Trump and Museveni have a lot in common: similar policies (e.g., none) and style (dismissive, offensive, threatening).
And … they’re both way ahead in the polls.
Museveni’s spokesman told reporters yesterday that he can’t make the last debate (he’s not made any of them) because of a “tight campaign schedule” and because “people he hasn’t addressed are yearning to hear from him and he can’t disappoint them.”
The spokesman added that “most of the questions have [already] been asked” and that answering the same questions “would be a repetition.”
In two weeks Museveni will win another “election” and become Africa’s longest serving dictator after Robert Mugabe.
He has some very Trump-like brownshirt strategies this time around:
(1) Over the last year his government funded 30,000 “volunteers” from around the country that local police have trained in “crime prevention, ideology and patriotism.” I’m not sure if they give out their names, but there might be a Cliven Bundy or two among them.
(2) In past elections Museveni simply sent thugs beat to a pulp his perennial rival, Kizza Besigye, but this year by sanctioning more candidates than he’s ever allowed before, the other candidates are doing the beating!
(3) Museveni is leading in the polls. According to pollsters the overwhelming reason is that the electorate fears Museveni will kill them if they don’t vote for him.
Last night in America we had our first valid presidential debate. Front-runners duked it out while masterfully remaining polite despite media taunts, defining clear differences that could result in meaningful voting.
That was one of how many? A dozen debates so far?
Even in America, like Uganda, like Zimbabwe, like for numerous school board elections or union chapters or government cells in China or Greenland, democracy is horribly corrupted.
Power has shifted from each individual citizen’s one-man vote that reflected her own studied self-interest to manipulators and tricksters. Power today rests solely with collectives of elite.
In some places like China they may, indeed, be intellectuals. In America, it’s corporations. In Uganda it’s a single man: If the guy’s good, things will be OK. If the guy’s bad, tough story. Hard to say whether flipping the coin on a personality or choosing a complex social collective is better. Talk about lesser of the evils…
Is democracy dead?