Friday, May 10, 2019

Could South Africa Syndrome Afflict the USA?

Friends, take a gander at my latest article, which analyzes the lessons of South Africa's recent general election.  I suggest that the racialized nature of South African politics mirrors what Democrats are trying to achieve in this country -- and South Africa's decline could presage our own...

Democrats Look at South Africa, and They Like What They See

Even in the wake of its latest free election, held on May 8th, South Africa is not, on the face of it, a model of vibrant democracy. The country suffers from persistent racial divisions, a stagnant economy, poor service delivery, rampant crime, and the world's worst income inequality. Surely this would not be the kind of society that any American would want to transplant to our shores. And yet...the America that Democrats envision and are striving to create looks very similar to dysfunctional South Africa. We should therefore view the country's steady unraveling as a cautionary tale.

South Africa's democracy got off to a promising start in 1994 with the end of apartheid and the election of Nelson Mandela as President. Mandela strove to reconcile whites and blacks, and to improve public services for the nation's poor while safeguarding private property and expanding foreign investment and tourism.

In more recent years, however, South Africa has suffered under corrupt, incompetent leadership. Its economic growth rates slumped (averaging less than 1%), unemployment is close to 30%, rates of murder and rape are among the world's highest, and the government has embraced a policy of expropriating white-owned farmland. 

Mandela's African National Congress has kept a firm grip on power, but the Economic Freedom Fighters, who espouse socialism and demonize whites, are gaining support. Voting preferences also remain overwhelmingly race-based. Large majorities of whites, Asians, and people of mixed race support the opposition Democratic Alliance, while less than 10% of blacks do so. Only 4% of whites vote for the governing ANC.

A racially Balkanized and dysfunctional one-party state: that is, sadly, what South Africa has become. It is also what Democrats want to turn America into.

Yes, Democrats claim to want racial harmony and opportunity and rights for all, but in fact the modern Democratic Party cannot survive without constantly stoking racial hostility and reopening old wounds, from slavery and reparations, to police brutality, to illegal immigration, to so-called voter suppression. Simply put, the day that Americans set aside their racial divisions and view one another as brothers is the day the Democratic Party ceases to be electorally viable, and Democratic insiders know it. They want to keep racial minorities on the Democratic plantation for as long as possible, and the media, which pushes every narrative emphasizing white racism and the oppression of non-whites, is helping them do it.

Economically, Democrats claim to want to narrow income and wealth inequality, but look at the evidence: the most unequal areas in the U.S. are the bluest of blue cities and states, mostly on the coasts, where Democratic policies of high taxes and expensive government programs have been in place for decades. If anyone wants to know what a thoroughly blue America would look like, they need only visit San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., or New York. There, the rich pay taxes through the nose, yes, but the poor and even middle class Americans can barely afford to get by. Housing costs are exorbitant. Education and other public services are theoretically egalitarian but practically abysmal. If one wants to live a decent life in these “socialist paradises,” the only way to do so is to become rich. Money talks — especially, as it turns out, in blue America.

The important thing from the Democrats' perspective, though, is not that the problems of the poor and the middle class are ever truly addressed. It is that their ongoing, even escalating, grievances are useful rather than threatening to Democratic dominance. The worse inequality, crime, and public services become in these blue areas, the more Democratic politicians can blame old bugaboos like the KKK or the GOP. And Democrats keep on winning elections — just as they were always supposed to.

None of this should surprise the American people. The same Democratic Party that spent the last two and a half years hoping against hope that the President could be proved a traitor does not shrink from exploiting, or even manufacturing, racial and class divisions to ensure its own electoral success.

South Africans are slowly coming to realize that the political elite that governs them is more parasitical than patriotic. Unfortunately, they are too mired in racial animosity to do anything about it.

Americans had better wise up before it is too late. The Democratic Party thrives on racial hatred, economic misery, and democratic dysfunction. It is a cancer on America's body politic, and in the long run the survival of it and of democracy itself are not compatible.

Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: He appears weekly on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480.

And here it is at American Greatness: 


  1. Dr. Waddy: Incalculable dittos are due you. Your conclusion is especially compelling; its true, the Dems, captured as they are by the proven anarchic left, are a fundamental, existential threat to the real America. The absurd ascension of such as well, ehhh, "inexperienced" AOC and antiSemitic "Rep" (of what, pray?) Omar, should be "red",flags for all who wish not to see a reprise of murderous Marxist idealism in our country (of, all places; we have been Communism's insolent bete noire, to the tune of 120,000 combat deaths).

