Home > Santorum Compares Apartheid Struggle to Obamacare
Santorum Compares Apartheid Struggle to Obamacare
Appearing on Fox News Thursday night, former Senator Rick Santorum insisted that Nelson Mandela’s struggle against the South African apartheid regime is similar to the Republican Party’s opposition to Obamacare.
“He was a communist, this man,” O’Reilly said. “He was a communist. But he was a great man. What he did for his people was stunning! He was a great man! But he was a communist.”
“You’re right,” Santorum said. “What he was advocating for was not necessarily the right answer, but he was fighting against a great injustice. I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country, with the ever-increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives, and Obamacare is front and center in that.”
To be clear, Mandela was a revolutionary and a democratic socialist. He was president of the African National Congress (ANC) and secretary-general of the non-aligned movement--a group of mostly third world countries that included Cuba. According to Fidel Castro, that group existed to ensure "the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of non-aligned countries" which belonged to no major power block, in their "struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference, or hegemony."
Despite the affiliation, as president Mandela ruled South Africa through his ANC party, which CNN pointed out on Friday is explicitly not a communist organization.
The party’s movement away from democratic socialism was largely due to the pressures placed upon Mandela’s government by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which undermined his dream of economic justice through redistribution and convinced Mandela’s successors to embrace capitalism, privatization and corporate control of the nation’s economy.
“So, instead of their policy of ‘growth through redistribution,’ the ANC, particularly under President Thabo Mbeki, adopted the cookie-cutter economic program of trying to ‘grow’ the economy by pleasing foreign investors: mass privatizations, lay-offs and wage cuts in the public sector, corporate tax cuts, and the like,” author Naomi Klein wrote in 2001.
As for Santorum, comparing affordable health care administered by the private sector to the horror of apartheid is about as tone deaf as a someone can get. Then again, for a guy who clearly told an audience in 2012 that he does not want to help black people -- only to later correct himself by claiming he really said “blah people” -- his face-numbing analogy might actually be an improvement.
This video is from Fox News, aired Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013.
The Progressive is a monthly leftwing magazine of investigative reporting, political commentary, cultural coverage, activism, interviews, poetry, and humor.
The Progressive is fortunate to have some of the best writers in the country grace its pages, including Wendell Berry, Edwidge Danticat, Barbara Ehrenreich, Jim Hightower, Eduardo Galeano, Luis Rodriguez, Terry Tempest Williams, and Dave Zirin. The magazine also provides comic relief with columns by humorists Kate Clinton and Will Durst.
Copyright 2013, The Progressive Magazine
409 E. Main, Madison, WI 53703