Is it reasonable to expect our leaders to set the tone for the nation? Is it reasonable to expect them to treat with respect the people with whom they disagree? Is it reasonable to expect them to tell us the truth so we can then make informed decisions about alternatives?
How can they achieve anything constructive by shouting and name-calling and misrepresenting or cherry-picking the facts? The only aim seems to be to divide us into warring camps – the greater the differences the better – so they can achieve electoral success.
But it is us that bestow that.
So is it our fault?
Do they, rather than making decisions based on the best outcome, identify our weaknesses and exploit them? Why do we allow them to get away with deliberately manufacturing fear rather than offering solutions?
Just like our politicians, we find it difficult to have a civil political conversation with someone with whom we disagree. On social media it’s a battle zone. Rather than the public uniting together to expect better from our politicians – in behaviour, transparency, accountability and results – people fling insults at total strangers.
Are they fuelling our bad behaviour or are we rewarding theirs?
The blame game is constant. Leyonjhelm’s supporters say he was justified in spreading rumours about Sarah Hanson-Young’s sex life because she thinks all men are rapists – something no-one has ever said because it is patently ridiculous – but that’s become their truth.
Is it Leyonjhelm’s fault that hating feminists has appeal?
We get to choose who we believe.
Why do some people believe representatives of the fossil fuel industry instead of scientists?
Why do some people believe George Christensen and Pauline Hanson about Islam instead of listening to the many members of the Australian Muslim community who continually step up in the media, community and elsewhere to answer any concerns people may have, only to have to defend their commitment to country regardless of how long they have been here and what contribution they are making to our society? Why do they ignore our intelligence services who have repeatedly spoken about the significant role the Australian Muslim community are playing in keeping us safe from terrorism?
It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to allow a government to get away with boasting about record company profits and the millionaires flocking to Australia, and how all this investment has created a record number of jobs, at the same time as arguing they need to cut taxation to attract investment. This cut in revenue will be accompanied by increased spending on GST distribution, defence acquisitions, and infrastructure, locked in for decades.
Everything’s rosy if you aren’t interested in the paradoxes.
But how do they get away with it? Are they exploiting our laziness?
Why is it that, in families, the parents set the standards, in schools, the executive set the tone, in business and other organisations, management are responsible, yet when it comes to our government, rather than taking the lead in setting an example, they try to appeal to our worst instincts and exploit our ignorance?
If we demand better will they behave better? If they behave better will we?
Is it our fault or theirs?