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When man usurps the dominion of GodRepulsive, offensive and vulgar

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Fri May 17, 2013

Editor: In an article titled: “Elections Equations 2015”, in this newspaper a few weeks ago, I made cursory reference to the issue of politicians and political parties either claiming to be or aspiring to be “in power”. I quoted scriptural reference Psalm 62, verse 11: “God has spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongs unto God.”{{more}}

In that article I had originally also cited Daniel, Chapter 4, the story of Nebuchadnezzar; however, due to space constraints, I excised it. This “power-struck” phenomenon is very widespread and pervasive and needs to be addressed. Interestingly enough, Nebuchadnezzar was chosen by God around 598 BC to be King of Babylon and God instructed the kingdoms and nations of the Middle East and Asia Minor to submit themselves to the authority of the Babylonian king (ref. Jeremiah Chap. 27). He instructed them that he (God) had by his “great power and outstretched arm; given it unto Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, my servant”. About twenty-nine/thirty years later (B.C. 569/570) Nebuchadnezzar had forgotten by what power he reigned, and standing aloof on one of his palace towers, looking out over the sprawling metropolis, pompously pronounced: “Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of ‘my power’, and for the honor of ‘my majesty’?”

It is, therefore, from this perspective that I am dedicating an entire article to the issue of so-called “Political Power”. I am trying to figure out how it is that a politician or political party goes around about every five years from house to house, village to village, political meetings and rallies, asking the electorate to elect them to “office” and then having been elected, turns around and says they are “in power”. To me that is very repulsive, offensive and vulgar. The fact of the matter is, if a politician or political party asks the electorate to put them “in power”, I do not believe that the electorate would oblige. I for sure will not. I’d rather stay home on election day than to go and mark an “X” to put a politician or political party “in power”. I hear it on both sides: “Since we are in power.” Or “When we were in power” or “When we get in power”.

Nebuchadnezzar was also infected by this “in power” disease and he paid for it. It is interesting to note that the Babylonian kingdom is a forerunner of Sadam Hussein’s Iraq and Saddam actually emulated the ancient king, despite the folly and downfall of the ancient monarch. Nebuchadnezzar, drunken with and by “power”, took unto himself the credit for the exploits of his kingdom. He forgot about God. It was all about him now. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Needless to say Jehovah God humbled him by putting him out to pasture among the farm animals for seven years, where went on all fours and ate grass like any other four-footed bovine specie. A stupendous fall from grace.

What does the scripture have to say about man and power? The only references you will find in the scriptures relating to power, as it relates to man, is in relation to when a person is converted and filled with the Holy Spirit, then the spirit will give such a person “power” to perform miracles, to cast out devils, or to earn wealth for the purpose of taking care of themselves, family and to be of service to mankind. Never from a strictly secular perspective or in the context of lording over others or of imposing their will on others. In the system of government and politics, the electorate elects representatives of the people to “office” to perform mandated functions; the authority for which was given by the electorate. It is for this reason that I believe in the “Right of Recall”. When an elected person deviates from the mandate given to him or her by the electorate, such electorate should have the right to recall the errant politician and should not have to wait until the next general elections to do so. In the United States, the “Articles of Impeachment” were enacted as “an alternative to assassination”. It is that serious! That is to say, when an elected official, usually a State Governor or the President, is either so corrupt or otherwise out of touch with the wishes of the electorate, and the electorate need to rid themselves of such a politician; that to avoid having to “euthanize or neutralize”, they can impeach. Other lesser municipal jurisdictions, such as some counties and cities have the “Right of Recall”.

If political parties and politicians see themselves as being “in office”, it would naturally follow that they are there to “serve”. Conversely, if they perceive themselves to be “in power”, then instinctively, they would see themselves as masters or demi-gods whose right and duty it is to “lord over” and “rule” the people. The next general elections in St Vincent and the Grenadines are not too far away. I implore all hopefuls and aspirants to political office to bear in mind that when they come to the electorate asking for their votes to be elected to “office”, that that is precisely what the electorate does. Whether you or your parties are successful or not, the fact is that persons who cast their votes in your favour, did so to get you elected to “office,” not “power”.

There is a cruel irony to this “in power” objectionable and nonsensical vulgarity. Oftentimes “in power”, but powerless to solve problems that affect the everyday lives of people. So, what is the extent of the “power”? Any political party or politician who or which claims to be “in power” and turns around and says to the electorate that they are “powerless” to find solutions to the problems that confront the nation and the people, or had been in office or “power” and was powerless to bring about developmental and infrastructural projects vital to the economic and social advancement of the country, such as an international airport, bridge over the Rabacca river, home health care for the elderly and the universal access to secondary and tertiary education, they should not ever again be given an opportunity to lay their invalid, feeble and powerless hands on the reins of government. The electorate ought not to accept any excuses from any politician or political party that claims to be “in power.” “In power”? Solve problems! Find solutions!

As Abraham Lincoln reminded us “Government of the people, for the people and by the people” is most desirable.

Some of the chief offenders are unelected operatives and activists who represent the political parties. Political parties must therefore ensure that such persons are sensitized as to the pronouncements they make on behalf of the parties. “Loose lips sink ships”.

I end this article as I ended the referenced article, because the caveat bears repetition. When seeking or elected to political office: “Sophrosyne humility must be the rubrical standard.”

Benson Feddows

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