To be or not to be..NDP
A couple of days ago I said I was taking some time off to think about a serious decision that I am forced to make ( and no, it’s not a sex change operation, thank you very much Jeff you wanker). Since I still can’t make up my mind on it and I am still torn between what I want to do and what I am told I should do, I am just gonna lay it all on you guys and hope you could convince me of choosing one way over the other. Ok? Ok.. Here is the deal: My family wants me to run in the next municipal elections as part of the NDP list. It wouldn’t really be running, and I won’t even have to do anything, because those elections aren’t really elections because they get boycotted by the opposition. So basically whoever is on the list gets elected. Simple as that. I would become a member of the city council with no campaigning necessary. They have enough clout to place me on the list with my cousin and come November I am an elected official. The reason why they want me to do that is simple: the old guard’s time is nearly up. For better or worse, Egypt is going to go through a transition with Mubarak Sr.’s era ending and his son’s beginning and this will include their men. Now is the time to jump on the Jimmy wagon, and only a few seniors are allowed. New blood is needed to ensure that our family stays connected, because in Egypt if you are not connected you are screwed, and therefore the best time to start acting is now. Me and my cousin fit perfectly the new mold of the future NDP men : Upper-middle class upbringing, politically astute, multilingual, US educated, etc… You know, good faces to represent Egypt and the new regime. It’s also worth mentioning that the municipal elections have now new-founded importance and power : According to the new election law, if you want to run for President, you need to get approval signatures of municipal council members, alongside those of parliamentarians. They will get to have a big say on who runs and who doesn’t, and this is particularly important to the regime that the councils to be filled with regime loyalists or in my case, the sons of regime loyalists, to ensure that no real competition gets to run. After a round or two of serving there, and proving your loyalty, you get to run for parliament with the full party support and you may even join a cabinet. It’s all very straightforward and simple really. A “No-brainer” as my cousin put it. And it is. For most Egyptians, such an opportunity is a no-brainer. Well, except for this particular Egyptian. It’s not a no-brainer. Not one by a long-shot. I am naturally opposed to the whole thing, and actually quite disgusted by it. This is against everything that I personally believe in. Against every principle that I have, stupid as they may be. There is no way I would accept this I said to them. No freakin way! (But…) They tell me that I need to not just think for myself and start thinking about what’s good for the family. The Family that took care of me, paid for my education in the US, got me the job I have now. The family that has given me so much already without asking for anything in return until now. They tell me that I need to stop being such a selfish ungrateful bastard and start giving back. That the Family needs this of me and that I am the only one who can really pull it off, because my cousin isn’t half as smart as me. They inform me that it is my responsibility: I have to take on that responsibility now, because there is no one else to do it. They remind me that I owe them, and that now is the time to pay. (I knew this day would come) I tell them that the price is too much to pay. It’s too much of a responsibility and that I can’t take it. I can’t be that person. (You are just being selfish. Think of all that we have given you.) I tell them that If I had known that that would be the price I would’ve have never agreed to travel in the first place. I told them that I have never wanted their money. I remind them that the majority of my college education I had scholarships and that I got my Masters degree through a scholarship just so I wouldn’t take their money. That I paid for my trip and all of my expenses when I went and visited my Mother during her operation and I still pay off that debt till this day. That the reason why I still do not have a car is because I refuse to take a single penny from their unclean money ;Money that I haven’t earned and that I know comes from shady dealings. This is also the real reason why I put up that donation button: I hoped in my delusions of grandeur to collect enough money so that when the shit hits the fan I would never need their money or help. I tell them that I don’t want any of it. Not anymore. I have shown you guys that. They then tell me: Then if you don’t for us, do it for the country. You know that this country needs people like you. You know that amongst the new guard and the NDP that there are many good people that actually work to advance and reform and improve this country. That it’s not all as bad as you believe. Those people are the reason why this country still floats and hasn’t completely turned to shit yet. They keep the ship going for all of us. Aren’t you the one that always bitches about wanting to change things, to improve things in this country that you claim to so dearly love. Well, here is your chance bucko. It’s time to put up or shut up.You know that you can’t beat them, so you might as well join them, and attempt to do some good. And this stops me and makes me reconsider. (It’s not always so black and white after all, huh?) Look, I have no delusions about what it is to join the NDP and get elected in the municipal elections. Being an elected member of the city council is freshman year in the NDP corruption college. It’s corruption 101 and the only way to pass is to cheat. That I would have to play along to some degree, give a blind eye or maybe even partake a little bit in the “action” so that the people there wouldn’t feel threatened by me. There is only honor amongst thieves as long as they steal together, otherwise all gloves are off. I would have to play Ball enough times for them to let me be and that would make me the same as the corrupt hypocrites that I so heartedly despise. But… (Here comes the rationalization) But I am also a pragmatist. I know that the measure of power only belongs in the hands of those willing to yield it and use it, and I am willing. I know that things won’t change on their own, and that someone needs to initiate it and ensure it is done right for things to improve around here. I would ally myself with the devil if it means that this country gets better. I honestly would. And they are right that this is my chance to do so, to try to and do the things that I believe need to get done. That this is my one and only chance to do some good, to make a difference, to change things from inside the belly of the beast. (However) Being inside the Beast’s Belly means that you’ve already been eaten. If I participate in this, there is a fairly good chance that it would change me instead of me changing it. I am well aware of that. Doing what needs to be done would require one hell of a stomach and a ton of effort to make just a tiny bit of difference, and I am not sure I am the guy for the job. I am not sure I am strong enough. Not to mention, I am no hero. I am not willing to martyr myself or compromise my integrity for the sake of a “greater good” that may never be realized. I am not that man. Sigh.. This is why I never wanted to come back to this country. It’s like watching a trainwreck waiting to happen that involves a train carrying all of your loved ones running 200 miles per hour and you can’t help it or stop it. And then they tell you that you can save your loved ones on the expense of forsaking all the other lives on that train. I don’t want to make the choice; nor do I want to watch the train crash. Call me a selfish coward all you want, but I just didn’t want to be around to witness it at all, let alone even get asked to make that insane choice. I wanted to stay out of it all! Just run away and hide somewhere else that is not here.
Mom : Leave, leave, leave. Everyone is leaving this country! If all the good people leave it, who will fix it? Me: So you admit that your people broke it?
But it doesn’t matter. I am here now and I can’t escape. If I ever want to get back to the states it would take a lot of money that I don’t have and they will stand in the way every way they could. I am stuck here, for better or worse, and I am forced to make that decision whether I like it or not. Every person that I know tells me not to be stupid, to accept the position, to do what’s best for your interests and everything else be damned, especially my stupid principles and morals. That that’s the smart thing to do. But…I just can’t! Help?