    In promoting racial conflict by insisting that racial oppression persists unabated in our country, the left which dominates the Dem party seeks to exacerbate unreconcileable conflict leading to a chaotic dissolution of our economy, society, polity and legal system paving the way for their totalitarian takeover.

  2. Jack, there are some fascinating tomes to be written on the modern ideological concoction that mixes equal parts good, old-fashioned Marxism and newfangled, but essentially tribal, identity politics. In America, I would say the direct appeal to race hatred is exceedingly dangerous and irresponsible, especially given the demographic sea change that's washing over us. The future is NOT bright, as long as such people are accorded political respectability.

  3. Dr. Waddy: The real America must resolutely and realistically face that threat, which is, we must fully acknowledge, to everything we cherish. That it is such an existential danger is confirmed in the history of the left in power, in the present dictatorial actions of American trailblazers like the dominantly empowered Cuomo and in the ever more freely and blithely expressed intentions of leftist pretenders to executive power(some of them yet very junior "legislators").

    The time for doubt is over, including enervating doubt in our own proven right. Action, unrestrained by fear of the consequences of "political incorrectness - a purely leftist screed ,is now all.

    We have been graced by the incalculably fortuitous, all unlooked for advent of a truly democratic leader for whom such assumptions are personally essential. God forbid that we lose the moment; we may never regain it.

    Frankly, we must tell "such people", ie. we must throw it in their arrogant faces, that they are "full of it" and that we know they know we know it. Further, we need give them to understand that we are not afraid of them and that we know them for the destructive dreamers, bigots and incipient and wishful totalitarians they have proven themselves to be.

    Our superior numbers mobilized, our faith in our proven positive modus vivendi, our culture and , on balance (let the left attempt that) our creditable history, we will, as we should and as humanity must yearn, prevail!

  4. Hear hear! In the end, it will come down to a contest of belief, of faith. Whoever wants the soul of America more will have it. For the last 50 years, honestly I would say that advantage has belonged to the Left. Conservatives have reacted to liberal power grabs, and they have advanced their own agenda timidly, but time and again they've given ground. We need to be a lot more stout of heart if we're to prevail.

  5. Dr. Waddy: Right back at ya; "whoever wants the soul of America. . . " sums it up very well. It all comes down to no less than that.

  6. I believe that Mandela instituted some kind of reparations. If so, it didn't really heal or help anything or anybody.

  7. Anonymous: A very good point, which could serve as a case study of the efficacy of historical racial reparations today.

  8. Dr.Waddy: Additionally, for the last 50 years you cited, my historically discredited boomer generation has concentrated its, on balance, baleful, ponderous and presumptuous mass on our polity but NOW Father Time beckons. Of all things we face the ultimate and unbeatable opponent - age - and it heralds our departure, thank God, from the scene. That we may leave an undeniable and uneraseable influence may be but at least our baleful personal presence will be absent. We have so much to answer for in our ingratious attack on a nation and culture which blessed us so abundantly. Let it be answered in our historical relegation to a bizarre interlude and to our disconnection from American decision making.

  9. Jack, the Left is celebrating the imminent departure of the Boomers too -- because it (rightly) assumes oldsters are more likely to vote Republican. The values of the Boomers are indeed highly questionable, but most of them have migrated into the conservative camp over time. My guess is that every generation grows more conservative with age, though.

    Anonymous, you're right about the reparations, but in South Africa it was on a tiny scale. Very few people received the money, and it wasn't much money. What the Dems have in mind for the USA is infinitely grander -- and probably for that reason pie in the sky.

  10. Dr. Waddy: But consider those ads for medications for aging people in which spry boomers declare "I'll go my OWN way" or narrators praise them for being an ever rebellious generation. Many boomers are far too eager to pat themselves on the back for their perceived Promethean effect, eg in civil rights. The really hard work was done by Dr. King and his soldiers, who predated the boomers. My generation turned it into affirmative action, contempt for the police, the Attica riot and a widespread perception that the US is still an essentially racially oppressive country. Boomers have turned the US academy into a disgraceful swamp of antiintellectualism and leftist bigotry and intolerance. They have captured many of the law schools for the "Critical Legal Studies" school which dismisses the accumulated wisdom and consequently mostly benevolent evolution of American law. They celebrate Bob Dylan's ascension to the Nobel pantheon; Dylan , their sage, who bade the Greatest Generation "please get out of the new world if you can't lend a hand". Of course, after WWII, some of the Greatest didn't have hands anymore.

