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America, like any democracy, will get what it deserves


America, like any democracy, will get what it deserves

President Donald Trump is a political disaster, but he didn’t choose himself, nearly 70 million voters did


I owe much to America. It is my intellectual home and the place of birth of my two children. It is a country that has been good to me over six years of uninterrupted study, followed by many invitations to teach and research, to speak and listen, and to visit and holiday. I have experienced deep and lasting friendships, and witnessed first-hand the sacrifices of many who contributed to the struggle for freedom in SA. That is why, in recent times, I do not recognise the country that gave me so much.

I never thought I would see the following in a country that calls itself the world’s oldest continuous democracy. The open suppression of the vote. A president who declares before the 2020 elections that he will not step down if he loses. A non-scalable fence being erected around the presidential house in anticipation of post-election violence. The deliberate spread of misinformation such as robocalls on election day telling people not to go out and vote. At any other moment this set of events would be assumed to be that of some third-world dictatorship. Some wit suggested that Zimbabwe and Nigeria had agreed to send election monitors to the US.

What is going on in America?..

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