Common Sense Dies Here #34

Welcome to Common Sense Dies Here #34, you filthy elites.

I’ve been away for a little bit replenishing my bile. In that time, the US electorate showed their anger at elites by electing a billionaire who inherited his fortune. Beginning the next step of his quest to combat those out of touch, untrustworthy bigwigs, Donald Trump has already back stepped on some of his campaign promises, and looks likely to fill his cabinet with career politicians and CEOs. The little people have overwhelmingly shown Hillary and her goons their displeasure. It’s a real fucking victory for democracy, even though Don lost the popular vote. And it’s also a victory for truth, or at least that’s what a fake news site told me. Most importantly, it’s a triumph for peace. Apparently the rejection of Hillary’s admittedly concerning enthusiasm for a no fly zone in Syria cancels out Don’s encouragement of nuclear proliferation, his plan to ramp up tensions with China, and murder the families of terrorists.

On to the domestic bliss Don promised, and more on some of the people he’s chosen to help him be a “president for all Americans”. Former investment banker and dungeon master of Breitbart, Steve Bannon, will be his chief strategist. When not accusing Democrats and ethnic minorities of electoral fraud, he enjoys pretending to take long walks along Florida beaches so he can dubiously register as a voter in the swing state.

Don nominated career politician, Jeff Sessions, as his attorney-general. It’s not the first time Jeff has been nominated for a federal legal position. His nomination for a federal judge position in the 80s was rejected after former colleagues alleged a series of questionable remarks. Jeff admitted saying he thought the KKK were “OK until I found out they smoked pot”, but claimed it was just a joke. In response to the allegation he called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union “un-American” and “Communist-inspired”, he said “I made the comment that the fundamental legal barriers to minorities had been knocked down, and that in many areas blacks dominate the political area, and that when the civil rights organizations or the ACLU participate in asking for things beyond what they are justified in asking, they do more harm than good”. I suppose Jeff is the answer to Don asking people of colour “What do you have to lose?”: hard earned civil rights, and whatever small hope remained that continuing denial of rights will be meaningfully addressed.

Much like Jeff, nominee CIA head, Mike Pompeo, has a hard on for torture. Mike is a former CEO who’s been a pollie for the last 6 years. Along with torture, he strongly supports mass surveillance. Allowing the shadowy government intelligence apparatus to freely snoop on the populace will be a real victory for the downtrodden. Former Defense Intelligence Agency director, Mike Flynn, was appointed Don’s national security advisor. He’s described Islam as “a malignant cancer”, and suspicion of Muslims as “RATIONAL”. Mike claims he was forced out of the DIA due to those forthright views, but colleagues suggest he was just shit at his job. A real crack team of crackpots Don is assembling, eh?

Back in OI! OI! OI!, Mal Turnbull attempted to profit from Don’s victory. He made the obligatory noises about ensuring that “the benefits of open markets deliver for the many and not just a few”. He plans to do so by cutting taxes for businesses and the wealthy, which is exactly the kind of trickle down nonsense that caused the problem in the first place. But then again, that’s basically Don’s plan too. I guess there is some crossover on the demonisation of foreigners too.

Mal sought to increase the similarities with an attack on the “elite media”. When quizzed by Leigh Sales about the ongoing discord about 18C, Mal said “Leigh, this is a question you should address to your editors at the ABC — very seriously. 18C is talked about constantly on the ABC, talked about constantly in what’s often the elite media. I have focused overwhelmingly on the economy”. Since it’s Coalition MPs and friendly media outlets that refuse to let the issue go, he’s basically saying that most of his allies are members of the dreaded elite. On first inspection, voting for government full of elites in order to fight the elites doesn’t seem like it makes sense. But I guess they’ve shown themselves to be great at contradicting and fighting themselves in recent times.

But anyway, Mal further asserted that, unlike those dastardly aristocrats, he’s deeply in touch with the plight of common people. He claimed his schooling at an exclusive private school, his tertiary education at exclusive universities, his work as a barrister, investment banker, and politician, and his sizeable fortune are all cancelled out by the fact he catches public transport. And who can argue with that? The train truly is the forum of everyday people. It’s easy to see how he’s incorporated its lessons: he refuses to make eye contact with reality, he argues like an annoying school kid, and most of his policies seem to be perpetually delayed. Now that he’s truly embraced his status as a working class hero, perhaps he’ll start wearing a high vis vest and a hard hat 24/7.

