Yesterday, Lyle Shelton became the Robin to Bernardi’s conservative Batman. While the left lost their minds, they should start accepting an obvious truth.
To many, the far conservative edge of the political discussion in this country is very much like a duck. It does nothing but quack and shit on the floor. However, there’s another comparison the fist-balled masses have failed to note, in that the conservatives, much like their feathery counterparts, need a friend.
Overnight, a likeminded bird of a particular feather flocked to the nest on the furthest branch, with noted titmouse Lyle Shelton joining the ranks of the antagonistic bowerbirds of Cory’s OzCons, a wing collectively noted for their attraction to anything blue. And that’s blue as in argument.
While the left may ring sensationalist bells, as they view the multiplication of the OzCons in the same pitch as they do The Blob, in that it should immediately be killed with fire, but before you light your torches, allow me to yank the handbrake on Lyle’s flaming van rhetoric for but a moment.
It’s not really that big a deal. Since he parted from the Libs, Cory’s greatest hits really sits on the cul-de-sac of his alt-Oz Day playlist that many Australian artists grouped together to ensure their greatest hits weren’t played. I mean, he’s not really set the world ablaze as many feared he would, and I believe there’s a small victory in that. Cory Bernardi is very much like the monster that lived under your bed throughout primary school. You never really saw it, or indeed, saw it do anything bad, but the blanks were filled with the worst we could think of. Our assumption added tentacles, claws and his diet that solely consisted of frozen tears of rage from the empathetic left.
Now, I’m not saying he’s not questionable, to those opposed to him, he certainly is; but he’s not as scary as your mind makes him out to be. Saving a seat for his new bezzie bestie Lyle might periodically disturb the progress of the classroom, but in the end, the only education they’re risking is their own. They can talk at the back as much as they like.
Moreover, if 2018 is anything like the year before it, we’ll continue to be a divided country. Like it or not, Bernardi’s mob represents a slice of the conversational meat pie in this country. You might not be able to see why they think like that, but a certain amount certainly do.
To be fair, the lucky country might feel lucky that we’ve got two clear corners in which to pidgeonhole the lunatic fringe. We’ve got the OzCons and One Nation on one side, and the Greens on the other. However, the nuance of adult discussion is being had better overseas by, daresay it, democracies who have their shit together.
Germany’s Bundestag (essentially our House of Reps) is a prime example of what we should look to. The 709 seats speaks about the patchwork of that country. The spread is sparse. On top of the tree is Angela Merkel’s ruling amalgam, the Centre-Right CDU. Second place on the podium goes to The Social Democratic Party, who are Centre-Left. So far, so what, right? Well, next to those two are two separate, but individual right organisations: the third-largest party, the far-right Alternative for Germany (who are anti-feminist, Islam, immigration et) and the Free Democratic Party (who are keen on economic liberalism and other liberalisms). In the opposite corner are the obviously named The Left or “Der Linke” (who are anti-liberalism, anti-capitalism) and The Green Party (who are pro-Europe and pro-environment).
Which are just the main places to party. In fact, the 2017 election threw up groups as disparate as the anti-right Dei Partei, the Ecological Democratic Party, the Basic Income Alliance, the Marxist-Leninists, the Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität, the Human Environment Animal Protection, the Pirate Party, the list goes on. It’s essentially like our State Elections, but unlike the lol votes we honour the Hunters & Fishers or the Motorists with, it’s very rather serious indeed. It’s taken seriously, not because the Germans are devoid of humour, but because they understand that many square pegs exist and there should be a requisite number of square holes available to them.
My point is that the AfD are recent entrants to the conversation, sweeping into relevancy in 2017. Interestingly, the AfD failed in the previous election, before swooping in on the current rhetoric of rightward thinking sweeping over Europe and the globe. I don’t want to bring up that man with the moustache, but Germany is not that far removed from the worst kind of far-right experience. I mean, you wouldn’t blame them if they’d outrightly blanket ban that kind of discussion, considering what they’ve been through, and enabled. Despite that, they’re afforded the same voice as everyone else.
However, the uneasy prickle of resistance you feel, or felt upon hearing Cory and Lyle sliding down the fireman’s poles to the Conmobile should tell you everything you need to know. The reality of the situation is that they’re filling a gap in the market, and even you hate them with every fibre you can muster, there’s an equally chagrined face you don’t know casting threats at you, just for being you, and the fact that you don’t know shit.
We might not like what they represent, but we have our respective corners. It’s not right, or wrong.
It’s just politics.