Image from insidestory.org.au (Photo by Mick Tsikas/AAP)
"Facts sometimes are contentious aren’t they? What you might think is right somebody else might think is completely untrue & that’s part of living in a Democratic Country"
A neat four years ago Antique Barbie and Trump flunky Kellyanne Conway set the tone for a post-truth Trumpworld when she defended the tangerine tyrant's ludicrous claims of an outsized inauguration crowd by invoking the Orwellian notion of "alternative facts". *
Fast forward from Trump's Year Zero to when the seditionists and rioters obeyed the command of the despotic, half-sucked mango seed by attempting to literally torch American democracy, aided and abetted from within by treasonous, mercenary GOP urgers and spivs. All the result of four years of accumulated alternative facts and "fake news" gaslighting.
Across the Trump years tens of millions of willing dupes, oiks, the useful idiotista, Qrackpots, slope-shouldered racists and stool samplers wallowed in a steady effluvium of post-truth ordure that megaphoned Trump's self-aggrandising lies and whiney grievance mongering.
But, the introductory quote at the start of this rant is not from some Trump vassal pissing out of the tent, it is not an artefact from crazy-town nor is it from the toxic bile factory that trades as the Dirty Digger's Fox News. It is Australia's acting Prime Minister Mickey The Dip McCormack speaking mere days after an attempted coup that was fueled by "contentious facts".
Apart from its timing the context of the quote is two-fold. Firstly, Mickey has an intellect that would not challenge foliage. He's as thick as a coal miner's sandwich yet he's apparently the best and brightest the National Party has to offer - i.e. the least worst option. Secondly, he was defending the Trumpist effluent of two of the most egregious examples of the far right dross that has infected our own politics - specifically the swivel-eyed, Pete Evans-level Covid quackery from failed furniture salesman Fatty Carbuncle and, by extension, the trumpetings of Gorgeous George the Manila back street trawler and blubbertigibbet.
The BMI of these two globular nongs is such that they affect weather patterns, but that is not particularly germaine other than that these self-proclaimed champions of free speech should not have any problem with the deployment of a gratuitous sledge, yeah? The hypocrisy and idiocies of their flatulent gibberings have, following Trump's attempted democrocide, received wide exposure and deserved ridicule but the bigger picture is the refusal of their respective masters to either call them to heel or penalise their Trumpian fanboy distortion of pandemic science and their anti-democratic blatherings and what that says about the mindset of the Tory side of our politics. Trumpism is a dangerous psychosis but both Scooter Morrison and Mickey Mac have now acknowledged by default that it has a home in the L/NP.
As the Tories go about their routine tasks of shovelling public money and assets to themselves and their cronies their ideological slide to the loony right has developed a distinctly orange tinge.
When Josh Freudenberg and Call Me Dave Sharma, two prominent Jewish Tory MPs, one an ostensible Prime Minister-in-waiting, the other an ex-Ambassador to Israel, jump aboard the anti-Twitter "free speech" ruse that propogates Nazi rhetoric and promotes Proud Boys' fascist merch then something is deeply, deeply awry.
Scooter himself, interrupting his holidaying lifestyle to spend a few days attending to photo ops, has pointedly refused to criticise Trump in any way. Perhaps that's down to Trump's bestowal upon him of the Legion of Merit - the Right does so appreciate shiny baubles, ostentatious trophies and grandiose titles. The absurdity of a cowardly draft dodger gifting a militarty honour to a bloke whose first instinct is to flee from a crisis is lost on Scooter of course. Coming from Trump that medal merely symbolises Morrison's membership of the cult of the citrus clunge.
From birtherism to The Big Lie ("the election was rigged") Trump has long signalled his character. His betrayal of America is not new despite which Scooter has gone beyond the protocols of relationships between national leaders. His embrace of Trumpism was always enthusiastic, unquestioning and compliant with Trump's groteseque adulteration of accepted norms and institutions. As one example Scooter, champion of the economy-first neo-lib mindset, jeopardised Australia's economic interests on the altar of Trumpism by leading with his chin at the orange one's urging to openly and loudly insult China.
Two deluded non-entities shouting at clouds from the backbench should be an amusing sideshow, after all the Tory goat rodeo had Abbott and Joyce in the two top jobs for a time. But Carbuncle and Gorgeous G are symptoms not abberations. With one notable exception**, and Morrison's dissembling weasel words aside, no Tory MP has condemned the radical right insurrection in the US last week.
Across the board the self-proclaimed champions of free speech hypocritically loathe any free speech that is not their own. They always have. Scrutiny, questioning, dissent, alternative views, truth...they don't like it. Parliament, journalists, unions, the ABC, judges, scientists, academics, environmentalists, the arts, whistleblowers, safe schools, you and me...we're all existing or potential targets for their mendacity.
RWNJ opinion is now the news. The Tories all watched Trump, they all liked what they saw. All the little lies are useful and the Big Lie almost worked.
What most citizens of Oz are not watching is our own Trumpist, post-truth creep to far right shitfuckery and that suits the Tories just fine.
*“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” George Orwell. 1984.
** Matt Keane, NSW Minister For The Environment