Trumpism and MAGA politics: A warning from the US to SA
Much of the world was transfixed this week as the drama around the US election unfolded. President Donald Trump, a divisive and belligerent figure who oversaw the deepening of animosity in America and the rise of zero sum governance and rule, gained five million more votes than he did in 2016, seemingly entrenching the ideology of Trumpism in that country.
While the election at the time of writing was still too close to call, it seemed like Trump was headed for electoral defeat at the hands of that country’s former vice president, Joe Biden. But Trump, a brash and self-assured confident man who used to be the face of The Apprentice, a reality television show, was not taking it lying down. For weeks before the election, he laid the ground to attack the integrity of the process, bemoaning – without evidence – that is was going to be corrupted.
His populist appeal took many by surprise when he was elected as American president. A combination of crude nativism and brash nationalism came to define him – and he became the emblem of many South Africans who subscribed to his brand of politics. Those MAGAs parroted their US counterparts, adopting their rhetoric and language, and even identifying the same local targets.
In this week’s edition of News24’s Friday Briefing, editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson argues that Trump’s America offers a warning about populist leaders and how to manage elections. Our opinions editor, Vanessa Banton, spoke to three experts about the US election and what how we should interpret them. And I looked at South Africa’s MAGAs who shaped their own Trumpian fan-base here.
We already have next week’s Friday Briefing lined up – and its going to be a good one.
Have a good weekend,
Pieter du Toit
Assistant Editor: In-depth news
Be careful of populists, protect our democratic institutions and celebrate the fierce independence of the IEC, writes Adriaan Basson.
Vanessa Banton spoke to three experts on the US elections and found out what may have gone wrong for the candidates, whether the country should consider electoral reform, and if it will come out of this election unified.
After Donald Trump assumed office in 2017, there emerged an ecosystem of South African MAGAs, who got sucked into Trumpworld with promises of strongman politics, political incorrectness, and a feverish nationalism, writes Pieter du Toit. For them a Trump loss is almost unfathomable.
Election tension in the United States is likely to continue for a long time even after the counting process is done with, writes John Matisonn.
The credibility of polls in the 2016 US election took a knock, but that didn't mean issues were resolved during the 2020 elections, writes Mikhail Moosa.
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