If you want to know what America might some day look like pay attention to tomorrow’s election in Uganda.
A ruthless thug will win a sixth 5-year term as president. And I mean win. He won’t stuff ballot boxes or manipulate judges. He got away with that in the past. This time Ugandan citizens – two-thirds of whom weren’t born before he first came to power – will actually choose to vote for him. With free will they will abdicate their own.
Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, is the most successful dictator in the world. He no longer needs, even though he occasionally uses, the brutal whips of uncontrolled power.
So when this year’s most formidable challenger, Bobi Wine, originally a pop artist from Kampala’s slums became one of his ten challengers in tomorrow’s election, the western elite rolled out the red carpets.
Red carpets are soft. Police batons are hard.
Wine wined and dined in the capitals of the western world, a pitifully unmerciful egging on that led to the kid’s multiple arrests and tortures and ultimately his decision last week to send his family out of the country before the election.
Westerner’s penchant for fantasy is so unrestrained that they sacrifice a foreign star to add a twinkle in their moral canon of good deeds. When, in fact they destroy good people while fortifying the despot’s rule.
You cannot undo a bad dictator with goodness. History is our proof: Bad dictators fall in violent, extreme ways – in world wars and bloody civil strife. They aren’t defeated in “free elections.” Bad regimes are another thing – like South Africa – when the populace is clearly opposed to the regime.
But that’s not the case in Uganda and could shortly not be the case in America. The populace in Uganda has been brainwashed just like the 40% of American Republicans who said after January 6 that they will still vote for Donald Trump in 2024, according to yesterday’s Politico poll.
Dictators come to power on despair. They only fall violently. How lucky we will be if the level of violence that rids us of Trump is no more than the January 6th insurgency. But I doubt it. For me Uganda shows what is entirely plausible in America.
It all begins with despair.
It’s not the fault of the white supremacist, just like it was not the fault of the Bugandan in Kampala that they were promised again and again by laudable thinkers and well-meaning politicians that life was forever an upwards trajectory to splendor. When this became patently untrue despair set in. And no super hero could recreate their fantasies.
So playing on the weak intellects that embraced the impossible dream to begin with, along comes the Big Guy to reek vengeance on the story-tellers and create a new reality.
Neither the white supremacists or the Bugandans will ever achieve the unfettered power they once enjoyed, but the Big Guy tells it otherwise and they slop it up just like they slopped up the first lies of the promisers they now want to murder.
His tenure in the course of history is short, but the life of the Big Guy is inflated beyond belief by the adoration of the despairing desperates. He deconstructs history so that blame is amassed on his opponents for all things bad. His supporters gobble it up. Even when they concede that the Big Guy isn’t the hero they always had in mind, at least he’s getting even.
The society feels a rush of … what? Hope? No, a rush of power. A whiff of the glorious past, however immoral or degrading it was. It’s intoxicating.
Museveni, of course, “loves” Trump. He loves the man who called Africa a “shithole.” Museveni just switched off the social media of his country as if it were his kitchen light. Just as Trump would do, proved by his holding the country hostage for not revoking the powers of Facebook.
But to me the most heart-breaking of all in this tiny moment of history is the sacrificial lamb, Bobi Wine, a good and naive and simple soul. Those who threw him to the wolves were the good guys in America and Britain, who encouraged him that “truth prevails” and “goodness wins.”
Museveni’s power is enormously beholding to such American ingenuity and dissimulation. He used right-wing Republicans to support his positions against homosexuality and womens’ rights, he courted favor with American populists like Kim Kardashian to improve his public ratings, and now worst of all he let good folks in the west promote a poor kid from the slums to become his next meal.
Who now “impartial observers” from around the world will declare that he “fairly and equitably” defeats. It’s just what he needs. It’s the icing on the cake of the perfect dictator.
Watch Uganda. Fear Uganda. Fear Trump.