Dear Dr Grumpy,
I have some friends, nominally sane, who vote Liberal. What can I do to make them see the error of their ways?
From Baffled of Balmain.
It's clear you are not a captain of industry - not a mining magnate, nor press baron nor banker. I will assume your friends do not fall into these categories either, otherwise the motives of self-interest, rampant avarice and unfettered power would be obvious as would then be the futility of any argument with them.
What motivates the other, seemingly normal, sociable individuals with at least some degree of a conscience to support a regressive, scabrous, autocratic coagulation of grifters, pooners, chancers, incompetent time-servers, god-botherers, corporate toadies and pimps?
Well, conservatives see the world in black & white. It's no coincidence that today's Libs are dominated by religious wing-nuts and creationists; evidence, facts, history, logic, science and nuance are irrelevant. Nothing will convince the rusted-ons.
All we can hope for is that those others who retain some sense of critical thought can at least countenance a once-off vote against the creeps and weirdos who infest the L/NP to clean the place out and return it to some semblance of pre-Howard sanity. Let us take three articles of faith of the traditional Lib voter and test them.
Law 'n' Order. The catch cry of the conservatives. This is where the fringe-left PC group-think thought police do us no favours; they give licence to the rabid right to label all who do not inhabit their dystopian fantasyland as lefty Stalinists while themselves rolling out ever more police state controls.
That a party espousing freedom could ever countenance a tuber-headed, psychopathic ex-Queensland copper as their leader speaks volumes. Peter "Spud" Dutton, aka Adolf Kipfler, is the erstatzkommandant of the Gestapotato, a collective of spooks and dark-uniformed goons subject to minimal oversight and positioned as the Lib's private police force. Keeping us free!
Spud has practiced his dark arts in an environment crafted by John The Lying Rodent Howard, the deceitful master of divide and conquer. That culture was nurtured by Howard's idiot love child Ten Flags Tony by exploiting the threats of some weirdly-bearded losers fresh out of the 15th century as cause for alarming then monitoring the rest of us.
Also, the irony of the favoured mantra of the autocrats - "if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear" somehow doesn't seem to register with Lib Attorneys General as they contemplate selling off our data to a widening circle of various interests while hiding their own activities from public scrutiny. Freedom and privacy - incompatible and incomprehensible to our current crop of neo-fascists.
Better economic management. A tired old shibboleth of the right - who believe if they repeat it often enough then they may even come to believe it themselves. Let us for the moment bypass the foundational economic reforms of Hawke-Keating that underpinned the economy that The Rodent & The Tip With No Iceberg claimed credit for. And then Australia's stellar economic performance during the GFC under the Rudd-Gillard government. Pointing out these examples to a Lib simply results in either covered ears and some "nah, nah, nah" or a change of subject. So let us try another tack - what does better economic management mean to the Libs?
Profit. Everything exists to turn a private profit - the environment, education, health, public assets, security, everything. If you can't pay you can't have. And their laissez-faire economic rationalism is a Ponzi scheme of never ending, ever growing consumption serving the limitless, unscrutinised greed of the super rich.
It was the Libs who loudly resisted any inquiry into the egregious behaviour of the banks, covering for corporate thieves and criminals while urging billions of dollars be shoveled their way as tax relief.
It's the Libs, the champions of the free market, who insist that tax-payer dollars be used to fund stranded assets in new coal-fired power stations while hamstringing the market's investments in renewables. The Lib's free market ideology is nothing if not pliable.
It was the Libs who killed the market mechanism for carbon trading, a model widely accepted by the energy industry itself as the best means of controlling carbon pollution. Hypocrisy - an L/NP trademark.
It was the Libs who deliberately and cynically and for purely political purposes sabotaged the NBN - infrastructure critical to the economic well-being of the country.
Freedom of Speech. The loopy left and the rabid right both have to be challenged here but the loopy left are peripheral - self-righteous, identity politics is time consuming and interferes with image management over a soy, decaf mocha latte. It's the right wing crazies who are in power; and they want to stay there. And that means shutting down dissent.
Raiding and threatening unions, dragging three Labor leaders through expensive, futile kangaroo courts, bullying a Human Rights Commissioner, attempting to nobble GetUp and politicising the ABC as a prelude to dismantling it, interference with the High Court - nothing is beyond these autocrats when it comes to undermining our democracy so that they can cling to power and maintain the money machine of Australia Inc.
* * *
If additional ammunition is needed to support the argument then a quick look at the car park puddle that is the L/NP gene pool will help.
Scott "Hector" Morrison. Duplicitous head salesman and spruiker - a permanent smirk gives away the condescension of a smart-arsed, failed ad man and proselytizing happy clapper who believes his prosperity gospelling is a good substitute for principles and that shouting trumps reason and logic.
Ruffling through Wrecker Abbott's grab-bag of discarded thought bubbles and brain farts FauxMo looks likely to be one of the shortest term PMs in our history - praise the lord!
The Warringah Wrecker. The lycra-ed buffoon, a serial failure with a bow-legged affectation that makes him look as if he has either a bad case of ball-sack rash or that he's just shat himself.
Devoid off any vision, inventiveness or imagination he seeks to level the playing field by destroying the achievements of others. Wreckage is all he knows and all he has ever wrought.
Crash McFailure A helmet-haired harpie - this screeching harridan embodies unpleasantness. An ugly, ugly woman inside and out.
Beetroot Juice. A blatherskite, self-pitying blowhard and rustic gobshite this puce-headed prick never allows his broad ignorance to interfere with his facile opinions on any and all subjects. A shambling, rambling example of the Dunning Kruger effect.
"Yorrick" Hunt. Sniveling, treacherous cockroach who happily plunged a knife between Turnbull's shoulder blades the moment he thought it would further his own interests.
As Minister For Coal, trading as the Minister for the Environment, Yorrick closed the Climate Commission and was the architect of the farcical pea & thimble trick that was the newspeak Direct Action.
He continued to demonstrate his talents as Health Minister by being responsible for the My Health Record debacle.
Hugh Jarse. Craig Kelly, a nobody, a complete non-achiever and oxygen thief known only for his fondness for party pies, sausage rolls and smuggling 15 kilos of crack into Parliament House stuffed into his reg grundies.
Fortunately it looks like the fatuous, fat prick is for the high jump. The pre-selection high jump that is - can you imagine the bloated slug being able to literally get both his feet off the ground at the same time?
Right wing trog and toilet brush impersonator Mitch Fifield is the face of the Murdoch leg-humpers in the Liberal Party, determined to break up and sell off our national treasure, the ABC, at the behest of the IPA and the scrotum-faced Dr Evil - Rupert Murdoch.
Nigel Scullion, Andrew Hastie, Zed Seselja, Jim Molan, Eric Abetz, Kevin Andrews, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Ian McDonald, James Paterson, Matthew Canavan, Christian Porter, Stuart Robert ... the list of the hard-hearted, hard-headed, hard right, ratbag religious in the L/NP is long. A worthwhile exercise is to challenge Liberal voting friends to name one Liberal or National pollie who lives up to the moderate, old school Liberal ethos. They certainly won't be able to name two.
Given the chaotic, dysfunctional warring factionalism of this grim regime your friends may well change their vote of their own volition. If not then I recommend finding new friends.
Best of luck