Democracy. You elusive, sexy sonofabitch.

The other day, I was talking to a friend who works in politics. He began telling me about the changes he would implement if he stepped into the leadership of South Africa.

“I would bring morals back to the country,” he said.

“But what would you do with people whose ideas of morality differ from yours?” I asked.

“There must be dialogue,” he said. He went on to explain that it’s good to get people who have different backgrounds and perspectives, and that we should always welcome the challenge of harmonizing the differences and finding common ground.

“So basically,” I said cheekily. “If you were to come to power in South Africa, you’d introduce democracy?”

The expression that dawned on both our faces – it was a Kodac moment. You’d need to have been there to appreciate it.

Democracy is not a noun. It’s a verb. It doesn’t happen once and then maintain itself; people keep it up. Sometimes they keep it up because of politicians and sometimes, in spite of politicians.

And that’s why anyone who says, “We gave you democracy so you owe us your eternal loyalty” is lying to you.

Democracy. You elusive, sexy sonofabitch – where the hell are you hiding?

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