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A Race to the Bottom

Firstly, Donald Trump and the future of the world……

Here’s my take…….Donald is possibly the most narcissistic person I have encountered in public life. From history I have concluded that John Paul II, Nixon, Hitler, Bismarck, Lincoln, Napoleon, Henry VIII, Pope Innocent III, all the way back to Augustine and Alexander were narcissists. They all caused, to some degree greater or lesser, serious upheaval within their sphere of influence. Trump will do the same. How serious this upheaval will be is hard to say, but I do not rule out some military conflict and certainly some global economic consequences. He might pal up with Putin but if China is the target, make no mistake, Russia will side with China when the spaghetti hits the fan.

What has that got to do with Australia? Ask Malcolm Turnbull. He has first-hand knowledge.

Who would have thought 2017 would be the year of the narcissist and the amateur? But here we are. Donald Trump is President of the USA, Malcolm Turnbull is our Prime Minister and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party might poll better than the LNP in the upcoming Queensland and Western Australian state elections.

If that wasn’t enough, Cory Bernardi is tipped to form a breakaway Conservative party that will be further to the right of the Liberal Party. Mind you, it’s not altogether clear if Cory’s party will be further to the right of One Nation.

If you thought that was depressing, take note that “fake news” is the latest genie out of the bottle. The chances have never been higher that a flood of unbelievable rubbish oozing out of Canberra, Washington, the right wing MSM and certainly social media will be forthcoming in spades.

One can barely imagine the level of mis-reporting, fake news, lies and deception that is about to be unleashed upon the poor unsuspecting citizens of the world this year.

It will be unprecedented. Little wonder some are feeling like Alice through the looking glass. It is humorous enough watching Senator-no-longer, Rod Cullerton refusing to accept the decision of the Federal Court and vowing he won’t vacate his office, but that is small chips.

On more serious matters, as much as the Coalition partners here will try to hide it, or limit themselves talking about it, our government is between a rock and a hard place with The Donald in the Maison Blanche.

Beware though. This Liberal/National Coalition are a bunch of opportunists and rednecks without a vision beyond perpetuating their own existence.

Trump is a Republican president; their kind of people. He’s a Reagan man, again, their kind of people. But he’s a loose cannon and they are going to be bullied in ways they have never experienced before.

How on earth did it all come to this? That’s an easy question to answer. What we are experiencing as we observe these unexpected outcomes is a worldwide revolution against inequality.

The Americans who voted for Trump, however, have shot themselves in the foot. If they were looking for someone to restore equality to America, they should have chosen Bernie Sanders.

Instead, they have put a filthy rich guy in control because they were sick of filthy rich guys hoarding all the money.

But let’s not concern ourselves with them. What is likely to happen here? As Trump begins to legitimise crassness, political incorrectness and post truth, you can be sure our government will be paying close attention and attempt to capitalise on what he gets away with, by doing something similar here.

If the Queensland and Western Australian state election outcomes show strong support for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, it will be at the expense of the conservative side of politics.

Coalition members will feign displeasure, of course, but quietly use this lurch to the far right to push for the repeal of Section 18C, call for harsher adjustments to their border protection policy and their immigration intake.

And perhaps, as the doors of the conservative media fly open, ready to embrace public mood swings, they will begin attacks on any minority group that One Nation targets. Trade Unions will also come in for some special attention. Anything to reverse the current disastrous polling figures.

So, get ready to witness the race to the bottom as lobby groups and spin doctors are brought in to soften us up and proclaim closet racists and rednecks as the new normal.

The Coalition will do whatever it takes to recover from their current poor polling in readiness for an election in 2018, a year earlier than required, but necessary to bring the senate timeline back into sync.

 

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34 comments

  1. Kronomex

    Turnbull and the LNP are going to make Leonard Zelig look like a complete amateur in the months to come. The gates to the fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth circles of hell are open.

  2. 1petermcc

    After MT’s bizarre lurch to the Right yesterday, I suspect Trump’s disease can be transmitted by phone. Just a day or two earlier MT claimed not listening to Voters was damaging Democracy, then promptly did exactly that.

