Wyclef Jean’s recent proclamation to the world that he is runnng for president of Haiti has garnered much ado on both sides of the fence. From my perspective, it appears that Mr. Jean is definitely well liked, well received and certainly well positioned (that’s the good news)! However, there are many politicos and popular celebrity pundits who believe that while Wyclef is passionate about his birth country of Haiti, he’s no leader.
Opposition has been very loud and clear from some very prominent celebrities. Amongst them, Haiti advocate Sean Penn and, former Fugee band member, Pras. Both men deliver basically the same message that Wyclef may be seeking to further his own personal agenda and is not poltically well suited for the task at hand. Oddly enough however, Pras is supporting an ex-musician by the name of Michael Martelly aka “Sweet Mickey” (I can’t make this stuff up!).
Wyclef supporters offer a very different perception. Wyclef is Haiti’s first son and ambassador. He’s shown his loyalty and passion for Haiti through his actions. Amongst these, Wyclef’s non-profit organization Yele Haiti which has raised millions in support of Haiti (albeit fraught with controversy) and through his actions as a humanitarian musician. Wyclef appeals to those Haitians who even if they cannot read or write understand the universal message of hope, freedom and a new Haiti for all.
I’m no political pundit nor Haitian nor a Wyclef supporter, I’m just a blogger, but here are a few things to consider. Haiti is ready for change and everyone is in agreement about this. Most of the nation is comprised of young people and most of Wyclef’s supporters will probably be the younger generation.
From a grass roots perspective, it looks like a presidency prime for the picking. Do you remember a young politico from Chicago who took the grass roots strategy and turned the world upside down? Obama opponents offered the same criticism, lack of experience, not a leader, etc. But if Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger were capable of morphing into politician’s WyNot Wyclef??