or two of their dating experience that she is in love with the man and may consequently agree to unite with the man in an everlasting, blissful marriage.

On the other hand, after a few months of their dating experiences she may begin to sense some strange and noticeable changes in the man's behavior. As a result of this development the relationship shifts into the skepticism stage.

Notwithstanding, in spite of her doubts, she is not so sure yet; and moreover, she feels that it will be premature to draw any conclusions at this time; and after all, as humans we all have flaws; so he deserves a second chance; and that he might improve as time goes on.

In the same token on the macro-level, a new administration that faces high citizenry demands will have to walk the tight rope. To use the present development in Liberia as an example: many of the voters are yet in a blissful state and this euphoria is blinding them in a way that they do not understand that expecting too much at this time from President George Oppong Weah is too early. Consequently as time goes on, they might discover that some of their demands are practically impossible to meet; and this might lead to skepticism.

Whatever the case may be, the administration will have to use its leverage and political capital to do those things it has in its power to improve the lives of the average person. And if it does the right thing, it can take solace in the fact or realization that the citizens in a democracy do have a way of rewarding their leaders by re-electing those who will deliver on their promises.

On the micro-level, the skepticism eventually leads into a third stage which is inquiry, because the woman is growing weary and her patience is running out. She finally senses that certain things are not quite right about the relationship; and so her intuition gives rise to a strong feeling of uneasiness. Therefore, she begins to investigate and make personal assessment of the relationship. She asks herself whether she made the right choice because in spite of her willingness to work with the man, his outlandish behavior has increased at worst, and has become intolerable at best.

On the macro-level, inquiry comes into focus when citizens are becoming disgruntled and dissatisfied, and they begin to express doubts; they begin to investigate the government's performance; and raise questions about the government's inability to deliver on its promises. The situation is further aggravated when socio-economic issues like income gap disparity; deterioration in the quality of life for the average people; corruption on a grandiose scale; high joblessness and prevalent poverty are factored in.

It is a widely held belief among Liberians that these factors led to the political paralysis that plagued Ellen's Unity Party and led to its unpopularity.

On the micro-level, the woman reaches her peak as she tries to work with the man to make things work but it is just not happening. And if both partners are still dating, the woman will finally decide to end the relationship since terminating a relationship in its dating phase has far less consequences than attempting to dissolve a marriage later. In any case if they are already married, she will still choose to divorce him in spite of the emotional pains and devastation she is having. For it would be better to break-up and start a new life than to live in a continuous state of anguish.

This is the truth stage - the day of reckoning.

On the macro-level, Liberians have just gone through the truth stage experience - a stage of virtual political reality per se. The marriage between Ellen's Unity Party and the people have been dissolved after several years of what was perceived as an administration that could not identify itself with the pains of the common people.

The country has now entered into a new marriage with the leadership of President George Oppong Weah, and a new conjugal bliss has commenced. How the CDC-led administration will weather the political storms and undertake the prodigious tasks of nation building it has inherited from the Unity Party administration will depend on a genuine commitment to solving the country's crippling socio-economic crisis.

It requires an unwavering effort to combat corruption; an unwavering effort to create jobs and narrow the income gap; a relentless effort to re-educate the workforce and allocating resources to building the nation's educational, health and road infrastructures.
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Publication:The Liberian Dialogue (Monrovia, Liberia)
Date:Jan 31, 2018
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