    Madness. Donald doesn’t even have a vote in our system and is hardly likely to bring the Libs any going by his unpopularity in Oz. Aside from Pauline, he is widely regarded as a fool.

  3. Klaus Petrat

    A very accurate observation.

    Malcolm has, among many other things, lost sight that Australia is a sovereign nation. Yet, he accepts this crap from the American narcissist, no more mature than a toddler in the playground.

    He has 0 guts to stand up to the bully and would trade Australian lives on the battle field (because Donald may have already asked him) to get the refugee cattle trading over and done with.

    A man of courage and vision would have made a very strong point to the bully in the White House. “You know what Don, I take my refugees and resettle them in Australia. I know I am late in coming around but I do not accept the way you are dealing with me”

    Any chance for that to happen? No, hell will freeze over before the spineless character of a PM will show any courage.

  4. lawrencewinder

    What a shambles… this is what an IPA universe looks like….. and it can only get worse…

  5. helvityni

    “Who would have thought 2017 would be the year of the narcissist and the amateur?”

    Yet today ,both US and Oz have a narcissist at the helm, plus we also have our very own amateur, we welcomed her back; she made a come-back….as they say about movie stars.

    Who would have predicted that, anymore than who would have believed that Abbott had a chance to be our PM…hopefully only once. 🙂

  6. 245179

    The sooner we get to the bottom of this pit the better, leaves climbing back out the only option…….I think

  7. Peter F

    Remember that we were to receive South American refugees in exchange, it was not in any way one sided.

  8. Peter F

    @ helvityni ……. Who says your ‘amateur’ is not a narcissist? Think about it. All we need is the return of Tony …” to say what I mean is not necessarily to mean what I say’….Abbott, and the farce should reach it’s climax.

  9. Freedom

    Some facts you seem to be overlooking;
    1/ Trump is a Democratically elected President.
    2/ Trump’s rise is a direct result of a failed and corrupt system.
    3/ The people who voted for Trump still support him.
    4/ There are between 49 and 51 Muslim-majority countries in the world. Trumps temporary ban on immigration is not a ban on Muslims.
    5/ If Hansen is getting more and more support then the citizens who vote are becoming more aware of how corrupt our own system is..
    6/ John Howard was so worried about Hansen’s rise in popularity he had her offices raided to find something to pin on her.
    7/ Hansen was labeled a racist for basically suggesting the re-introduction of the White Australia Policy.
    8/ MSM is bought and paid for.
    9/ Australia will have the same problem in the future as the US if we don’t do similar with immigration. It’s called payback.
    10/ Australians will believe the media and return Abbott as PM.
    11/ Truth hurts.
    12/ I am not a troll. I am a concerned Australian citizen who has actually read the news, not just intellectualise it.

  10. Tec10

    I fear for the planet!

  11. Kate Ahearne

    Freedom, That’s Hanson, not Hansen. And what do you mean by, ‘It’s called payback’.

  12. Jordan

    I disagree on your point RE the libs curtailing immigration. Sure, they’ll probably think of even more draconian measures to impose on refugees and make more noise about our borders etc, and possibly further cut our immigration intake, but there is simply no way I can see them doing anything about our overall migration intake or the 457 issue.

    IMHO asylum seekers have been used ever since Howard as a distraction from the main problem which is our unsustainable level of overall migration. Our economy resembles a ponzi scheme with immigration a major driver of gdp (but not per capita) growth. The real estate and construction industries rely on it to underpin dwelling construction and price growth (among other factors), and business generally relies on it (and especially 457 workers) to suppress wages growth and ensure a compliant workforce. There are way too many vested interests to ever even admit it’s a problem so asylum seekers will continue to be used as scapegoats by the cynical right and neoliberalists

    Hopefully one day Australians will come to realise this, as competition for jobs increases, our infrastructure buckles further under the stress, and housing becomes increasingly unaffordable. I say we should be increasing our humanitarian intake, but massively reducing other migration paths and ending or severely limiting 457 visas

  13. John Kelly

    Freedom….I too read the news. Trump was not elected democratically. He was elected by the Electoral College despite Hilary Clinton polling nearly 3 million more votes. Abbott will never be PM again. The rest of your points are either opinion or true.