    I've been told by leftists that they do not consider the Clintons to be politically correct. That shameful couple is both the symbol and to some extent the substance of boomer presumptuousness and self congratulatory humbug. Maybe that explains leftist pleasure at our departure - "liberal parents, radical children". Of course perhaps even the majority of the boomers do not deserve to be excoriated; they did their duty in the '60's and/or have led positive lives since then. But the danged generation was so huge that the dreamy lala types yet had an inordinate and negative influence.

  11. Jack, all that you say about the Boomers is true. Many of them are the worst of the worst. Many of them, though, are not. Check out an exit poll from 2016:

    You'll see that, indeed, the Boomers were more likely to vote for Trump than those 45 and under. The most enamored with Clinton were the youngest voters of all. To me, that means, as bad as the Boomers were, worse may be coming. Sorry -- I don't mean to ruin your day!

  12. Dr.Waddy: My willful device would not let me read the article you cited. I trust your conclusion on it.

    Your opinion on the empirical data is well argued. You didn't ruin my day; I value creditable counterargument. I may well be in error in my view on my generation.

  13. Dr. Waddy: But I must add: my generation's power to exert the continuing influence it has manifested (and there is the difference; there was plenty of sillyness and youthful naivete shown by most 20th century youngsters. But there were so danged and unprecedented many of us boomers that we had a completely new and inordinate effect on American politics, culture and society. Far too many of us thought that meant we had pioneered a new and irrefutably enlightened standard. Nah! Its just that our parents made understandable whoopy in the late '40's and thats all there is to it. We are human and remarkably fallible, as far too many of us have proved to be in savaging a land which gave the best of lives.

  14. Dr. Waddy: Forgive my assertiveness in saying this: I don't think anyone could have had a more favorable childhood than we boomers had. The country was miraculously prosperous a mere 15 years after the deadly Depression (in which children were advertised for sale). We enjoyed perhaps the last true childhood afforded to American children." Leave it to Beaver"was realistic.

    But in our very painfully awarded prosperity we attended college, twenty years before the province of "swells" only, and after WWII, financed by Tarawa, Omaha Beach, Okinawa and the Bulge; prices we were blessedly shielded from paying.

    There we were shamefully seduced by leftists, advocates of a system fully as murderous as that which our fathers had defeated.

    Perhaps a majority of us grew out of this but there were so many of us that the cynical and manipulative left retains, to this day, through us, destructive power.

  15. You make strong points here, as always, Jack. I'm not sure it will be very fruitful for us to debate which generation doomed America, though. It's rather like asking what year was the turning point for the decline of Western Civilization. One would be spoiled for choice, and in the end a civilizational denouement is a long-running process anyway. If, though, as we've said many times, the 60s were ground zero for the Left's power play for America's soul, then surely it wasn't the Boomers IN POWER in the 60s. In other words, yes, the Boomers may have dropped the ball when it was their turn at the helm, but before then it was their parents' turn, and they too made grave mistakes...

  16. Dr. Waddy:Strong points on your part also. But though the boomers did not hold office in the '60's, they did wield much power. They drove LBJ out of office with their excoriation of him. He took that very hard; he had courageously stood up to the good ole boys of whom he was one but whose resistance to the extension of civil rights he creditably knew he had to fight.And civil rights were something the liberal boomers appeared to think very important.

    The"anti war" boomers stand very suspect to this day of simply being unwilling to risk the long and promising lives promised by their protected childhoods, to fight for their country's just resistance to the most inhumane doctrine ever. You should have seen the Lenin, Stalin, Mao,Ho and "Che" posters casually displayed in the dorm room just down the hall in so many boomer dorms. What terrible ignorance! Ironically, they opened the door for Nixon, who exited Vietnam but in a manner which helped convince the war wise Soviets that we were not to be trifled with and, eventually, that they could not best us militarily, no matter how hard, at the expense of their long suffering populace, they tried. The result? 1991.

  17. Jack, you're right that the boomers played a major role in the collapse of our noble efforts in Vietnam, BUT I would argue that the media played an even bigger role. And who were the journalists covering Vietnam in the late 60s-early 70s? Not boomers. I suppose you could say it was an alliance of the gullible whippersnappers and the once-marginalized older and middle-aged pinkos that brought America to the brink?