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

Even in the wake of its latest free election, held on May 8, 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 that country’s steady unraveling as a cautionary tale.

South Africa’s democracy got off to what many saw as 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 the years since Mandela’s passing, however, South Africa has suffered under corrupt, incompetent leadership. Its economic growth rates slumped (averaging less than 1 percent), unemployment is close to 30 percent, 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 percent of blacks support them. Only 4 percent 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 see America become.

Yes, Democrats claim to want racial harmony and opportunity and rights for all, but in reality the modern Democratic Party cannot survive without constantly stoking racial hostility and reopening old wounds, from slavery and reparations, to police brutality and illegal immigration, to alleged 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 to 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, simply 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, 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 Party 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 believe they are supposed to do.

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 proven 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. The party is a cancer on America’s body politic. In the long run, the survival of the Democrats and of democracy itself are not compatible.

Photo Credit: Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

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About Nicholas L. Waddy

Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: www.waddyisright.com. He appears on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480/106.9.