Democratic Flames

Democratic Flames

flamesofdemocracyKenya’s August 8 national election will test democracy as never before, anywhere in the world. Kenya’s incredible tribalism and its new found intellectualism are being force-blended into a modern world that just so happens at this very moment in human history to be questioning the very worth of democracy.

I think it will make it. Others aren’t so sure.

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Yuge Kenyan Rallies

Yuge Kenyan Rallies

kenyaelctionI’m in Kenya and you can’t walk out your door without feeling the buzz! Keep your eyes squarely here: It all happens on August 8. A national election that increasingly looks like it will be a major upset.

Kenyans have always been incredibly open people, and they are brimming over with optimism about this election! It’s not about their candidate. It’s what they think is about to happen:

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Sortition

Sortition

Democracy TrapPopulism begets dictatorship. Examine Africa to understand our era’s dramatic moves towards authoritarianism.

The weekend’s referendum in Turkey is at center stage. But it’s to the faster developing, least developed and most desperate societies in Africa that you should turn your attention. Strong men are reappearing and stronger than ever, precisely because they achieve their power using the ballot box.

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Better Not Pout!

Better Not Pout!

betterwatchoutAfrica’s a bit unsettled. Europe’s more unsettled than ever.

The world is connected by a million strings. They’re best seen from afar, because up close they’re indistinguishable from the humdrum of everyday life. The ones I watch are in Africa:

Growing protests turn really violent in the DR-Congo. The Gambian president who conceded defeat in an election now says only God can tell him to step down. The Ugandan military is flexing its arms like it did under Amin.

What’s happening and is it coming to America?

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Authority Dolls

Authority Dolls

authority-fossilThe trouble with authoritarian rulers is that their authority becomes more important than themselves.

Adam Barrow defeated Yahya Jammeh last week in The Gambia and unleashed days of celebrations in the capital of Banjul. Twenty-two years begun with a violent coup seemed to end happily when Jammeh called Barrow and graciously conceded. Seemed like the old man just had had enough.

But it just wasn’t that easy.

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Blasting Away!

Blasting Away!

demoschmacIs it a glimmer of hope or a foggy masquerade? Weekend elections in Europe and Africa suggest the former, but really, is the conservative populist movement terrifying the world coming to such a quick end?

The expected winners of Austria and The Gambia’s presidential elections, both die-hard if ruthless populists, were soundly defeated. Look to Africa for the greater meaning.

For certain, polling worldwide doesn’t work, anymore. That doesn’t mean you should just “forget about the predictions” because the predictions will tell you something very important.

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Battle #1 in The War

Battle #1 in The War

assaultonfreespeechIf you’ve got something to say, say it now.

The world is contracting into conservative populism and freedom of expression is in the gun site. Trump idly suggests shutting down the internet or incarceration for flag burning, and legislators in Kenya and South Africa kick gleefully into high gear.

Stalled legislation in both countries to curtail the press and freedom of speech is moving forward, again.

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Drought of Democracy

Drought of Democracy

malielectionGlobal conservatism will fail and Mali will soon provide the evidence.

Today Mali failed running a national election. The country’s inability to foster a democratic government three years after Islamic insurgents took over the country and were then ousted by the French will force the former colonial power either to occupy the country, again, or leave it to Islamic extremists.

This is the inevitable result of climate change and global political conservatism. It is the hidden elephant in the room that will traumatize then conceivably destroy the newly emerging political regimes of the likes of Trump and Le Pen.

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We’re Fired

We’re Fired

napoleonyourfired“Wide-spread primal scream,” al-Jazeera’s 1pm news hour opened, reflecting not only protests in the U.S. but reaction worldwide.

I found one positive remark in Africa today about Trump’s election: A close confident to the horrible Zimbabwe dictator said that Trump “could turn out great you know.”

I could spend the rest of this month curating the remaining multi-thousands of remarks of horror and disbelief that Africans expressed today. It gives me great latitude to pontificate, so here goes:

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Into the Forest

Into the Forest

intotheforestNo one knows what to expect from President Trump, so whether you’re a Kenyan tea farmer or an American software engineer or a South African financial consultant … suspend your fears. What he said in this incredibly nasty election, the alleged horrors of his past – forget. Elections are reality TV, and he knew better than any how to exploit that.

But everyone knows what to expect from a united conservative, Republican government. If that government holds under Trump – and that’s not certain – my predictions are clear:

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Two Clear Choices

Two Clear Choices

electiondayDiversity vs. Human Rights is the great battle of our time. Elections are defined by them. They are so sacrosanct that they defy the necessary compromises for functioning democracies.

Society gets strained, broken, then destroyed.

That’s what I see happening in America, today, as it has already happened in most newer emerging countries like those I know in Africa. But exactly how far have Americans gone towards destruction?

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The Whole World Weeps

The Whole World Weeps

thewholeworldweepsThe “world’s on edge” was the headline in South Africa yesterday, but I could have plucked it from virtually any corner of the world.

Most Americans don’t care what the rest of the world thinks, including Democrats and even Bernie supporters. I think of all the sadness I feel at this election, this is the greatest.

It proves that we are egocentric if narcissistic, but most importantly, grade school dumb. That may be fine for writing an involuted gaming app; it’ll kill you – and everybody else – in the real world.

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