Reflections

Reflections

Everyone wants to know: what will happen to the Republicans? Look to South Africa.

You know the “ANC,” the party of Mandela, but in American terms it’s the Republican Party of South Africa: The ANC dominated South Africa just like the Republican Party dominated America. It had a crazy president who left in disgrace then spent the next years dodging jail, while dozens of his cronies and former ministers and family did go to jail! Then, just when you thought he was gone for good! He’s back to crack the party in two!

That’s Trump and the Republicans to a T!

Last night the ANC cracked. A hundred-year glue simmered away and the widespread public support of the bludging former President Jacob Zuma – Trump’s alter-ego in South Africa – is evaporating.

About half the ANC – led by a much smaller group that never tolerated Zuma’s dangerous antics and illegal activities – voted to start purging the party of Zuma’s champions.

Some like the current moderate president Ramaphosa (Romney’s alter-ego) are pretty safe. They always criticized Zuma although for a long time they didn’t actually oppose him, trying to hang onto his coattails. Then just before Zuma had to leave they started very vocally opposing him.

But most were like Ace Magashule, a perfect stand-in for Lindsay Graham. Pre-Zuma (pre-Trump) they had a long history of ideological but fair politics before they collapsed into the lap of The Leader doing his every bidding. Magashule’s the real loyal guy who will first be axed from the party in the next few weeks.

With literally hundreds of indictments still out against Zuma family, friends and not least, himself, this split in the party is likely to hasten the court cases. Why?

Because so many of the judges, prosecutors and commission chairmen were appointed during the Zuma regime, and now they have to show their real stripes: South Africa or Zuma. Until now the courts have been going slow. That will change.

Zuma’s been out of office for nearly three years. It took that long for the country to get its act together after his seven years’ of mayhem. It will be similar for the Republicans in the U.S.

And like Zuma Trump will not just go away. He commands a huge amount of public support, despite his patent criminality if not bizarre psychopathy. But what was clear during those three years was that the people slowly but surely moved on. It was actually nice to have some stability.

Party couldn’t move quite as fast; never does. The loyalists were cut in their ways; hard for them to rediscover sanity and truth. Even with diminishing support — maybe because of it, they doubled-down as Zuma’s Men.

The people wouldn’t wait. Surprise: the party won’t survive.

Something similar to the ANC will arise, certainly. The core principals of the old party are still rock solid and so valuable for a society that was physically separated by race for so long. I see another comparison here with America.

Not with race but with income. That isn’t to minimize the great importance of race in American culture today. I just mean that it’s the income inequality issue rather than the race issue in America which will drive the ultimate destruction of the Republicans.

Democrats ought not yet jump for joy. The opposition to the ANC never coalesced. It was too diverse to work in harmony against the ANC. In this important case South Africa differs radically from the U.S. The demise of the ANC heralds no clear successor.

I hope that doesn’t prove true of the democrats.

Time will tell. But believe me time has already told us Americans a lot: just learn about South Africa.