Issues That Will Determine The Conduct Of The Presidential Campaign In 2023 (1) By Muhammad Al-Ghazali
POLITICS DIGEST- One of the most enduring phrases in the history of American Presidential elections, was the question posed by the late Ronald Reagan in the Presidential debate with Jimmy Carter in 1980.
As the debate winded to a close, Reagan, somehow, managed to conjure the seemingly simple but devastating question to the American audience glued to their TV sets:
“Are you better of today than you were four years ago?”
In boxing parlance, the question was not only devastating, it was a haymaker or knock out blow rolled into one!
Reagan proceeded to win the election by a landslide! It was that easy.
Carter was not helped by an American economy in a spiral at the time. To make matters worse for him, American hostages were still in the hands of their Iranian captors.
Since that time, of course, the question has gone on to acquire legendary status in the history of American political lexicon on account of its versatility and potency.
American politicians against incumbents particularly those undermined by damning statistics of their records in office particularly during election cycles.
It resonated with American voters in 1980, and still does the same today.
As Nigerians prepare for the onset of serious campaigns by the eligible candidates in the 2023 presidential elections, it will be intriguing to observe and analyse the quality of their campaign manifestos and messaging to attract voters.
Just like in the American presidential elections in 1980, two important issues will be important to voters in my view.
The nation is reeling from an unprecedented high inflation, against the backdrop of an economy seemingly on life support; ordinary Nigerians now wobble under the relentless siege of unrepentant bigots, bandits, and kidnappers!
In that respect, we can only be sure of one thing: the one question the APC candidate will live in mortal dread of as the campaigns approach, will be the same one Ronald Reagan posed to hapless Americans in that famous presidential debate with Jimmy Carter in 1980.
“Are Nigerians better off today than they were in 2019?”
But even that will depend on whether Nigerians are prepared to interrogate the contentious issues rationally, and do not reduce everything to the single narrative of religion!