Rick Santorum Compares Himself To Nelson Mandela, Says Obamacare Is Like Apartheid

Rick Santorum Compares Himself To Nelson Mandela, Says Obamacare Is Like Apartheid (Video)

by Liam O’Conner

Rick Santorum has compared the Affordable Healthcare Act (known as Obamacare) to Apartheid, and says the effort to repeal it is comparable to the late Nelson Mandela’s struggle to overthrow the officially racist regime of South Africa.

In an exchange with Bill O’Reilly on FOX News (in which O’Reilly labelled Mandela a communist four times) the former senator from Pennsylvania claimed that the apparently ever-increasing size of the federal government under President Obama was analagous to the National Party regime that ruled South Africa for decades, during which it did not so much violate the human rights of its non-White citizens as invalidate them entirely.

Santorum told O’Reilly:

“Nelson Mandela stood up against a great injustice. And he was willing to pay a huge price for that. . . I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on, too, in this country, with an ever-increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives, and Obamacare is front-and-centre in that.”

Santorum’s glib and stupid comparison is typical of the hypocrisy that has followed the death of Nelson Mandela. Here in Britain Prime Minister David Cameron hailed Mandela as “a towering figure in our time” and said that meeting him was “one of the great honours of my life”.

What he omitted to mention was that in the 1980s a young David Cameron sipped champagne with the racist leadership of South Africa on an all-expenses paid trip to the country while many nations treated it as a pariah state. Cameron’s political hero Margaret Thatcher dismissed the African National Congress as “terrorists”, hosted a state visit for one of South Africa’s most reactionary Prime Ministers, P.W. Botha, and resisted imposing economic sanctions on the Apartheid regime. In the late 70s and 80s, Young Conservatives wore badges saying “Hang Mandela!”

America’s record, and the record of Santorum’s party, is worse. While the ANC was fighting to liberate South Africa and create a genuine multi-racial, multi-ethnic democracy, the national security apparatus of the United States was colluding with the South African secret police to prop up that same regime. It is widely believed that the CIA played a significant role in the arrest of Nelson Mandela in 1964. During the Angolan war of independence America and apartheid South Africa worked together in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to defeat the left-wing nationalist rebels who were conducting their own struggle for self-determination. Ronald Reagan claimed that South Africa had stood alongside America in every war they ever fought; in fact the South African leadership had been members of a fascist organisation that professed allegiance to National Socialism during World War II. Reagan also said that the issue of Apartheid South Africa was not one of racism, but one of “tribalism”, putting America on the wrong side of the last major struggle against imperialism on the continent.

Instead of making cheap political points comparing healthcare coverage to racism, the former senator from Pennsylvania would do better to apologise for the disgraceful conduct of his party when it came to one of the great humanitarian figures of our time.

 

Liam O’Conner

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