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Opinions of Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Columnist: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa

P-ndc's "Reagan Democrats" To Vote NPP.

Like Atta Mills, Jimmy Carter was a very self righteous president; just as Mills unnecessarily -hypocritically- submitted himself to a body search at the airport, so did Carter have his moments.
Like Mills, Carter was challenged in his first term by a party "royalty" in the person of Ted Kennedy; just as P-ndc royalty, the PNDC Chairman's wife, challenged Mills last year.
Like Mills, Carter had become very unpopular in the last year of his first term. Many in his own party had become dissatisfied with the direction he was taking the country and the stagnation that had set in; just as many in the P-ndc are currently unhappy with Mills and paralysis that has come to characterize his administration.
Unlike Mills however, Carter was a fairly competent president. It was just that the country then desperately needed a certain kind of leader and Carter was simply not it. In the end, Carter was voted out of office with the help of his own party die hard who later became known as the " Reagan Democrats."
The Reagan Democrats, with their votes achieved two significant goals. First , through their patriotic spirit, they helped set the country on the right path. And secondly, with Carter's loss, they were able to reclaim their party and reestablish the ideas that had nourished the Democratic party over the years. Does this sound familiar?
Now we are not suggesting that the conditions under Carter and the particular problems he faced are similar to Mills'. It is not even close. We simply want to draw the attention of the many in the P-ndc who are dissatisfied with Mills to the precedent set by the Reagan Democrats. Like the latter they also can make history by boldly listening to their minds and not to their hearts. And like the Reagan Democrats, they would in the end achieve two ultimate goals: put the country back on track and the restoration of their founder's ideas- by taking back their party with Mills' loss.
But who are the potential Reagan Democrats in the P-ndc? They are not the "greedy bastards" who are currently chopping the nation's money. They are certainly not the foot soldiers who vote with their stomachs. The potential Reagan Democrats are those who understand what is at stake. They are the Volta house of chiefs who have vowed to change their voting patterns. They are FONKAR minus Dela Coffie; they are the Sekou Nkrumahs -who has endorsed Nana Addo. They are the Youth For Leadership (YFL). They are the 90 votes (3%) that the PNDC chairman's wife got at the Sunyani Congress.
In short, the potential Reagan Democrats in the P-ndc are those who have nothing to gain at present- under Mills- but everything to lose in the future-when they are no longer around to reap their sacrifices.
With less than a year to go, many in the P-ndc are undoubtedly struggling to accept the realities of the Mills' incompetence. Perhaps, there still remains a glimmer of hope in their hearts that Mills might turn things around. But they should be rest assured that there is no historical precedent for a president who performed so abysmally in his first three years and somehow was able to turn things around in the final year. And since Mills is not a miracle worker, the sooner they come to terms with his failures the better and easier it' d be when December comes.
If anything else, they must remember something the Reagan Democrats understood so well, that "sometimes the best gain is to lose."
History awaits the "Nana Democrats."
Akwasi A.Afrifa Akoto.