Over the weekend Malema loudly proclaimed that he was aiming for the Presidency, Many have scoffed. The comments on News24 in general were negative, ignoring the very real possibility that this can occur. I see you shaking your heads and calling me an idiot, but let's think about this.
More people in this country are defined as youths than as adult. Youths in political terms are under 35. More people in that group are unemployed than not. These people see no future under the current political dispensation. Malema offers them a future.
This future may not be possible or even probable, but this is not at issue. Malema is offering hope, free land, free education. He is talking directly to their base desires. Another leader did this starting in 1933. He rose to become the Chancellor of Germany and came very close to making us all german citizens.
Further, this leader demonised a group of people, blaming all the problems on them. The Jews were about as guilty as the average white South African. Did this stop the tactic from being a winner?
South Africans are not taking this issue seriously and this is at our peril. The 'have nots' are looking for hope, as improbable as it may be. A Demagogue offering them exactly what they want is the most frightening aspect of politics in this country.
It is my belief that that fight has already been lost by the apathy, the lack of empathy for those that are suffering. Children not many miles from you are going to bed hungry, their parents are going to bed hungry and Malema offers them hope of a better tommorrow. Their hearts and minds have already been lost because of the indifference we see every day.
Sarah Britten wrote "It is because of the empathy gap that we are able to drive past shacks and not even see them. It is because of the empathy gap that some of us care more about middle class victims of crime than poor ones. It is because of the empathy gap that we are able to dismiss murder, torture and sadism as the necessary consequences of privilege and past wrongs."
I am not convinced that Malema is a joke, I am not convinced that Malema's hopes of the presidency are a pipe dream.
Remember the vote is an emotional reaction, not a logical one otherwise women would never vote for the repuclican party in the USA. They do in droves. The downtrodden and poor would not vote for powermongers that steal from them. Would any one vote for the corrupt governments and men as they have in the past in countries as diverse as Italy, The USA and right here at home. Voting is rarely something done with fore thought and determination.
Many people have no real understanding of the issues, I heard someone say "What do I know of foreign policy, education and crime fighting?" People follow their preachers, their friends, their parents. Generations voted for the Nats, As a child you were either a Nat or a SAP. We knew nothing of politics but our parents were thus we were.
Generations will vote ANC because their parents and grandparents do. Others will vote against everything their parents do, but most will vote for the bloke that promises them the biggest tax cuts, or the best grants.
Red October has added to the ammunition and fueled the fires of distrust. People like Malema can point at the likes of Roodt, Hofmeyer and Bridges and say look, the whites have everything and don't want to share, They don't care about crime in our neighbourhoods, They are racist. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. REd October's will be felt at the polls.
I am very nervous about the EFF because they are promising land and hope. Malema is not a candidate to be ignored or taken lightly.
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