Trump’s electoral fiction floats free of verifiable reality. It is defended not so much by facts as by claims that someone else has made some claims. The sensibility is that something must be wrong because I feel it to be wrong, and I know others feel the same way. When political leaders such as Ted Cruz or Jim Jordan spoke like this, what they meant was: You believe my lies, which compels me to repeat them. Social media provides an infinity of apparent evidence for any conviction, especially one seemingly held by a president.
The naked president, oddly enough, was rewarded with glowing press coverage. In part, this was the product of corny theatrics: youth league president Julius Malema was supposedly disciplined by the father of the nation and then comforted by its mother. The leader’s purported “success” was also built on ill- informed speculation before the council that a challenge to Zuma’s authority might occur at a congress located in KwaZulu-Natal. More pertinently, the council provided an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of Zuma’s campaign to intimidate the press. The positive reporting of his self-serving speeches — and the praise heaped upon him for properly rehearsing a speech before trying to deliver it — indicate that this campaign may be having its intended effect. – ANthony Butler in Business DayBACK TO TOP