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.
Malema is no innocent victim. But he has been punished for his role in expressing opinion, not in preventing others from having their say. He is punished for saying that Mbeki cares more about Africans than Zuma — not for storming a stage in 2010 to try to bully Justice Minister Jeff Radebe. He is sanctioned for remarks on Botswana that were crass and embarrassing but no threat to democracy in the ANC — not for driving his opponents out of a hall in Limpopo or ignoring a court order in the Eastern Cape. The message is clear: ANC members can bully and bend the rules, as long as they don’t criticise leaders or deviate from policy. This insistence that the problem is not unfair contest but contest itself will worsen the problem. – Steven Friedman in Business DayBACK TO TOP