To guard himself from Leftist reproach, this mild-mannered government employee dons mask and cape to become…the Masked Liberal!
Within those who look to marginalise the masses, are those who the masses marginalise in turn. People like myself: Liberal voters.
In the current political climate, whenever someone new, friend or foe, discovers this fact of me, they stand po-faced, mind processing the grim information, before their powers of “common sense” take over and the longest of laundry lists are heaped upon the dinner conversation. At the very least, it’s torches the night, but at the top, it’s incredibly insulting.
“But you can’t be a Liberal voter, you seem okay! You seem smart! Why?”
It reminds me of the Monty Python witch joke, where the woman is not a witch, but they burn her anyway. “Well, we did do the nose, and the hat…but she is a witch!”
Vast assumptions, not independent thought, colour these conversations.
For example, my opinion on the current safe schools discussion is irrelevant. It becomes irrelevant, due to the common vitriol toward the party I vote for. My view is their view. You are a Liberal, after all.
What if the shoe was on the other political foot? If someone on the Left was queried on the issue, they’d be allowed independent thought, and calmly heard out, perhaps because, a) it’s the assumed right thing or moral high ground to take on the issue, or b) the fact that there is no requisite governmental action to tie themselves to, just what should be done. Their opinion is the action, and thusly, because it exists only at the dinner table, it is, therefore, right and true.
I have no problem with the political Left, mind, but the societal implications of a being “Righty” are vast. Hence the cloak of anonymity. It’s not that I’m afraid of political discourse; I welcome it. But in the correct manner. I don’t have the time to sift through the thousandfold abusive messages on Facebook. Would you? No. There’s something fundamentally wrong about political discussion in this country. It’s easier to be angry, it’s easier to oppose, and therefore, it’s easier to be a Lefty. Conversely, if the Left were in Government, then the Right would become militant, and I’d be the one talking with mouth open, but ears closed.
It’s not just an Australian issue. Recently in the United States, actor Tim Allen (aka Tim “The Toolman” Taylor) recently disclosed that he is, in fact, a conservative. Shock-horror. Cue the biased, smart-arsed headlines of “Tim Allen comes out…as a conservative.” Which frankly annoyed me, because, a) the platform it was placed on provoked the subtextual message of “That’s not normal, let’s point and laugh,” and, b) it’s hardly news. With Trump’s immolation of the GOP, the whitewashing is only set to get thicker. Right = Trump.
The naming and shaming of those on the Right is not disco, nor is it cricket. It’s just the smell of rank double standards. The cancellation of Andrew Bolt was lauded as a new dawn in Australian discourse, when frankly, it was just the silencing of one side of the conversation. The questions became rhetorical, then, as there was no-one to answer them, became statements. Perhaps, and just thinking “what if’s” here, but, if Bolt’s counterpart, Waleed Aly, was given the same treatment, there would have been blood in the streets instead of dancing.
This is where the issue lies.
Australian Political discourse claims to be for all, but only those who are in the right – which is to say, the Left.