So many important discussions this nation must have are being hijacked by sensationalist scaremongering and the caterwauling from the extreme right.
In true Trump fashion, racial profiling is on the rise. Muslims, Africans and asylum seekers are vilified in a frenzy of xenophobia. Aboriginal disadvantage is due to laziness and giving them too many free handouts.
We can’t even fix the tragic plight of the refugees on Manus and Nauru. They are “quietly” bringing people here they tell us in media reports that are supposed to satisfy the growing calls for immediate action whilst saying “shhhhhhh don’t tell anyone”. At the same time, to satisfy the indignant right, they continue to fight tooth and nail in court to stop these people being freed.
Any discussion about migration quickly simplifies to they are taking our jobs, making housing unaffordable, and clogging our cities.
The genuine issues get lost in an unhealthy lean towards white supremacy, encouraged by this fixation with insisting we all revere western civilisation. Any criticism is unpatriotic. It’s become like some sort of cheerleading exercise – we are here to lead the rest, always prove that west is best.
The same has happened with action on climate change. It has been stymied by the threats of a few politicians to withdraw their loyalty to any leader who even mentions emissions reduction. Anyone who mentions science is a greenie leftard warmist who spends their days at inner-city cafes eating smashed avo and drinking lattes.
These few have been actively courted and bombarded with misinformation from the Minerals Council, the IPA and other lobby groups and media determined to squeeze one last payday out of their coal assets or denialist propaganda.
With pretty much every expert, every agency, every organisation, every stakeholder, and every financier saying renewable energy will reduce the price of electricity, our government seems determined to guarantee the profits of anyone who will build coal-fired power. While they crow about the surge in coal prices, they seem to forget that that makes coal-fired power even less competitive. But hey, joining the dots isn’t big with the extreme right.
In trying to remove discrimination in marriage laws, and promote respectful relationships and acceptance of diversity by providing teachers with resources to use in schools, we have unleashed the extreme right religious lobby who are fighting hard to entrench their discrimination and undo any idea that society actually accepts people for who they are.
The success of these fringe-dwellers in frightening politicians has made everyone realise that sensible discussion ain’t gonna happen – loud threats work better and it’s dog eat dog in trying to shout the loudest. View the education funding jostling.
It remains to be seen how far Labor will go in courting votes by trying to appease the wrong people but one thing is certain – until we remove the Coalition from office, any chance to progress sensible decision-making will be stopped by the Monash Forum and the Monkey Pod boys.