Politics of Fear


John Howard, 31 August, 2007

John Howard, 31 August, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It’s always good to stand in front of a flag when playing the politics of fear.

It’s on again. Increasingly right wing politics has become a politics of fear and Tony Abbot has learnt the lessons well at the feet of John Howard.

In the movie “The American President”, close to the end, Michael Douglas gives a speech defending his new girlfriend from character attacks from a Republican hopeful.

I’ve known Bob Rumson for years, and I’ve been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn’t get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t get it. Bob’s problem is that he can’t sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and character. And wave an old photo of the President’s girlfriend and you scream about patriotism and you tell them, she’s to blame for their lot in life,

Well what happens if we do some editing? If we take that speech and replace ‘family’ with ‘battlers’, ‘American values’ with ‘Australian values’ and ‘character’ with ‘huge deficits’. Then switch ‘the President’s girlfriend’ with ‘refugee boats’ and scream about ‘Australian borders’.

Does that sound like the noises we are getting from the Coalition? Check this story from their puppet newspaper “A Coalition Would Change National History Curriculum” and this one “Activists disrupt Abbott’s ‘illegal boats’ tally”.

Is this a party that is talking about the future shape of our country? Or are we likely to have a government after September that got there by “making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it”?

Continue reading