  14. Freedom

    Payback for helping murder millions of innocent people, assassinating their leaders ( for whatever they allegedly did) and blowing their entire nations to smithereens, all for an unjust cause.
    ..and thank you for correcting my atrocious spelling lol

  15. helvityni

    Peter F, you are onto something there; you can be both,an amateur and a narcissist incorporated….Tones is a good example of that. 🙂

  16. Freedom

    I should also add plundering their wealth.

  17. Harquebus

    John Kelly
    This was a good read. Very perceptive.

    Below is something that I read earlier today. It is broader and gloomier than the excerpts that I have included. I just want to introduce the comparison made by the author of Trump and Caesar.

    “Modern representative democracy, he pointed out, has no effective defenses against corruption by wealth, and so could be expected to evolve into corporate-bureaucratic plutocracies that benefit the affluent at the expense of everyone else. Those left out in the cold by these transformations, in turn, end up backing what Spengler called Caesarism—the rise of charismatic demagogues who challenge and eventually overturn the corporate-bureaucratic order.”
    “and he [Caesar] spent much of his career piling up huge debts and then wriggling out from under them. Yet he became the political standardbearer for the plebeian classes, and his assassination by a conspiracy of rich Senators launched the era of civil wars that ended the rule of the old elite once and for all.”
    “our civilization’s Age of Reason is visibly crumbling and the Second Religiosity is only beginning to build up a head of steam.”
    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2017/02/perched-on-wheel-of-time.html

    Cheers.

  18. Freedom

    John Kelly… I am not a Trump (or anyone else for that matter) supporter but you have to admit it will be interesting to see the results (if not faked too) of Trumps inquiry into voter fraud. Also, I freely admit I do not understand the US electoral system (if indeed anyone does) but he did officially win the election as far a the law defines. I’m not trying to be argumentative nor do I disrespect your knowledge and position and freely accept your criticism. I am glad you acknowledge the validity of the remainder. It assures me that perhaps some of the public are not quite as indoctrinated as some suspect. Thank you.

  19. Kate Ahearne

    John, Thanks for scaring us some more. We seem to need it.

  20. Chris

    Freedom is right, John. America’s founding fathers, in their infinite wisdom, implemented a version of democracy which involved the appointment of the president by members of an electoral college who in turn were elected by those citizens who were eligible, and bothered to vote.
    Trump didn’t win an overall majority, but he didn’t need to; that wasn’t how he structured his campaign. Hilary and her team, OTOH, fumbled the campaign in the rust belt/flyover states, and spent money and effort in places where her votes were already a given.
    Trump is undoubtedly a problem, for America and for the world, but the DNC has yet to understand how badly it failed, and why.

  21. Robert G. Shaw

    John, I add my voice to that of Freedom and Chris;
    Trump won legally, and by the US electoral system, democratically. Quibbling about the legitimacy of the Electoral College now that WE’VE lost smacks of sulking.

    We need to move on from those things we cannot change and confront the very real issues and consequences of his Presidency that we can.

    Here is one place:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/01/learning/lesson-plans/evaluating-trumps-nomination-of-judge-gorsuch-to-the-supreme-court-a-lesson-plan.html

    http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/trumps-appalling-supreme-court-pick

    https://theintercept.com/2017/02/01/supreme-court-nominee-neil-gorsuch-is-a-down-payment-on-trumps-promise-to-overturn-roe-v-wade/

  22. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    As I’ve said before, the right work hard on gaming the system. They care not about how, as long as they win, because winning gives them the mandate that they will happily deny the other side when they win. Who cares what the electorate want or need, its all about how to get back into power. And if that means dealing with the devil, they will happily do it. Well, so many of them are lawyers, its part of the selection criteria!

    Freedom – I note your words. Trump won because the Democrats (and the money/system behind them) were scared of Saunders and ensured he wasn’t the candidate. This is a pity because many who voted for Trump would have voted for Saunders who at least would have looked after them.

