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December 06, 2013


On the Wrong Side of History

First Read: "But as universally praised and beloved as Mandela is now, anyone who was politically aware in the 1980s or 1990s knows that always wasn't the case. After all, in 1986, President Ronald Reagan vetoed legislation -- which Congress overrode -- punishing South Africa for its racial apartheid. A lot of it had to do with Cold War mentality at the time; some viewed Mandela as on the wrong side of that fight. But it's all a reminder how the passage of time and history can transform a one-time controversial figure into a political saint, and vice-versa. But it's also a lesson that sometimes a policy of the moment will end up being embarrassing; politicians today ought to think about what a policy decision in the moment will look like a generation later."












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