Perhaps We Should Copy Angola Instead of Chile

I was stunned the other night to hear Herman Cain suggest America should copy Chile’s privatized version of Social Security. Has the mighty United States of America – once the world’s shining beacon of social evolution – sunk so low that it must take lessons from one of South America’s least impressive nations?

The right-wing propaganda machine is promoting Chile – the former domain of that blood-soaked dictator, Augusto Pinochet – as its new model of conservative government. For the first time in 50 years, Chile has elected a right-wing president, billionaire businessman Sebastián Piñera, who promised to use his business experience to create jobs.

And Cain, a Republican candidate for president, says he can do the same in America. After all, look what he did for Godfather Pizza.

In the republicans’ rush to relegate the United States to Third World status, however, I would respectfully suggest Angola as a better model.

According to Wikipedia, the former Portuguese colony is doing pretty well these days:

Angola’s economy has undergone a period of transformation in recent years, moving from the disarray caused by a quarter century of civil war to being the fastest growing economy in Africa and one of the fastest in the world, with an average GDP growth of 20 percent between 2005 and 2007.  During 2001–2010 Angola has the world’s biggest annual average GDP growth with 11.1 percent. In 2004, China’s Eximbank approved a $2 billion line of credit to Angola. The loan is being used to rebuild Angola’s infrastructure…

They’re rebuilding their infrastructure… See? President Obama is already trying to follow in their footsteps.

And look at the beautiful ladies the African nation produces. The photo above shows Angola’s Leila Lopes, who was crowned Miss Universe in Sao Paulo, Brazil, last night. And apparently, she’s not just lovely to look at. The 25-year-old beauty queen could give the Republican candidates some pointers on human decency and the common good.

She told the beauty contest judges that what she would like to do with her life is help the people of her country and combat the spread of  HIV around the globe. She’s already doing her bit to lift Angola out of its history of war and impoverishment. According to news reports, she works with poor kids  and the elderly, and plans to do even more as Miss Universe.

Meanwhile, the Republican candidates are falling all over themselves to reassure their Tea Party supporters that as president they would work to abolish all traces of compassion in America.

Asked about racism in light of the fact that she’s one of the few blacks ever crowned Miss Universe, Lopes said that “any racist needs to seek help.”

“It’s not normal in the 21st century to think in that way.”

I wish somebody would tell the Tea Party folks that.