As Americans woke to refreshing celebrations of a significant return to sanity, South Africans were still struggling to wrap their heads around Tuesday’s disgrace in Parliament.
The shameful conduct of our politicians is probably one of the few areas we can maybe juxtapose with the all too powerful US since the advent of Donald Trump.
The Americans appear to have finally realised the polarising figure of their Republican president through an election hailed as a referendum against the deeply divisive Trump.
Democrats, yesterday, took control of the US House of Representatives in the mid-term elections in a major blow to Trump’s controversial policies.
The Democrats’ victory after a bruising campaign means the closely guarded tax affairs of Trump can now be investigated and, more importantly, his racially charged promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico can be blocked.
The Democrats even have the ammunition to mirror our Zuma years and launch impeachment proceedings against Trump.
Sadly, the healthy politics bug clearly missed us on Tuesday.
As Americans were fixing their mess, South Africans were left shell-shocked by live television scenes that showed Parliament degenerate into a House of Blows. Embarrassing scenes of sex taunts, blatant racist attacks and scuffles played out in the House of Assembly right in front of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Some may argue that this is, of course, not new to us. A great part of Jacob Zuma’s tenure saw Parliament shift from a respected house that represents the ordinary people and makes laws for the country.
We had hoped this ugly past was behind us with the dawn of a new era Ramaphosa had promised taxpayers, who, for years, helplessly watched well-paid parliamentarians make a mockery of the same people who vote for their lavish lifestyles.
Tuesday was an opportunity for our so-called representatives to grill the president about a myriad problems affecting their constituency - the people. That the chaos cut across the whole political divide is a serious indictment on our leaders, just less than a year away from elections.
Who do we vote for? This same lot?
Maybe feeling the pain of the poor unrepresented taxpayers, Ramaphosa said he was sad to see such scenes in Parliament.
You are not alone, Mr President.
Phathisani Moyo is news editor at The Star.