“Who wants to be President?” – the sword of Damocles and the presidency

Date: 26th-january-2017 Time:  10:15:54 am

 

Back in Junior High School, I stood for the position of Girls’ prefect and won. The journey of becoming a prefect ; through the campaign and tenure of office was not an easy task but I thrived nonetheless.

This experience brings me to the realization of how difficult it must be to be President because even within my small school, the task was not so simple.

The President’s seat is a very hot one.

Every decision taken in that seat may become policy so whoever has the opportunity to be in that position must play his or her cards very well. Despite the difficulties faced in decision-making, there are also security issues that he/she would face once that position is attained.

Therefore, there is an automatic need for the president to be protected from all forms of danger in order to ensure a successful term of office.

That said, it would not be out of place to juxtapose the presidency with the Sword of Damocles story given the number of similarities between these two. Let the story begin.

The Sword of Damocles is a Greek story that brings to light the constant danger that faces people in positions of power. The character Damocles (which means fame of the people) worked as a courtier during the reign of Dionysius II of Syracuse, Sicily.

So Damocles always told Dionysius II (the king at the time) about how privileged he was to be in such a high and commanding position while being surrounded by magnificence.

Eventually, The king decided to switch places with Damocles (the courtier) so that Damocles could have a feel of the magnificence he was always referring to. Damocles accepted the proposal without hesitation but little did he know that he was not only in for a surprise but a lesson of a lifetime.

Before Damocles sat on the throne, the king had ordered that a huge sword should hang above the throne. The hanging sword would be suspended at the pommel by just a single hair of a horse’s tail. Hearing this, Damocles quickly pleaded with the king to withdraw his decision to allow him to sit on the throne indicating that he no longer wanted to be as fortunate as the King.

Damocles finally came to the realization that positions of power come with great danger and responsibility.

It is the same way with the Presidency; from a distance, we see the pomp and pageantry with everybody hale and hearty but the task is an arduous one which requires a lot of calculated risks.

Most of the time, people tend to give derogatory remarks or in simple terms hail insults on presidents (both past and present). I think this is a negative practice that must be brought to a halt. Regardless of who is in power and what they have done, it is not right to insult anyone.

Rather, it is more effective to take an objective stance on issues which we feel haven’t been addressed and even go further to suggest ways of how we can improve them. I think that way, everyone wins and no one gets offended.

In as much as the duty of the opposition is to keep the incumbent government on its toes, it is also important that praise is given where praise is due. Yes, I mean that regardless of whichever political party is in opposition, I look forward to a time in Ghana where there would be constructive criticism only and praise for the good work done (if any).

If a government can take a decision for the benefit of the country despite the fact that it may not benefit their individual party, I call that – political will. This is very much needed.

There were a few reports of ballot boxes being destroyed during the 2016 elections. To address this issue, I do not think that any disagreement is worth a fist fight. The factions involved could have had an effective dialogue in the presence of a mediator so that all skirmishes would be ironed out.

There is really no need to fight to prove you are right.

Lastly, I would like to touch on the issue of defending the indefensible.  This refers to a situation whereby one party is wrong but tries to justify the wrong-doing at all costs. Wrong is wrong and right is right, if you decide to prove otherwise, it doesn’t make you smart, it just makes you a puppet.

By:Naa Adzoa Adzeley Boi-Dsane

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5 thoughts on ““Who wants to be President?” – the sword of Damocles and the presidency

  1. I appreciate your writing and seem very fond of the article.
    My only suggestion is that I would love to see more expansion on your theme and context of your introduction.
    I would love to read more form you. Thanks.
    Kwame K.A Markin
    N.J USA

    Liked by 1 person

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