    The reason that Trump won the Republican primaries is because amongst his voting base, he has by far the highest media profile, and like it or not, that gets votes. It is why Pauline personally gets votes, because the media happily stick her on tv all the bloody time. But her candidates will always be duds, in the same way that Clive Palmers were. Plus she has no credible policies on important issues – all she bangs on about is populist guff, and then votes with the LNP. Truly a waste of a protest vote if ever I saw one.

    If people want system change, the only party that appear to be close to offering it here in Australia is the Greens. However they so scare the bejesus out of the Coalition and Labor (and their happy little coterie in the Press Gallery) that whatever chance that is given, they will be ridiculed and derided, without any analysis at all of the policies that they actually support. Unfortunately the system (and its key players) will work hard to ensure that they don’t get enough support, because they are largely quite happy with how that system supports them and their lifestyles.

  23. John Kelly

    Chris, Yes, I know how and why the Electoral College was established. It’s interesting that you refer to it as “a version of democracy”. I haven’t heard it put that way before. How many versions of democracy are there out there and who decided that they were still democratic? What does that say about ‘one vote one value’?, Just for the record, Hillary Clinton outvoted Donald Trump by almost 2.9 million votes, with 65,844,954 (48.2%) to his 62,979,879 (46.1%), By any true measure of democracy, that is a win to Hillary. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/21/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-popular-vote-final-count/

  24. John Kelly

    Robert G Shaw, I don’t contest that Trump won legally. But I do contest that he won democratically. For a country so dedicated to having all other countries practice democracy, it’s odd that in the case of electing their president, they don’t practice what they preach. What they say is not what they do.

  25. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    John – our own system is in some part an electoral college (though nowhere near as fecked up as the US one). A politician here could quite easily win the popular vote, but still lose the election. Our mechanism puts undue focus on those marginal seats as the US one does on swing states, with all the pork barrelling (or the exact opposite for opposition safe seats).

    Our system is not a whole heap better than theirs in reality.

  26. totaram

    For those who need some more nuanced view of what is going on, I have this little extra. Add the contents of this to the D-K syndrome and you have the average voter completely manipulated beyond anyone’s imagination. “Democracy” as we imagine it is finished.

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/how-our-likes-helped-trump-win

    If we want to do something about it, we better start now. Just “talking to the voters and listening to them” may not make the cut any more. Things are much more serious. It’s all a question of who can buy the best tech to manipulate the “voters”.

  27. Canberra Cynic

    Donald Trump won the presidential election because he won three seats that had been previously won by Obama – Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania and he only won these states collectively by a bit over 100,000 votes. He did not have a landslide win which he suggests that he had, but gamed the system by going to these three states multiple times, saying what people wanted to hear and having great media coverage.

  28. totaram

    John Kelly: Sorry I missed this little pearl:
    “For a country so dedicated to having all other countries practice democracy, it’s odd that in the case of electing their president, they don’t practice what they preach. What they say is not what they do.”

    Indeed! Ask any country on which “freedom and democracy” have been “imposed” by the USA. The list is too long to even think of putting here. But I’m sure we will see more of the same, except it will be brazen and open. Much better in a way.

  29. John Kelly

    Steve Laing, I agree our system is deeply flawed, but somewhat saved by preferential voting. I would like to see electoral divisions scrapped and replaced with lower house members elected state by state according to the percentage vote received. As an example, if Labor was to record a 52% vote in Victoria, it would receive 52% representation. As it happens that is pretty much the distribution that exists at the moment in Vic, but not so in other states. Such a system would eliminate landslide wins, restore representative democracy and keep politicians on their toes.
    The Senate should be managed similarly. I do not understand how Tasmania can have 12 senators, the same as Victoria and NSW when they have only 5 lower house members.

  30. John Kelly

    Totarum, the world is littered with failed democracies “imposed” upon them by the US. Thanks for the link.

  31. Flogga

    Freedom, if there are between 49 and 51 Muslim-majority countries in the world, would it not be easier to just say 50?

  32. Harquebus

    Perhaps then we should give the U.S. a greater number of seats at the U.N. Likewise for China and India.

  33. Pingback: A Race to the Bottom | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

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