dr-isatou-touray

By Alagi Yorro Jallow

Dr. Isatou Touray is one of those folks who want to ruin if they cannot rule. In a school yard she will be called a spoiled brat. In politics she is a dangerous demagogue with a dictatorial streak. Dr. Touray disgraced herself and our democracy by refusing to accept or questioned the credibility of the coalition process of selecting a standard bearer. Less than three weeks from Election Day, she has offered the latest example of why she is deeply unfit to be president of The Gambia. She has no interest in uniting the nation and has exhibited a stomach-churning disregard for our democracy and stained our political history.

In such a concept of public deliberations, intellectual and expert commentators are seen to play a crucial role by representing various positions in a debate, and critically engage with issues. They are also assumed to bring specialist knowledge or complexity to the discussion.While intellectuals are often defined as members of a learned intelligentsia, popular thinkers, drawing on grassroots experience, who engage in pertinent issues in reflective and complex ways are recognized. Gramsci spoke of all men as intellectuals, allowing for the existence of what he called “organic intellectual”, but he also observed that “not all men” have in society the function of intellectualism. Others have argued notably. Edward sees intellectuals as thinkers who are independent of the state and other interest, have an obligation to “speak the truth to power.” What is most strange in The Gambia is the so-called intellectuals, a majority of whom have dubious educational qualifications and or have educational standings, if any. Who have usurped the role of identifying what constitutes an intellectual life? The intellectual negotiating for space in the public arena where intellectual politicians are negotiating for dominance.

The nature and role of intellectuals includes the search for the truth, the interrogation of the meaning and implications of both public conduct and policy decisions. Individuals close to power who argue certain positions cannot be true intellectuals, individuals who take on the guise of the intellectual in order to promote embedded political positions are pseudo intellectuals. Where is Dr. Sedat Jobe? He abandoned the struggle after all the agitations and sensations on social media. Did he finally become silent because he could not lead the diaspora leadership after the Raleigh Summit?

One of the most aggravating aspects of contemporary political discourse is the smug, self-aggrandizing confidence of our so-called overeducated talking heads who struggle to talk to the poorly educated voters.

In politics what is deemed effective is alpha male behavior: the ability to perform, to dominate, to make quick, tough decisions and not be distracted by emotion.

Within meritocracy, we have women who cannot or will not make any claims for womanly skills or capabilities.

Although politics is hugely gender-imbalanced, there is an understanding on the part of both women and men that it should be a gender natural space of competition: a simple, though unexamined, meritocracy. Whoever is best at politics, gets chosen. Period!

In addition, the politician has come to free the baggage of family – willing to put everything aside to give political service, unproblematically, at all hours of the day. At the moment of selection, it is those women who can demonstrate most of these macho qualities that are chosen for office.

I believe in our Gambian democracy. I believe the sovereignty of the electorate cannot be dictated by the dictatorship of the intellectuals or by revolving door politicians.

This coalition is an opportunity for visionary politicians who were at Kairaba Hotel seeking a new political dispensation for the thousands of sickened voters. We have been desperately crying for change and must not allow anything to derail us from getting our country back.

Ends

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