No, we’re not getting in early for that date at the end of January. Although there is considerable substance to the claim from First Nations People that Australia had a civilisation long before Arthur Philip turned up with a number of ships and people that were a social problem the English decided to export rather than manage.
What we are talking about is the ridiculous hyperbole from the likes of US media commentator Candace Owens or US Senator Ted Cruz suggesting that Australians are living under the yoke of a totalitarian regime that rivals the Taliban or Nazi Germany. They seem to be questioning if the US should invade Australia to restore ‘freedom’. Apparently implementing restrictions such as lockdowns, capacity limits, mandatory vaccinations and wearing masks as countermeasures to minimise the effects of a pandemic on our society is just as offensive as gun control and universal health care to the conservatives in the USA.
The Northern Territory’s Chief Minister, Michael Gunner recently mandated vaccinations for a majority of the NT’s workforce. US Senator Ted Cruz wasn’t impressed and commented on Gunner’s social media message. The exchange is worth a read and one report is here which shows that those with an axe to grind won’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.
I love the Aussies. Their history of rugged independence is legendary; I’ve always said Australia is the Texas of the Pacific.
The Covid tyranny of their current government is disgraceful & sad.
Individual liberty matters.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 13, 2021
It’s an interesting proposition when human life is apparently not as important as claimed civil rights. Like the right to keep an assault rifle behind the seat of the ‘pickup truck’ just in case there is an armed rebellion that you have to help suppress which occurs in the time it takes you to pop down to the shops to get some milk. Or the right not to do something as simple as wearing a mask and staying home so that those with a highly transmissible illness can be found and looked after in an appropriate health care environment without spreading their illness to others. The discussion for another time is around the cost of treatment in an appropriate environment is probably also prohibitive to a good percentage of the US population.
Unfortunately, the American Conservatives aren’t the only ones that prefer to promote the story rather than the facts. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has claimed that fossil fuels are Australia’s largest export, resurrecting poor old Hanrahan to bleat and complain about how change will only cause ruin and destruction to our way of life. Pity he’s wrong – iron ore is the largest export from Australia and if we play our cards correctly, not only can we continue to dig it up, we could value add and turn it into ‘green steel’ before it goes overseas. Selling the finished product contributes far more to our economy than shipping the raw material and then propping up someone else’s economy to value add prior to sending some of the steel back to us at a profit.
Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie is no better. McKenzie, who’s behaviour in doling out sporting grants to organisations that were usually located in marginal Coalition seats was too much even for Prime Minister Morrison to stomach, claimed that 54,000 people were employed in the the thermal coal mining industry. Again the assertion is wrong, but it demonstrates to the estimated 38,000 or thereabouts people working in the overall coal industry in Australia (data from the 2017/8 Financial Year – the latest information available) that the Nationals are more interested in the mining vote than their traditional supporters.
The real problem is polarisation. Regardless of your point of view, no one is totally correct and the ‘other side’ of a discussion sometimes has a good point. We on this side of the Pacific shake our heads and wonder how people in the USA with guns are allowed to massacre people so frequently that it’s not even the headline for the day. On that side of the Pacific, apparently they are concerned that the majority of us comply with health regulations to minimise the impact of a pandemic without large scale rioting in the streets. We all know what rioting on the street can do – remember the US Capitol last January?
While some will never change, that doesn’t mean that change is impossible for all. Next time you feel like insulting someone who expresses a view different to your own, instead of thinking up a ‘clever but sarcastic’ name and trolling them on social media or in the comments below an article on a website – stop and think. Does it add value or are you as bad as Joyce, McKenzie or (perish the thought) Cruz and Evans who don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story (or their prejudices)? Promote your point of view certainly, but trolling and name calling drags you down to their level where they can beat you with experience.
And by the way, Conservative USA, we’d rather you consider increasing the perceived value of every human life in your country and dragging your political system out of the gutter created by your immediate past President than worrying about us ‘Down Under’. There is no need to send the Pacific Fleet and thousands of troops to invade Australia. We’re fine – really!
What do you think?
This article was originally published on The Political Sword
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