New Thinking: Team Gongloe and the Course of Nature

Joe Bartuah


The normal course of nature begins from something tiny--in some cases microscopic--to something visible and significant. For example, the source of a river is typically very small, optically insignificant, as compared to its wide mouth. Moreover, some of the Sequoia and Oak trees in the world grow up to over 300 feet in height and become gigantic, yet they all originate from tiny seeds. Even for us human beings, scientists tell us that our reproductive cells are microscopic from the onset, but once fertilization occurs, a baby, sometimes as heavy as 10 to 15 pounds, is born nine months later or there about and growth process continues.

The foregoing analogies are a reminder to fellow compatriots that the burgeoning movement to elect Counselor Tiawan Saye Gongloe as the next President of the Republic of Liberia is gradually following the normal course of nature. That is, the movement was initially conceptualized in the minds of a few like-minded compatriots and now, it is rapidly gaining momentum across the country and even beyond. 

Initially a few mostly young Liberians driven by selfless patriotic zeal, began discussing among themselves. They initiated such discussions, such conversations, because like hundreds of thousands of other fellow compatriots, they too, are virtually on edge; they are very, very eager to see Liberia join the rest of its African and other global counterparts in a forward march towards sustainable human development. Those farsighted compatriots began to hang heads because they desire to see a national leader that would exude dignity, integrity, confidence and respect nationally and globally.

Unfortunately, the Liberian people have watched over the years with consternation and even trepidation, the oldest African republic spiraling down the doldrums of abject underdevelopment and chronic developmental inertia. On a daily basis, they see for themselves the excruciating poverty prevailing in the country and paradoxically, they also see the callous, inhumane opulence being brandished by a few government officials and other power brokers, as they pretentiously mock the poor masses with meaningless, deceptive slogans for ostentatious reasons. And so rather supinely sitting on the fence and agonizing, our people resolutely decided to take a decisive stance a few months ago, hence the humble establishment of TEAM GONGLOE.

They basically concurred, they resolved that in order to put the country on a sustainable developmental trajectory, Liberia needs authentic leaders who actually mean well for the country, rather than miscreants or con artists who only ostentatiously hypnotize the poor masses, especially our young people with empty platitudes, while endlessly stuffing their private pockets with stolen money and enriching themselves. Indeed, Liberia needs a principled leader—President--whose stance on crucial public policy issues is well known and consequently, would not easily abandon his or her principle for momentary political expediency. The stark reality unfolding before our eyes on a daily basis is that if you elect a leader who doesn’t stand for anything, such a leader would definitely fall for whatever that might come his or her way for opportunistic purposes, a malignant end justifies-the-means scenario.

For Team Gongloe-2023, an authentic leader is a leader that can be TRUSTED nationally and internationally, because such a leader has credibility; because such a leader has integrity; because such a leader has the CHARACTER, capacity and determination to get the job done. Let’s face it, folks. In this age of multi-polar globalization, in this age of instantaneous communication and information dissemination, a TRUSTED leader is an essential asset for an underdeveloped country like ours, because potential donor countries as well as foreign investors tend to be very apprehensive about a leader with obvious trust deficits. 

Against this backdrop, the essence of Team Gongloe’s humble plea with the Liberian people is that after nearly 200 years of existence as a nation state and more than 174 years as an independent Republic, we need to change our collective attitude towards hiring people for our elective offices. 

In the past, we seemed to have taken our elective offices for granted, treating those noble offices like a dump site for people who had no desire to serve. As a result, rather than electing humble public servants to public service offices, we elected arrogant masters, perhaps because they had shared their campaign T-shirts and caps with us. Because we took our public offices for granted, we ended up electing some people with absolutely no known evidence of public service into public offices. One of the dismal results over the years has been that instead of serving the Liberian people, those arrogant masters with inordinate appetites for wealth have rather been serving themselves and their cronies, of course, to the detriment of the larger society. 

Amid such undesirable reality, Team Gongloe is saying that we as a people need to demonstrate our political maturity at this stage of our national journey, in order to derive a better outcome. Put another way, our attitude, as an adage would say, is like a flat tire. We won’t go anywhere, unless we change it. As a voter, you’re worth more than a T-shirt; you’re worth more than a campaign cap, or a plate of rice. Team Gongloe is basically reminding us that we have an opportunity for us to prudently adjust our electoral attitude for better results.

 So far, Team Gongloe’s consistent piece of advice to fellow Liberians is that if we continue to do the same thing over and over, if we continue to make the same error in judgment from time to time by electing the most corrupt elements of our society, because we have received T-shirts and caps from their political groupings, instead of putting into public offices principled, forward-looking leaders with the capacities to transform our country through a fair and equitable application of the laws, Liberia will not go anywhere in terms of holistic socio-economic development.

As I see it, there are indications that this cogent message about ordinary Liberians taking the lead to determine their destiny; the lucid message about ordinary Liberians working together to transform their common patrimony is increasingly resonating with hundreds of thousands of our downtrodden compatriots who have been groaning in abject deprivation and yearning for a for a transformative leader over the years. As a result, the natural course of growth and evolution is fast occurring, because what was put in motion by a few compatriots several months ago is now becoming a burgeoning national movement for authentic change in Liberia.

In Liberia, Team Gongloe is transcending beyond the narrow confines of an obscure office space to a bold, visible national headquarters with an optimistic mantra: A BETTER LIBERIA IS POSSIBLE. Motivated by their desire to help elect an authentic leader who will actually put Liberia first, the energetic members of Team Gongloe are making strategic inroads throughout the territorial confines of the country; they have been holding consultations with stakeholders and ordinary Liberians, the youth, who hold the key to the future; our elderly compatriots, whose plights have been grossly neglected in the past, as well as middle age Liberians, who seem to be stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty as power brokers brandish their wealth and riches before their eyes.

Of course, within the Diaspora, the noble goal of Team Gongloe is equally resonating with Liberians from all walks of life. Just a peep through the window of some key social media platforms indicates that Liberians outside of the country are embracing Team Gongloe’s message of making Liberia a better country. The last time I checked a few social media platforms, I came across Friends of Gongloe, Team Gongloe USA, Team Gongloe Global and Movement for Gongloe. Perhaps similar groupings would springing up in other parts of the world. So far, these organizations have clearly stated in their public statements that they all intend to vigorously work towards the election of Counselor Tiawan Saye Gongloe as the next President of Liberia. Even though no mortal being can say with certainty as to what lies ahead, what is becoming evident is that Team Gongloe is gradually making a memorable mark on the Liberian political landscape.