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Mandela's lessons for our polarized Congress
I wondered, as the most recent congressional political convulsions came to a close, what lessons the leaders of our polarized political parties might learn from the example of Nelson Mandela. He did not succumb to pure partisanship as he led South Africa from the violence and repression of Apartheid to a multicultural functioning democracy. When Mr. Mandela was released from prison in 1990, South Africa's racial and political divisions were in many ways sharper than the economic divide that tore our Congress apart. Mr. Mandela negotiated his path to South Africa's presidency and his nation toward national reconciliation by doing something which appears unthinkable to leaders today: taking into account the interests and feelings of the other party while seeking to achieve his own objectives.
By Ronald M. Shapiro
October 29, 2013