On political intra-marriages

BY: Samuel Alesu-Dordzi
 Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia — General Secretary, NDC is for intra-party marriages
Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia — General Secretary, NDC is for intra-party marriages

Deciding on what to write about this week has been tough.

A lot of things seems to be happening at the same.

But I decided to zero in on one particular story – Johnson Asiedu Nketia and his advice to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) faithful to marry amongst themselves as that is the only way to grow the party.

In his own words, he noted that: “We shouldn’t allow NPP men to come and marry NDC women because if that happens the men will force the children to become NPP supporters.

“If you look at Akufo-Addo’s history, His father, uncle and grandfather are all part of the big six, what happened was that they allowed their relatives to marry each other so it was difficult for Akufo-Addo to defect.”

I know politics is everything for some people.

Some swear by their political parties.

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Some live for their political parties.

Some would die for their political parties.

Some would do anything for their political parties.

There is nothing in principle wrong with this.

Everyone has a right to decide on what to do with their lives.

A person acquires political knowledge through a number of means - one of which is by parental socialisation.

Many political science text books support the view that a person’s political views and inclinations are informed by the kind of socialisation that he or she receives at home and to some extent the community.

If your parents are capitalist in orientation, you are likely to grow in an environment that supports the validity of capitalist ideals.

If your parents are born socialist, you are more likely to find yourself in a situation which would affirm your love for socialism.

The call by the NDC scribe endorsing intra-marriage within the NDC is not new.

And we would be kidding ourselves to think that this view is only applicable in the case of politics.

Far from it.

Churches actually recommend it for their members.

Catholics are encouraged to marry Catholics.

Charismatics are encouraged to marry Charismatics.

Pentecostals are encouraged to marry Pentecostals.

The preachers and adherents of this view strongly argue “against being unequally yoked”.

And that is what the NDC chief scribe is aiming to put across.

I have heard of family feuds arising after the 2016 Presidential Elections in the United States of America which saw Donald Trump being elected as President.

The Democrats in one family consider the Republicans as bigots and traitors; and vice versa.

Wives won’t talk to husbands and husbands won’t talk to wives because of these deep seated political differences.

So at a superficial level, it makes a lot of sense to counsel persons to marry others with whom they share the same political and ideological beliefs.

But let’s not forget our unique stories and backgrounds.

We have enough divisions in our society already.

We are heavily divided on religious, social, economic, tribal, family and political lines.

People who are getting married are already weighed by considerations of tribe, religion, social and economic status.

Now, they are being asked to include onto that list, political party preference.

I wish the adherents of this edict the best.

We have seen enough havoc arising out of our heavily polarised landscape.

We do not need any more division. We have seen decades of power revolving from one tradition to the other.

We all know the half-truths and weaknesses in every political ideology.

We know that in order for an economy to survive and become prosperous, a single political view cannot provide the answer.

This country does not need men and women who are politically steeped in one direction and blind to the possibilities on the other side.

We need families with diverse political backgrounds and experiences.

We need families who have agreed and grown used to having and respecting political opinions which are radically different from theirs.

We need families made up of men and women with different political traditions to explain to their children what it means to be a member of the New Patriotic Party and what it means to be a member of the National Democratic Congress.

We need families that can withstand the stress of political differences.

We need families that believe in open and honest debates.

That is the only way that we can have a strong nation.

That is the only way by which we can have an informed population.

That is the only way by which the next generation can make very informed political choices and not simply follow some blue print because generations of family members have done so.

If the family is the basic unit of society, then we must welcome diversity of political views.

We can’t discourage political diversity at the family level and pretend to encourage tolerance and diversity of opinions at the national level.

It just doesn’t add up.

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