Back to the future PM, Tony Abbott, also revelled in Don’s victory. “This is, if you like, the revenge of the deplorables. All of the people who are sick of being called racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic because they don’t comply with the canons of political correctness … all those people saw Donald Trump as in some way their champion” he said. Bloody PC fascists! Trying to police language and shut down debate by using adjectives and expressing opinions reactionaries don’t like. Voting for a candidate that encouraged blanket suspicion of Muslims and Mexicans, and repeatedly belittled and objectified women, will certainly make those social justice weirdos think twice about calling people Islamophobic, racist, or sexist.

Tone continued the cutting, super-logical analysis by applauding Mal’s attack on the “elite media’, then doing the thing he criticised them for. Defending his own back down on amending 18C, he said “The situation is quite different now than a couple of years back. We’ve had the Queensland students, we’ve had Bill Leak, and who knows how many others who haven’t made it into the media who have been persecuted by the activist zealots that comprise the Human Rights Commission”. The case against the Queensland students he’s talking about was thrown out, yet due to the 3 years it took to get to that point, T and co have continued to cite it as an example of 18C unfairly stifling free speech. In reality, it’s more an issue with the pace of the process than denial of free speech. Some more reasonable Coalition MPs have suggested streamlining it, while leaving 18C as it is, but they’ve largely been ignored. As for the Human Rights Commission, the only part they play is facilitating conciliation when a complaint is made. They don’t bring about their own complaints. Nor do they take complaints to court. For a campaign supposedly highlighting attempts to prevent truth speaking, the anti 18C crowd are pathologically incapable of honesty. But then again, what do I know? I once drank latte and Chardonnay mixed together.

I’ve had a morally repugnant taste for making sense and knowing things ever since. My grandmother was involved in a rent strike long before I was born, so maybe I was doomed from the start. Still, I wish I could turn back time and stop myself from making such a terrible error. Unfortunately time travel is currently impossible. Not that Rhodes scholar, career politician, and man of the people, Anthony John Abbott, is going to let bleeding heart facts like that stop his heroic march back to The Lodge. Nor his never ending mission to cycle Australia back to the past. With the world seemingly on course for a return to the 1930s, he may get his way. If you think he’s an insufferable prick now, just you wait. My only consolation is imagining him tripping over the Western canon and severely injuring himself. That’s the sort of savage no nonsense talk that Don taught us all the volk want, right?

Hate to show my disdain for such salt of the earth people by continuing to discuss their humble self appointed representatives’ obsession with 18C, but blame the La-di-dardonnays. The complaint against Bill Leak that Tone so selflessly mentioned was withdrawn this week. The complainant, Melissa Dinnison, was never interested in taking the matter to court. She hoped the conciliation process would allow her to “have a frank and open discussion” with Bill, but he and his lawyers refused to participate. “I began to feel that I was being used to push an agenda and I felt that The Australian wanted to coax me into taking this to court because they were confident that they would win” she said. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard reactionary complaints about the PC “victimhood industry” and its confected outrage. Yet here we have a self described truth speaker that claims he wants to foster debate refusing to discuss his cartoon with someone it negatively impacted, and attempting to manipulate and mischaracterise the whole process in order to paint himself as the victim.

After that little detour, let’s look at Labor’s attempts to cash in on Trumpism. Short William announced a crackdown on 457 visas. He suggested that Australian workers were being “excluded from good jobs because employers are turning to temporary work visas as an alternative to local hiring”. Basically just another way of saying foreigners are stealing Australian’s jobs, and Bill was caught out overstating the number of 457 workers in the process. He also said “Exploitation of overseas workers not only puts them at risk, but undermines Australian wages and safety standards, which hurts us all. This includes recent scandals at 7-Eleven where hundreds of workers on a variety of visa classes were exploited”. It’s pretty simple really: if you ensure temporary foreign workers aren’t exploited, and give residents ample training opportunities, then the only reason companies have to use 457 workers are skills shortages. The appeals to xenophobia aren’t necessary. As ever, Labor are clumsily trying to appeal to both sides. Playing on paranoia about foreign workers, while also claiming concern for their welfare.

Shadow finance minister, Jim Chalmers, attributed Don’s victory to the American political establishment’s “sneering, snobby disdain” towards those “trampled” by globalisation. But Labor’s games are indicative of sneering, snobby disdain for the whole Australian electorate. I suppose everyone’s doing it though, right? That’s exactly the problem though. Post-truth politics isn’t anything new, it’s the fucking norm. That most politicians are liars is widely accepted. And most either accept the fact they’re voting for the least despicable of the morally reprehensible bastards on offer. Or they add to the unreality by downplaying or outright ignoring their preferred candidate’s dubious qualities. Shocking as Trump, Farage, and their ilk may seem, really they’re just the logical conclusion of all this.