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Open Letter To Renaldo Gouws

I’d like to set up an online discussion with prominent South African YouTube personality, Renaldo Gouws, to discuss how the Democratic Alliance (DA) can solve the issues that South Africa faces and why I, a South African voter with no party affiliation, should cast my vote for them in the upcoming municipal elections.

For those who lack context, Renaldo Gouws is a South African YouTube personality, with almost 120,000 subscribers to his highly successful channel, which he started in 2007. He is also a member of the DA, South Africa’s official opposition, and serves on the party’s Economic, Development, Tourism, and Agriculture Committees as a Ward Councillor in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

If you don’t know who I am… I’m just a random blogger. But what matters is that I’m a South African who, for four elections (municipal and national) since I’ve been eligible to vote, has never cast the same vote twice (I even voted for the DA once). I have no political allegiance but have very progressive values which I feel none of South Africa’s political parties represent… at all. I’m not interested in labeling my political ideology anymore, but I definitely find myself more aligned with the policies and values of the left side of the political spectrum than with those of the right. The idea of a political spectrum is stupid though, which I think Renaldo would agree with.

Mr. Gouws,

I was tagged in one of your tweets by your followers, in which you made a request for a “woke leftie” (whatever that means) to debate you in your Sunday debate on your channel. And I thought it’d be cool to see if you’d respond to me.

After I got no response, I tried again by replying to an invite to another progressive on Twitter

Renaldo Gouws Twitter

So effectively, Renaldo, you’re saying that I don’t have a large enough following to deserve a spot on your show. That’s fair, but let’s be clear that I’m not a Twitter profile with an egg as a profile picture, seven followers, and a handle like @Zelta67442t4 or some completely anonymous account. In fact, two other South African podcasters with decent followings, Jeremy Nel (a.k.a Jerm) and Roman Cabanac have both hosted me on their shows. So, if they weren’t afraid to take on an unknown progressive like me, why should you be hesitant? Especially considering your insistence that nobody on the left has the spine to debate you.

So my proposal to you, Renaldo, is this. Let’s try out a new format. You are a politician, and I’m a voter. Perhaps I’m not as well educated and read up on policies as you. After all, I’m not a politician. But I’m certainly better informed than the vast majority of South African voters. And my political identity has been very thoroughly thought out. It has been reshaped several times over, and I am open to the idea of supporting any political movement that will create a better South Africa.

We can have an open discussion that’s unlike any debate and could aid your party’s quest to win voters… if not me, personally, then perhaps thousands of people who watch the video will.

We can discuss the problems South Africa’s facing and what policies I’d like to see implemented, or what kind of progress I’d like to see in general. And you can tell me how the DA plans to fix the mess that the ANC and the political authorities of the past have made in South Africa.

Now, as for my lack of following. Let me take it at face value that you don’t want me on your channel, because either a) I’m just an opportunist trying to leech off of your following, or b) I simply don’t have enough authority or qualifications to have any value for your audience. That’s fine.

Then, I propose that I will set up a small YouTube channel, run a Livestream myself, and have you on as my guest. As a politician, you should feel obligated to join me, answer my questions, convince me that your party deserves my vote. It helps you get your message out to my very insignificant following, but every vote counts, right? If you refuse, you will be showing the very same lack of accountability or willingness to enact real change as the ANC politicians that you so frequently berate on your channel.

I do not think this request is unreasonable and I think you might find that there will be a lot of value to be extracted from a conversation between us. I look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Kyle Smith

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