Make Way for the Moderates
Dr. Laila Macharia
The tragedy of the current political crisis is that otherwise balanced and patriotic individuals, against their better judgment, have allowed themselves to be swept into a frenzy of irrational fear and rancor. The way out for all of us businessmen, hawkers, churches, schoolchildren ‐ is to openly adopt and advocate moderation.
Moderates uphold truth, quashing rumour and innuendo but never shrinking from voicing reasoned opinions. A principled leader, the moderate names injustice wherever it is. So one admits the election process was flawed and everely compromised the mandate and legitimacy of the current president. But one also condemns wanton destruction of property and abhors killings whether in the smoldering villages of the Rift Valley or by a policeman’s rifle in Kibera. Moderates see only the shattered lives and dreams of Kenyan families.
A voice of reason, the moderate refuses to be drawn into the zero‐sum game of finger‐pointing and division. Moderates speak of Kenyans and seldom refer to ethnic groups. Moderates don’t dwell on who they voted for in the last election. Their conversations are not about whether their former candidate is right or wrong, but whether the election can be made good so that we can all truly move on.
Moderates seek lasting peace. Moderates do not push other people’s pain under the rug. Moderates listen.
Moderates accept that our governance structure today is inadequate for the people we have become and that we have failed to give everyone a stake in our nationhood. Regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, race or physical ability, every Kenyan needs to know they are at home here, that we cannot move forward without them nor will
we leave them behind.
Moderates speak hope for Kenya. If Kenya is in a hole today, they have committed to stop digging. The moderate rejects propaganda and does not pass on inflammatory or alarmist text messages, negative prophecies or doomsday scenarios. He does not dwell on who did what to me. The moderate examines himself instead to see if he has any role in the mess we are in and what amends he should make. He says “I was wrong” and “I’m sorry”.
Moderates seek first to understand. They forgive. Moderates are young, old, black, white, Asian, Arab, multiracial. Taita, Kalenjin, Somali, Luo, Turkana, Luhya,
Kikuyu, Giriama, Pokot. Moderates are everywhere – selling makaa, running banks, rebuilding slums, overseeing construction sites, hanging off the climbing frame, in displacement camps, job‐hunting, comforting, healing.
Moderates talk to strangers. They create community. Those who hire seek a workforce looks like the face of Kenya. Before speaking, moderates weigh their words to build the Kenya they want to see. Politicians often have a different agenda from the average citizen. Yet, no leader can survive without the support of regular wananchi. Refusing to join the race to the bottom, the growing movement of moderates seeks to take back territory from hardliners by taking a stand for Kenya.
Are you a moderate? To join your voice with others of moderation and hope, contact email@example.com.