Like most fantasists, the GOP consider themselves to be the Victims of every dispute and the Hero of every story. So naturally when they see the passing of an Actual Hero like Nelson Mandela, they feel left out and have to attempt to re-write themselves into his story and him - amazingly - into a Conservative Hero.
Because only Conservatives are the Good Guys, right? If anyone else, who disagree with and fights vehemently against the implementation of Conservative Policies were doing so on a legitimate moral grounds, what would that make Conservatives?
Yeah, they know the answer to that question deep in the blackness of their hearts.
Mandela himself makes a great example when answering this question because it certainly wasn't the case that the Conservative Movement Had His Back all these years.
Back then, while he was imprisoned for 27 years by the Racially Oppressive and Murderous South African Government he was called a "Terrorist" and a "Communist", however in the truth Mandela was something else. Something they still to this day have failed to understand. He was, when he was arrested, a Community-Organizer and Attorney.
Rather like a certain other person who also happens to also share the privilege of having received a Nobel Peace Prize.
You start with Ronald Reagan Vetoing the Anti-Apartheid Act in 1986 after labeling it "immoral" and "utterly repugnant." Instead of supporting the Divestment movement - President Reagan pushed a policy of increased trade with South Africa.
"Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Chester Crocker pushed for expanded trade with Johannesburg under the belief that it was a strong ally in the Cold War. While divestment activists urged the United States to isolate the South African regime, the Reagan administration was pushing for more trade and engagement."This was followed by Dick Cheney voting to Uphold the Veto as a member of the House as well as voting against the House Resolution Calling for the Release of Mandela and Recognition of the African-Nation Congress.
If Dick Cheney had had his way - Nelson Mandela would have died in prison and South African Aparthied Would STILL STAND.
Yet certainly the Religious Right and the Moral Majority recognized the Righteousness of the Anti-Apartheid cause and of Mandela struggle?
Yeah - well, not so much.
The Religious Right in this country -- and the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in particular -- were steadfast in its support of apartheid as well as counter-revolutionary movements in Angola and Mozambique. "The liberal media has for too long suppressed the other side of the story in South Africa," he said. "It is very important that we stay close enough to South Africa so that it does not fall prey to the clutches of Communism."Ok, how about John Birch?
"South Africa is torn by civil unrest, instigated primarily by Communist-sponsored people who are capitalizing on the many legitimate grievances created by apartheid, unemployment and policy confrontations," Falwell said.
Nope. They said Mandela was "a communist terrorist thug." (That's almost like "Kenyan-Muslim Welfare Thug-in-Chief" isn't it?)
How about Phyllis Schafly, he was so fine and upstanding on Moral Issues, yes? As it happens she said Mandela was a "notorious dictator".
And then there's tax crusader Grover Norquist. He cares so much about the "common man" and his suffering. I'm sure he was there, on the picket lines, arguing for the freedom and humanity of all the people's of South Africa?
Yeah, uh. No! http://www.truth-out.org/...
Grover Norquist got involved with the pro-South Africa movement and visited the country in 1985 for a "Youth for Freedom Conference," sponsored by South African businesses. According to Kleiner, Norquist said, "The left has no other issue [but apartheid] on campus. Economic issues are losers for them. There are no sexy Soviet colonies anymore." Norquist later went to Angola – a country torn apart by the murderous actions of Jonas Savimbi, a leader much admired by U.S. conservatives.And when Mandela was released, clearly the Conservatives were overjoyed, naturally?
According to Kleiner, "Norquist became a ghost-writer for Savimbi's essay in Policy Review," then a publication of the Heritage Foundation. "When he returned to Washington, he was greeted in conservative circles as a 'freedom fighter,' and he proudly placed an 'I'd rather be killing commies' bumper sticker on his brief case."
On the very day Mandela was freed in 1990, conservative icon William Buckley warned that "the release of Mandela, for all we know, may one day be likened to the arrival of Lenin at the Finland Station in 1917" (referring to Lenin's return to Russia from exile and the ensuing Bolshevik seizure of power) and mocked South African opponents of apartheid for their concern with "the question of one-man, one-vote," which he claimed "has not yet hit the United States, whose Senate guarantees most unequal treatment."When Nelson Mandela visited the U.S. Capital after having finally been released in 1990 - Conservative Icon and Antebellum-throwback Jesse Helms Turned His Back On Him.
It's not like you can or will find Any Still Prominent Conservative (with the exception of those Like Dick Lugar and Nancy Kassenbaum who did defy Reagan then, but would be drummed out of the party now) who lifted a single solitary Finger to help Free Mandela or to change the conditions of Aparthied in South Africa. [Note: As reported by Chris Hayes last night, 31 Republicans including Mitch McConnell helped override a Reagan veto to implement sanctions on South Africa in 1986, so there's that - back then.]
