While Nelson Mandela is heralded as a visionary leader who quite literally brought freedom to his people with his reliance and resolve one must wonder if the action taken in the late 1980’s to divest in the Apartheid government of South Africa would be possible today.
Ronald Reagan vetoed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 and was swiftly rebuffed by a bi-partisan vote to override. The conservative movement in that era seems quaint compared to today’s aggressive and hostile right wing generation of politicians. While Reagan from time to time reached across the aisle and accepted compromise in order to move forward today’s GOP punishes those who have the audacity to consider constructive action.
So it is not entirely implausible to imagine that the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 if taken forward to 2013 would be filibustered and stalled and never make it to the floor of Congress. It is easy to say that about many issues moved forward in the past but on the day Nelson Mandela died we see that even respectful mourning for a world leader is unacceptable in today’s GOP.
Within hours of Mandela’s passing WorldNetDaily founder, editor and CEO Joseph Farah wrote in a column titled Don’t Mourn for Mandela that:
“…the world has been sold a bill of goods about Mandela. He wasn’t the saintly character portrayed by Morgan Freeman. He wasn’t someone fighting for racial equality. He was the leader of a violent, Communist revolution that has nearly succeeded in all of its grisly horror.”
It will be telling if the right wing media echo chamber holds it tongue and speaks with grudging respect for the man who is rightly lauded as a leader who brought the franchise to a nation of people yearning to be free. Or will they attempt to bring their twisted sense of ‘balance’ to the story to give voice to contrary opinions like those of Farah to the conversation during this period of mourning a world leader?
In a time when the country was ruled by a Republican president and Senate and a Democratic House our legislators allowed the advancement of legislation in the name of freedom. It is likely that in today’s America ruled by a Democratic president and Senate and Republican House that this legislation and others like it would not even see the light of day.