By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, October 10, 2012
The Justice and Development Party along with the Independence Party have so far succeeded in influencing the poor Moroccan masses to vote for them in hopes for a better Morocco. Public speaking, the two parties’ common denominator, has long been the key secret to ‘brainwashing’ Moroccans and igniting the last vestiges of confidence in their hearts over and over again.
Our leaders’ public speaking, albeit raucous at times, is different from that of great, international leaders, such as American president Barrack Obama. Moroccans are more convinced by the speeches delivered in Moroccan Arabic, Darjia, with which they identify and swallow the speech components down their throats either by persuasion or by force.
Abdelilah Benkirane, head of the PJD-led coalition government, is currently gaining popularity, not because he has alleviated Moroccans’ social predicaments of all sorts, but simply because he has been good at convincing the poor Moroccan masses that living in Morocco is getting easier and easier. He has gained popularity through his emotion-laden speeches, not his actions. The same thing was true of the Independence party in its heyday. Yet, the PJD is more skillful at attracting the poor masses for the simple reason that their so-called motivation is the everyday concerns of the Moroccan grassroots.
Whenever Abdelilah Benkirane takes the podium, I can not help from being reminded of Old Major’s speech in George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm. As the wisest, oldest pig on Manor Farm, OId Major, like Benkirane, succeeded in gaining the hearts of his fellow animals, not because he made any significant achievements, but simply because he addressed the animals’ concerns which are food, dignified livelihoods, and the abolition of poverty and slavery. Here lies the secret to popularity. Similarly, whenever Benkirane appears, he makes promises of bettering Moroccans’ lives, sowing hope in Moroccans’ broken hearts by alleviating poverty, decreasing soaring living expenses and creating a dreamland for Moroccans.
One promise after another in Benkirane’s speeches! Still, in real life, Moroccans have yet to see Benkirane’s promises materialize and manifest themselves. In earnest, we must all agree that little has been done. But, Benkirane continues to deliver speeches before a large audience, for his speeches still induce Moroccans to forget easily and be convinced that life goes on more smoothly than it went before. “Thanks to public speaking!” Benkirane must think to himself.
Before coming to power, Benkirane delivered a number of speeches so as to persuade Moroccans to vote for his party. In the end, they actually did! It is now thanks to Moroccans that Abdelilah Benkirane is what he is today, head of the Moroccan government. But what was the secret? Delving into his speeches prior to the elections, we find that the mottoes he chanted were things like, “Let us fight corruption; we are here to fight corruption; down with corruption once and for all!”
Being tired of corruption and having their lives plagued by corrupt senior officials, Moroccans aspired to fight corruption and went on to trust their newly-elected leader who promised to fight it with his fellow Moroccans. Benkirane, however, was clever enough to realize that Moroccans’ main concern was fighting corruption. Now, it turns out to Moroccans’ dismay that Benkirane has not fought corruption and what he was preaching during the elections was only a promise to capture voters’ attention .
Moroccans have been easily sweet-talked like all the time, not by living proof, tangible justifications, or concrete examples, but rather by maudlin speeches delivered by an extremely emotive man, Abdelilah Benkirane. At the moment, it is crystal clear that the proclamations in Benkirane’s previous speeches on corruption went with wind now that Moroccans are certain that corruption has not been fought as promised.
Notwithstanding, as we know, Benkirane’s speeches can kindle Moroccans’ hope and confidence overnight. All he is in need of is a new speech through which he can convince Moroccans that fighting corruption will get Moroccans nowhere but to national chaos and instability. He did so more than once, and the proof that Moroccans have been convinced by Benkirane’s new philosophy towards fighting corruption is that very few Moroccans have taken to the street, asking to take to court corrupt officials. Promises of fighting corruption too are gone with the wind also for the simple reason that, as usual, Benkirane did his utmost to convince the Moroccan masses that it would be no use making a fuss about the corrupt.
In this regard, whether we still support Benkirane or not, we must be bold enough to admit that he defeated us. He defeated us because he is still enjoying ever more popularity. He defeated Moroccans because he is still in power. He defeated us because he was behind the increase in petrol prices. At this point, in order to avoid a blow from Moroccans over the decision to raise gas prices, Benkirane instantly appeared and delivered a speech where he said that the decision would be for their benefit.
Once again, he succeeded in persuasion even if poor Moroccans have not yet tasted the benefits of the revenues of the increase. So, it all revolves around public speaking, the tool Benkirane has at hand to ricochet off any demonstrations sparked by Moroccans. So long as his speeches are populist in rhetoric Benkirane succeeds in winning over the poorest of the poor Moroccan masses. Regrettably, the Moroccan masses are not aware that some speeches cannot work miracles
The newly elected Secretary General of the Istiqlal Party, Hamid Chabat is at present appearing from time to time, delivering speeches like Benkirane. During his speeches, he is trying to fill in the slots Benkirane failed to fill. By means of public speaking, Chabat is resorting to address the Moroccan unemployed, master degree holders in particular, and attempting to kindle hope for work in their hearts. Unlike Benkirane, Chabat says yes to condition-free recruitment, an initiative previously taken by Abass Fassi’s government.
Here, for Chabat, the ramifications of condition-free recruitment on the education system do not matter so much as gaining Moroccan hearts. Anyway, through public speaking, our parties can turn the most desperate Moroccans into the most hopeful Moroccans and the most pessimistic Moroccans into the most optimistic. It is simply a matter of delivering a popular speech to the down-trodden Moroccan masses, be it impromptu or well prepared. What matters is that it gains the hearts of the miserable.