Rather than Conservative "Freedom Fighters" it was Progressive Activists and the Entertainment Industry whom the Right still to this day Vilify for their efforts on Gender Equity, Climate Change, Environmental Protection, Worker Safety, Pensions, a Living Wage, Health Care Security, Income Inequality and Marriage Equality - that did the heavy lifting to make it possible for Mandela to be freed, and Apartheid to end.
Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder People Like These:
So when you hear people like Rick Santorum talk about how the struggle against President Obama's Health Reform Law is like Mandela's Battle Against Aparthied... take it with a Metric Ton of Salt.
“Well, Nelson Mandela stood up against a great injustice,” Santorum replied. “And he was willing to pay a huge price for that. And it’s for that reason he — he — he is mourned today, because of that struggle he performed. But what he was advocated for was not necessarily the right answer, but he was fighting against some great injustice.”"Great Injustice", eh. Yeah, that's one thing you could call it. Also, "not neccessarily the right answer"? What would Santorum have suggested be done to end Aparthied, implement more tax cuts, tort reform and stronger controls on the lady parts?
And Santorum isn't alone is attempt to turn Mandela into a Saint as a way to Bash Obama and or Liberals in general.
"Let me make a point about Nelson Mandela," radio host Bill Cunningham said on the December 5 edition of Hannity on Fox News. "When Nelson Mandela took over South Africa he reached across to divide the size of the Grand Canyon and they worked out deals. Why can't your guy Obama take the advice of Mandela and reach across the divide and talk to Republicans?"Sure, why can't Obama talk to the people who repeatedly talk about Impeaching Him for - as head of the Executive Branch - daring to use Executive Powers? Why can't he talk to Eric Cantor when he Walks Out of Budget Negotiations?
Or when John Beohner Walked Out of the Debt Ceiling Negotiations?
He should just shout down the hall after them as they retreat? Maybe he could resort to Carrier Pigeon to negotiate with the GOP? .
He should "reach across" the divide and give the Republicans every policy that they Lost the Election On, because that's "Bi-partisan" to give them everything they want and get nothing, isn't it?
He should give everything away to the people who try to block his judicial and cabinet nominees even when don't have any objections to them? People who've repeatedly shown they are more than willing to directly put Americans out of work and Sabotage the Economy just to make Obama look bad. It's amazing to think that the vicious leaders of Iran and Syrian are more reasonable than the Republican Congressional Caucus, but the last 5 years have proven - they are.
Meanwhile for Mandela, the trend has shifted, the script has been re-written. 20 years after his vote to support Aparthied and against calling for Mandela to be freed, Dick Chaney still defended it - but also called Mandela a "Great Man". It used to be "Mandela Bad" - now it's "Mandela Good (kinda)" and Obama Bad - just cuz he's not "Mandela-ish Enough".
But not for everyone. Ted Cruz posted on Facebook that Mandela was an "inspiration for defenders of liberty" around the world - which he was - but that really did piss Off the Rank-n-File Bass Fish in an ugly, ugly way.
John Beohner, Eric Cantor and Marco Rubio have faced similar vicious backlashes [Some calling him a "Mass Murderer" and claiming they were "Glad, he's Dead"] in response to their posting kind words about Mandela in his death.
Still you have Rush Limbaugh who this week was practically gushing about how great Mandela was - but man, oh, man those Civil Rights Leaders we have here in America are just plain terrible.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh highlighted Mandela's ability to "forgive everybody" and let go of resentment and concluded that he "would not qualify as a civil rights leader in this country with that philosophy. They can't let it go. It's become too big a business."Yeah, sure, unarmed kids, people looking for help after an accident, disoriented people in the street, random black teenagers, and Cambridge Professors trying deal with a Stuck Front Door are Making a Fortune Getting STOPPED, FRISKED, ARRESTED AND SHOT BY COPS and COP Wannabes in this here America. So why can't people stop complaining and just get used to it?
Y'know like Mandela did?
Really really, seriously - like Not. I think people start to "Get Over it", when it starts to STOP!
Like then, and on nearly every issue Conservatives are on the Wrong Side of History, and they're going to remain there for a very, very long time. Just as we look back at the likes of Bull Connor who turned the Hoses and Dogs on peaceful Civil Rights protestors, and on "Mr Conservative" Barry Goldwater who directly opposed the Civil Rights Act - we now think just how inhuman and out of touch these people were. History has not been kind to their legacy and memory.
Back then, as they did with Mandela, as they continue to do with Obama, they called the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "Communist", now didn't they?
In the Future, when are finally free of their paranoid behavior and poisonous money-grubbing anti-human ideas, we will look back at these Conservatives who will still call the Voting Rights Act a "Racial Entitlement" as we did those - and we will wonder "What in the World was Wrong With These Disgusting Twisted Viciously Deluded Greedy Selfish People?"