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Opinions of Monday, 30 November 2020

Columnist: Benjamin Pulle Niriwa

Increasing politics of insults is a threat to modern democracy and peace

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Understanding What Politics Is

Life on earth is becoming too violent, especially “political violence” (Majumdar, 2020) that; the World Health Organization (WHO) declares it as a worldwide public health challenge (Dhahlberg & Krug, 2006; WHO, 2002) that needs solution. Insult or verbal abuse is one of the major causes of violence, that has found its way into our modern-day democracy and politics! It is defined as when one: “insulted you, called you names, or swore at you; threatened you; undermined or belittled what you do; excluded you or repeatedly ignored you; threatened to harm others that you care about; prevented you from seeing others that you care about” at a frequency of at least “10 or more instances in the past year” (Cooper et al., 2008). We reduce the increasing politics of insults through understanding what politics really is.

If we understand what politics really is, we would see that there is no need to insult opponents. The mentality that we have about politics is what leads to hatred and insults! Politics, as its name implies, has many definitions from various writers too (Bambra et al., 2007; Bambra b et al., 2008; Leftwich & Callinicos, 1984). Politics is: “The art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy” (, 1828). Though this definition makes it looks if politics is all about governance, it can be found in everything that we do on earth; and there is no mentioned of insult in defining politics (Bambra b, 2008). Like it or not, genetically, every human on earth is a “political animal” (Tsakiris, 2020; Petersen & & Aarøe, 2012; Pecknold, 2012) and we must learn to respect each other as we do decent politics; tolerating each other for peace (Fig. A1) as partners, but not enemies.

Three Hundred Million (300, 000, 000) spermatozoa are released during sexual intercourse, only 200 of them get to the uterus/womb, but it is only one that fertilizes an ovum for fertilization and conception to take place (Oliver & Basit, 2020; Trebichalská & & Holubcova, 2020; Alberts et al., 2002). This alone proves that even our conception is political (Millions of spermatozoa competing to fertilize only one ovum)! Our fathers have to do everything possible (even to the extent that some of them lie, just like most politicians do) to win the love of our mothers from other interested and competing men.
Politics is amongst “the oldest professions” (Sitzman, 1999) on earth, in fact it is even the first oldest profession that has been forgotten and “Prostitution” (Wickman, 2012) is always referred to as the first! Some writers even still question whether politics is a profession? (Schneier, 1987). But the first democratic Politician is God Himself and He demonstrated this during the creation of man where He said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness …” (Genesis, 1:26, KJV 1611). This means that politics existed even before man is created, since God is the first Political Leader! “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” is a prove that God is democratic.

We should understand that politics is “Democratic” (Kelly et al., 2017) - it is about free, respectable, reasonable, and responsible responses to responses or expression of ideas that you believe will help make the lives of human kind better. The Mentor of all politicians (God) never insulted his opponent or anyone! Insulting opponents does not sell your ideas: it sells your dirty mentality to followers and secrete admirers. Anyone who is involved in dirty politics or politics of insults is not doing politics but he/she is doing nothing but discrimination or “sabotage” (Sarwar et al., 2020; Sriram et al., 2018; Chowdhury & Gurtler, 2015).

Doing politics is like children from the same parent who are thinking about how best they can clear their parent’s land for farming – they are all having good plans about how to best clear the land. For the father or mother, all that he/she wants is that the land should be cleared within season for farming. If your other siblings are giving different suggestions/ideas from what you are suggesting, that does not make them your enemies. They may suggest that you should hire a tractor to clear the land, because that one is faster. You may also argue that it is expensive, instead of spending plenty money to hire a tractor, you should rather hire laborers to clear it. This is what makes politics democratic! You are all trying to influence your other siblings to agree with you, but not by insulting them. You are also all still children of the same parent: disagreeing with each other does not take away your genetic belongingness as family members!

There is no justification for politics of insults! It only creates hatred, division/discrimination, violence, and disturbances that destroy our unity, PEACE and development. But intolerance can to politics of insults which can only be stopped through tolerance. UNESCO, 2017 and Verkuyeten et al., 2019 defined Tolerance to be: “Respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms expression and ways of being human”. Tolerance (Fig. A1) puts our differences away and brings “mixed communities” (UN, 1995) together as one to live in peace. When we allow tolerance in our politics, it does not create any room for politics of insults. It rather helps us to use the “Chief Politician”, God, as our mentor.

Recommendations or Suggestions
*Everyone must make an effort to know or understand what politics is all about, this will guide him/her on how to do decent politics.
*It is not everyone that will agree with us, disagreeing with each other and having different opinions does not make us enemies. We are only sharing ideas or opinions.
*Being politically neutral is not about having no party, it is about making neutral decision on issues of national importance.
*Being a politician is not a crime if we use God who is the Chief Politician as our mentor.
*Our ability to love, respect, forgive, tolerate, be patriotic, and be responsible with our political messages, is what will help change people perception that politics is a dirty game.
*If most politicians would begin to be truthful and do evidenced-based politics, the image that all politicians are liars would change. People will begin to trust or respect politicians, and this will reduce political insults.
*The moment any politician begins to spread falsehood about his/her opponent for political points, he/she is indirectly creating a bad image about himself/herself and politics leading to politics of insults.
*The party membership’s card must be a tool for making politics dignified and decent. It must not be a certificate for violence and crimes to spoil the image of politics.