Dear MacDella Cooper,
In the dog-eat-dog world of the corrupt, get-rich-quick culture of Liberian politics, what is needed is a "Donald-Trump" type candidate who sets himself/herself apart from the establishment career professional politicians who have no record of success in the private sector until they enter government. None whatsoever.
Will Liberians trust any woman again after the disastrous, corruption-driven, nepotism saturated entrenched, failed leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf?
This is the question Ms. MacDella Cooper must answer. How is she different from the rest of "professional politicians?"
MacDella Cooper must cast herself as an "OUTSIDER like Donald Trump did who has not held any government job.
She must be ready for the rumble-jumble-tumble of the dirty Liberian politics. Put aside political correctness and step on some toes; call a spade a spade and take no prisoner in how you intend to fight corruption.
Tell Liberians who you are: daughter if a Bush Grebo woam, a war refugee young girl who made it big time in the Mecca of the fashion world in New York City, but wjo first went to school, earned two degrees including a Masters, became a successful businesswoman, a humanitarian/philanthropist caring for the poor and war-orphaned Liberian children and providing them with food, shelter and education.
Without bragging about your considerable wealth that you rightfully earned, MacDella Cooper will do good to stress that she is not running for the presidency to get rich, but to give back to her country.
And if necessary, pledge to drastically reduce the Wall Street-like salaries and perks of top government officials, including those of the President, Vice President, lawmakers and others in the judiciary.
Hire people who will research the fat salaries of officials, and promise to donate some of your own salary to the needed: unemployed, underpaid teachers and health-care workers, etc.
Get hold of the over 100 General Auditing Commission audits and all Presidential Task Force investigations that President Sirleaf has shoved under her desk and vow to prosecute all those implicated and jail the crooks and seize their properties to get back the stolen Liberian people money. These are all public information.
In politics as in elections, you either win or lose and no bull about it; one is in it not to settle for second place. But separate yourself from the rest and let people know what you stand for so that you hold your head up high with pride and dignity even if you lose.
There will always be the next elections and you never compromise your core beliefs. You are still young.
And beware of all the political Judases who will profess their "love" for you, especially Liberian politicians. Most are in it for what they can get from you. Always identify yourself with the poor in Liberia.
It won't hurt to spend a night in the homes of the poorest of the poor in New Kru Town, Soniwhen, Sinkor Old Road, Bassa Community, Logan Town, West Point, Slipway, PHP, Buzzing Quarters, Clara Town, and other ghettos to feel their pain and suffering.
Be a different candidate from the rest who will promise a better life for Liberians but who have not visited these poor communities during their political careers.
If not, Liberians will see you like the rest of others before you I call "vacation or tourist candidates."
Most go to Liberia only during campaign seasons and then run back to the comfort of America after they lose. Establish a base/home in Liberia and not only during elections.
But above all: who is MacDella Cooper? Why does she want to be president? How is she different from the other career, professional Liberian politicians who see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil because they are all part of the corrupt culture that nurtures them.
Like Donald Trump who the establishment American politicians said didn’t has a chance at winning the White House, you can make or break your chances depending on your message. Your appointees, VP running mate and others in your campaign should send a powerful message that you mean business.
This is just a thought and not a sermon, and good luck Ms. MacDella Cooper.
Jerry Wehtee Wion,
Journalist and Political Commentator
Washington, DC, USA