Thursday, October 29, 2009

Best listen up now

Eternal optimism may sound like a good idea, but when it reaches the point of ignoring what you don’t like to hear, it becomes dangerous.

Take as an example the terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists that have taken place around the world in the past decade or so.

For years, groups that were unhappy with American and European policies vis à vis Israel and the Middle East in general made their discontent very clear, and also made it clear that they were going to do something (violent) about it.

To put it bluntly, they basically looked their intended victims straight in the eye and said: “We are going to kill you.”

Whereupon their future victims gestured dismissively and cheerfully replied: “No you won’t.”

Then, in 1998, they made good on their threats, bombing the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing over 200 people.

And still it seemed that nobody took the threats too seriously –1 maybe this was just a fluke. After all, who could believe that people who threaten to kill you would actually do it?

It’s precisely this attitude that made the events of September 11, 2001 possible. Only then did the world suddenly begin to take notice of the intentions and the motives of a group that had always been vocal about both.

But ignoring what people say they will do and then being surprised when they do just that is not a practice that is unique to America or Europe.

Down here in South Africa, it is becoming ever clearer that ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is being groomed for a top government job.

There are obviously a lot of influential people who want to see Malema as not just leader of the ANC, but as President of South Africa.

Just this past weekend, President Jacob Zuma, arguably the most powerful and influential man in the country, praised Malema as a “good leader”.

Zuma, president also of the ANC, said that his young protegé was worthy of “inheriting the ANC”.

And the leader of the ANC, of course, inevitably ends up being President of the country.

Now many people might regard a Julius Malema presidency as a good thing, while others would likely greet such a prospect with horror.

But the strange thing is that for some reason, despite all the evidence to the contrary, a whole lot of people simply don’t think that it’s possible.

Tell them that Malema will one day be President of South Africa and you’ll met with the same expression of incredulity that once decorated the faces of Americans before September 11.

For many of these people, it is simply unthinkable that influential, powerful people would want the country to be ruled by someone who plays the race card more often than Eugene Terre’blanche, who thinks that he is above the law, and whose stated mission it is to “defeat the children of colonisers”.

Certainly, anyone who cares about the future of the country should be very worried about a Malema presidency.

As previous examples in Africa and the rest of the world have shown, pretending that something won’t happen just because you don’t like it is not a very sensible thing to do.

Take note, children of colonisers.

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

I recall telling people two years ago that Zuma would be the next president and they said, "never, no way". SAns have this irritating habit of sticking their heads in the sand.

Failing him dying of Aids, or getting shot, Malema will be president of SA one day, count on it.