The day my world hero predicted the Republican Party’s disintegration and the emergence of a new ‘GOP’

I visited my ailing friend Nelson Mandela at his Houghton Estate, in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2012. While Graca Machel was pouring her very special brew of coffee into our cups, Nelson hit me with a shocker: he said America’s Republican Party would no longer be what it is “in about five years.”

Coming from a person whom almost the entire human race admires and respects, Nelson’s words literally put me in high gear and reminded me of what former president Jimmy Carter told me just a year earlier in New York: that it was time for a major two-party system realignment.

“What would become of the GOP?” I asked Nelson.

He laid his hands out on the table like a seer would with tarot cards and said: “It will be a presidential election year in 2016. Both Democratic and Republican parties will have very strong aspirants for nomination.”

That would be normal, I thought to myself. And as I started to think that age and illness was probably getting the better of my good old friend, Nelson added: “Each party would have a strong aspirant that is an absolute outsider in the strict sense of the word outsider. The party that nominates their outsider is the party that will disintegrate and consequently have to reform itself.”

I moved uneasily in my comfortable seat and asked “What do you mean?”

“I foresee that the Republican Party will be taken over by an outsider,” he said, adding: “I just couldn’t say exactly what that means. But it looks to me like the Grand Old Party’s leadership and more than half its membership will refuse to recognize their eventual nominee.”

“And that will lead to a redefinition of the party?” I asked.

“I believe so.”

Nelson Mandela passed away nineteen months later, on December 5, 2013.

When I returned to the U. S. in 2015, I started hearing rumors that Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent who caucused with the Democratic Party, was planning a stab at the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. And then later, while in New York City with a group of prospective investors for a new Donald Trump golf course in Scotland, Donald himself hinted to us that he might run for president and that the value of the his golf course’s membership would go through the ceiling if he wins.

“Good grief!” I whispered audibly as Donald shot me his typically scornful glare.

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