A world leader today gave an impassioned speech about how Nelson Mandela was possibly the greatest politician who ever lived as part of an international competition to find out who the former South African President and former living 95-year-old human being’s best friend was.
But in the same speech, the world leader lamented that he had not been quite so admirable.
“My biggest regret is that I just don’t measure up to him at all,” the world leader said, after mentioning that the country would be subsidizing musical instrument artisans to produce a limited edition memorial line of Nelson Mandolins in honour of the great statesman.
“If I’m really honest with myself, I haven’t even tried. In fact, when you look at my actions closely, if I’ve done anything at all to break systemic racism in whichever country I run, it’s only been out of extreme reluctance and public pressure, and often only a token gesture anyhow. I may have even made things worse.”
Phrases such as “hero of our time,” “admirable conviction,” “magnificent force for good,” and “the single most incredible person who ever lived who never did a thing wrong, he’s basically Jesus” were freely thrown around in the world leader’s hour-long fawning celebration of the man he’d done nothing to emulate.
“I didn’t have to face the oppression and struggles that he did, either. I already have power, and so if I actually wanted to to be more like him, it would really only take me just, you know, making decisions that better the condition of the whole of my people. I could just work with the legislative body of my country and start passing good laws while removing the bad. Like, we could just do it, right now. I could end this speech, go work on a law, and have it passed within a couple of months. This is a thing that could happen.”
The world leader, while making it clear that he regarded Nelson Mandela as a shining symbol of the human being that we should all aspire to be, went on to explain how, the thing is, Mandela was just so amazing that nobody could even theoretically hope to get close to achieving the positive impact that his drive for reconciliation had upon his country. So, you know, why bother? Besides, it’s easier to just mint a limited edition memorial line of Nelson Mandollars to commemorate the bastion of humanity in currency.
“Sure, I could have tried to run the country better. I could have put petty partisanship aside and worried about how best to represent the wishes of my people regardless of where their affiation lies. I could have attempted to bring but an iota of his humanitarian spirit into my work. But it’d be too hard.
“Besides, I rather like removing rights and rigging the system further in favour of those already at the top.”
That his actions were broadly in line with what would probably be the opposite of what Mandela stood for did not stop the world leader from continuing the speech that he had his very most senior speechwriter pen for him about how, not only was Mandela great, but politicians from his country had worked directly with him and though also greatly respecting him, had all decided not to bring back what they learned.
The world leader fondly recalled the time when he, too, was able to meet with the revered humanitarian, and how despite engaging him in deep conversation while basking in his almost ethereal radiations of peace and goodwill, despite how his admiration only grew as the all-too-short hours flew by, he still couldn’t quite say that he was convinced enough by the value of what the anti-apartheid hero had done to actually truly learn from him.
But he did emphasize that, regardless of how his own past actions had shown a complete disregard for the ideals championed by the former president, he has the necessary cognitive dissonance such that his praise for Mandela could be considered legitimate and not just an entry in a mandatory political contest.
After pausing in his speech for a few seconds, apparently having come to a conclusion remarkable enough to go off-script, the world leader went on to reason that perhaps what he was doing wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
“Hear me out here,” he said, “Mandela was in prison for 27 years, right? And we all agree that his commitment to reconciliation was made all the more admirable because of it. Now at the time, obviously, his government thought he was a criminal. And normally, we don’t approve of criminals.
“But some people who break the law do so because they believe it’s the right thing. When they’re right about it being the right thing, they might go on to become a crusader against oppression. Okay, in order to be that crusader against oppression, there must laws that are unjust.
“I think we’d all agree that more Nelson Mandelas would be a good thing, and we all know for damn sure I’m not up to the task. But what I can do is pass bad laws. What I, a mere world leader, can do is create the conditions that necessitate the production of Nelson Mandelas.”
It’s too much to expect that a world leader be a good person, he explained, because at the end of the day, it’s basically impossible unless you are, I don’t know, some kind of Nelson Mandela. So the only way to ensure the continued emergence of people who will fight for their rights is to kick their freedom right in the dick.
“If you kick hard enough, well, mark my words ladies and gentlemen, they’ll start kicking back. Sure, I’ll have them imprisoned at that point, but 27 years later you’ll all be thanking me when a brand new genuine bona-fide Nelson Mandela walks out of the cell beaming ear to ear.”
The world leader then told the crowd that they were welcome, in advance, as he planned to have died of old age by then so as not to have to deal with the consequences of his actions. After all, he reminded them, even though he greatly admires and respects the life of Mandela, he had made no effort to follow his example so far, and had no plans to do so in the future.
Finally, he announced the opening of a limited edition memorial snack stand in downtown Capital City called Nelson Mandonuts, adding, “they’re Mandelicious.”