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B L Swiegers
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Politics: The Art of Never Winning

16 February 2014, 05:30
We live in a society where political coverage fills each and every crevasse of newspapers, magazines and online media. We, as South African's, have created a specific art in this domain.
It's not created by us consumers, but rather by the characters that grace our pages in the never-ending political soapie (Cue the "Generations" theme music).

In this quagmire that is the political playing field of our beloved country, stand opponents. What gives us our specific colour palette upon which the brushstrokes of our democracy is painted is our is the colourful characters of which we have to choose to lead our country.

In one corner, we have Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma. Armed with corruption charges, rape accusations, Nkandla-gate, Gupta-gate and many other gates, he stands for everything many of us literate South Africans despise. For the rest, he is a beacon of hope, the noble leader of the nation.

In the other corner we have the honorary Julius Sello Malema. Not even criminal charges, being kicked out of the ANC and wearing a beret that is clearly too small for his head, can keep this warrior down.

Finally, the "Madam" Helen Zille. Probably our greatest hope for growing our nation, but alas, this former freedom fighter and anti-apartheid activist made the most fatal of mistakes in modern South Africa. Being a white politician.

Now us as South Africans, have to choose between the various enemies on the battlefield in order to lead us into a brighter tomorrow. The real question is, what is a brighter tomorrow?

Yes, we have statistics to show us tangible improvements such as education and healthcare, but what is a brighter future? Is the political conundrum simply a scapegoat for us as citizens of South Africa to be distracted by in order to feed us a false sense of improvement.

When last has a change in constitution greatly effected your lives? When last has a change in political sub-council directly influence the way you perceive your suburb? When last has an issue of political corruption directly influence your pocket?

Politics is the art of making seemingly life changing constitutional decisions at a supreme level seem important to the citizen. The reality is that, within context, it doesn't matter.

The reality is that whether the ANC or the DA run my suburb, province or country, it will not affect my life. (Bar gross negligence of-course.)

The celebrity status of our politicians has created a tabloid type effect within our media. We crave gossip about our politicians dealings and behaviour.

In politics, you cannot win. Goals are set by politicians in power and are raised or lowered by the same ones. There is no end product. There is no utopia, no perfect society. We have been trying for thousands of years to create perfect societies and so far democracy is our best bet, and it was created by people who are remembered for gross gluttony and making slaves fight lions.

And corruption was ever present even back then.

Nothing has changed since the Roman era. Morals and values may have improved sure, but the system is still practically the same. Why constitutionally change a system where it's a giant popularity contest, and the people in power often stay in power.

You cannot win. And in South Africa's case, its about us choosing the best of the worst.

But in summary, in a less pessimistic view, our political climate may be in a sorry state, but luckily, it wont effect the warmth of our beaches, the success of our sports teams, and the pride that most of us hold for our beloved country, South Africa.
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