Power has a way of corrupting even the most well-intentioned individuals. Throughout history, we have witnessed political parties rise and fall due to the arrogance that often accompanies their grip on power.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the NPP once again, have all experienced the bitter taste of defeat, and a common thread evident in these defeats is the arrogance displayed by those in power.
This article explores the detrimental effects of arrogance in politics and raises concerns about whether politicians are truly learning from their mistakes.
In 2008, the NPP faced a shock defeat in the Ghanaian general elections. The party had been in power for eight years, but failed to secure another term. Many attributed their loss to the arrogance displayed by some government appointees and party leaders who disregarded the concerns and aspirations of the electorate. This arrogance bred resentment and paved the way for their exit.
Similarly, in 2016, the NDC experienced a similar fate. After being in power for eight years, they fell victim to the same arrogance that plagued the NPP in 2008. The party leadership failed to address the growing dissatisfaction among the citizens and took their support for granted. As a result, the NDC lost the presidency to the NPP.
As we approach the 2024 elections, the NPP finds itself on the brink of repeating history. The party’s current leaders appear to have learned little from the past mistakes of their predecessors. Arrogance continues to seep through their actions and rhetoric, alienating the very people they seek to serve. The sense of entitlement and complacency have overshadowed the party’s achievements, making it susceptible to defeat once again.
The Danger of Arrogance:
Arrogance blinds politicians to the realities on the ground. It inhibits their ability to connect with the electorate and address their pressing concerns. When politicians become disconnected, they lose touch with the pulse of the nation and risk making decisions that do not align with the aspirations and desires of the people. This creates an environment ripe for political upheaval and the rise of alternative parties.
Learning from Mistakes:
The concept of “power humility” must take precedence over arrogance for politicians to truly learn and grow. It is essential for political leaders to reflect on past mistakes, acknowledge their shortcomings, and embrace a more inclusive and empathetic approach to governance. Effective leadership requires listening to and understanding the needs and aspirations of the people. Only by doing so can politicians regain the trust and support of the electorate.
The arrogance of power has proven to be a significant factor leading to the downfall of political parties. The NPP’s exit in 2008, the NDC’s defeat in 2016, and the NPP’s potential future loss in 2024 all highlight the detrimental effects of arrogance in politics. It is imperative for politicians to recognize the danger of this trait and strive for humility and inclusivity in their leadership.
Failure to do so will only perpetuate a cycle of arrogance and the eventual downfall of those who do not learn from their mistakes. The fate of political parties rests in their ability to heed this warning and prioritize the needs and aspirations of the people they serve.
Nana Jantuah is (Media Practitioner /Business & Media Consultant, Green Economy Analyst )