The third in the se­ries: Oz chameleons cheer Trump

Dubbo Photo News - - Opinion & Analysis - Tony Web­ber Tony Web­ber is a Dubbo res­i­dent and right now, im­mensely thank­ful.

AND now the last of our three-part se­ries en­ti­tled “Trump? WTF?” To­day we look at the Aus­tralian re­ac­tion, specif­i­cally the glee within a group usu­ally de­scribed as the hard right.

These in­cluded fed­eral politi­cians, high pro­file me­dia fig­ures and other no­ta­bles who were not only gen­uinely pleased to see the Klan’s can­di­date get up, but were ea­ger to cel­e­brate it pub­licly.

Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans Cory Bernardi and Ge­orge Chris­tensen were par­tic­u­larly ef­fu­sive in their sup­port for Trump, be­fore and af­ter the elec­tion.

Which is weird, un­less these peo­ple value Trump’s af­front to civil so­ci­ety more than the sub­stance of his plat­form and per­son­al­ity.

OK, there was the “lis­ten to the peo­ple” les­son, that the “lit­tle guy” had been screwed and wasn’t gonna take it anymore.

But the broad con­sen­sus is that trend had been a side ef­fect of the free mar­ket ne­olib­eral poli­cies held dear by the party of both Ber­nadi and Chris­tensen: glob­al­i­sa­tion, work­force ca­su­al­i­sa­tion, less union­ism, smaller gov­ern­ment and pri­vati­sa­tion.

So the po­lit­i­cal wing of the business lobby in Aus­tralia is now anti-free trade? Shouldn’t we have re­ceived a news­let­ter or some­thing?

How is Trump a win for Aus­tralian con­ser­va­tives, when he is loathed by US con­ser­vatism?

And what about the fact that the Trump coup was so loaded with of­fen­sive big­otry and cru­elty – he mocked a dis­abled jour­nal­ist, for Christ’s sake. Think that’s funny?

Even if you were a Trump sup­porter for what­ever rea­son, as an elected of­fi­cial it might be pru­dent to just have a stub­bie un­der the stairs rather than pa­rade en­thu­si­asm for a fig­ure whose rise to power has po­larised and fright­ened much of the world.

As Cor­nel West wrote in The Guardian this week: “The ne­olib­eral era in the United States just ended with a ne­o­fas­cist bang.”

This is a guy who en­cour­aged vi­o­lence at his ral­lies and at which events a num­ber of minority pro­test­ers were at­tacked – and at least two of our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives seem to think that’s funny at best, and ad­mirable at worst.

We’ve got Chris­tensen show­cas­ing Trump’s book around the par­lia­men­tary cham­ber and Ber­nadi whip­ping up a cel­e­bra­tory storm on twit­ter as the Trump vic­tory drew near.

Don’t they want minority votes anymore?

And con­sider: Trump was an out­sider pay­ing ser­vice to the dis­en­fran­chised on a plat­form of an anti-es­tab­lish­ment mantra of “drain the swamp.”

That’s “the swamp’ as in the seat of gov­ern­ment.

This whole mad­ness was the in­evitable con­clu­sion to the cyn­i­cal ma­nip­u­la­tion of gov­ern­ment bash­ing by fig­ures on the right US pol­i­tics.

We saw the same phe­nom­e­non here in the Repub­li­can ref­er­en­dum: pol­lies har­ness­ing anti-gov­ern­ment re­sent­ment to win votes.

In the US this “small gov­ern­ment” cult bred the Tea Party and saw en­trenched po­lit­i­cal fig­ures dis­tanc­ing them­selves from gov­ern­ment, as if they could si­mul­ta­ne­ously be re­pulsed by pol­i­tics on the one hand and be a suc­cess­ful ca­reer politi­cian on the other.

In bar­rack­ing for Trump po­lit­i­cal fig­ures from the hard right here would seem­ingly also have us be­lieve their jour­ney through the pre-se­lec­tion process, elec­tion cam­paign and time spent in par­lia­ment is not in­con­sis­tent with their loathing for a gov­ern­ment ma­chine in which they are en­trenched. Talk about hav­ing a tiger by the tail. Equally the fifth es­tate, from Miranda Devine to An­drew Bolt, where the tone has been one of gloat­ing as if they too have also long held that the con­ven­tional eco­nomic the­ory of the last four decades was un­fair at its core.

Maybe Trump’s Aus­tralian cheer squad just en­joyed stick­ing a finger in the eye of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.

But the iden­ti­ties pro­posed for the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion se­nior po­si­tions al­ready are an ex­treme ca­bal that makes Ge­orge W Bush’s co­terie of oil lob­by­ists and neo-con war­mon­gers look pos­i­tively ba­nal.

That the US re­turned to tor­ture, se­cret jails and im­pris­on­ing ter­ror sus­pects with­out trial tells us safe­guards and stan­dards we thought were per­ma­nent are in­stead fleet­ing and vul­ner­a­ble to be­ing rolled back with ease. Trump was en­dorsed by the Klan. This isn’t funny.

Even if you were a Trump sup­porter for what­ever rea­son, as an elected of­fi­cial it might be pru­dent to just have a stub­bie un­der the stairs rather than pa­rade en­thu­si­asm for a fig­ure whose rise to power has po­larised and fright­ened much of the world.

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