KLEIN KAROO, South Africa — I am writing from a game reserve in the African bush, where we still have electricity in a nationwide blackout, thanks to a private generator.
Twenty years ago, South Africa’s trade unions resisted efforts to privatize the state power company, Eskom, which was then highly efficient and profitable. The ruling party then stacked the company with cronies, and plundered it with corrupt contracts.
Now South Africa has private electricity by default — for those who can afford it.
We in the United States can no longer observe such tragicomic events with a sense of detachment.
California and Texas have already suffered blackouts in recent years due to insufficient power supply — thanks in part to “renewable” sources that failed during bad weather — and experts nationwide warn that wider shortages are coming.
California may decide to extend the life of its last nuclear power plant, but the fact that we only have one of them left underscores our failure to plan for the future.
California has also begun water restrictions as the state enters a third year of extreme drought. There has been almost no progress since the last major drought in building new reservoirs, or raising the height of existing ones, to store more water.
And the California Coastal Commission killed a proposal last month to build a desalination plant in Orange County. Opponents disliked the idea that a private company would profit from water — so there will be less water for everyone.
Governor Gavin Newsom and the state legislature have found a Third World solution for inflation: sending people more money. The “inflation relief checks” that will provide up to $1,050 per household are touted as a rebate that will help consumers afford high gas prices and other soaring costs.
Economists note the obvious: that sending people “free” money will only add to inflationary pressures, exacerbating the misery of consumers while pretending to do something about it.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the January 6 Committee is continuing its effort to prevent former President Donald Trump from running for office again. Neither federal nor state prosecutors have found any crimes for which to prosecute him — despite their eagerness to do so — so the committee is trying to make him toxic to voters.
Facts do not matter: Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to an aide, testified about what she heard someone say about what someone said. And that is called “evidence.”
The committee, which is entirely one-sided against Trump, was allowed to interview witnesses behind closed doors, and to release only those portions of their testimony that helped the committee’s case — often contradicting what witnesses said.
Currently, several of the committee’s targets are suing it, pointing out that it is violating its own enabling resolution and violating the Constitution’s separation of powers by performing a law enforcement function rather than a legislative one.
In the interests of fairness and transparency, the committee should not have been allowed to hold public hearings until these legal challenges were fully heard by the courts. But the hearings went ahead, because Democrats are desperate to distract the public from their policy failures before the 2022 midterm elections.
While denouncing the Capitol riot, these same Democrats are saying nothing about protests at the homes of Supreme Court justices — and even an assassination attempt.
This is a Third World state of political collapse. We, the world’s leading constitutional democracy, are abandoning the basic rights and safeguards in our Constitution. We, the world’s most powerful economy, are failing to make basic plans to provide water to sustain life and energy to keep the lights on.
Our political elite and our media indulge ideological fetishes and palace intrigues, and fail to learn from the mistakes other countries have made. And we are running out of time to save ourselves.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.