Donald Trump came into politics as an active player in 2016. He transformed every aspect of American life, and if that nation was headed toward disaster before, it is now there.
Trump’s chaotic and dishonest take on governance has infected the body politic, and the country is virtually ungovernable. Trump has not only allowed the rise of the next generation of nihilistic Republican leaders, he has legitimised stupidity, misogyny and religious extremism.
The country is now a legitimate candidate for third world status. It has a legislature which makes it nearly impossible to actually pass legislation. It has a Supreme Court, dutifully stacked by Trump with religious far-right conservatives, which is working towards throwing the country back toward becoming a theocracy. Gilead beckons.
They are now taking a literalist approach to its constitution, an outdated document which enshrines the views of an all-white, patriarchal cabal of slave owners and men of their time, with all their entrenched prejudices and unintended consequences being re-invigorated.
If this document continues to be read as if it was “sacred writ” then it can never be amended. Critics and those who question it are in peril of being named, and punished, as heretics; such is its power over the imaginations of the current Republicans.
The Supreme Court has recently reversed Roe v Wade, effectively criminalising abortion in many states. It has also further undermined American efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions, which, owing to their status as a huge emitter, puts the planet’s health at risk of irremediable damage.
The court has plans to roll back many other measures meant to protect rights as diverse as same sex marriage, voting rights, equal opportunity. The list goes on, and may well prove to be the unravelling of American democracy.
So Trump, although out of power, and possibly facing criminal charges for his role in the January 6 uprising, continues to wreck his country’s future viability. He has divided the country with his deranged lies.
An unknown man who rose to power, almost unnoticed. A man who took the party of Menzies and made it his own. He almost captured Australia, and if he had not lost the 2022 election, the country was on track to rush down the American path.
He relished the company of Trump, and embodied many of the worst aspects of American populism. His entire political playbook was apparently lifted from the Republicans.
Although adjusted for Australian conditions, he believed in small government, low taxes for the rich, removal of regulations, punishment for those on welfare, disdain for the working poor, cronyism and jobs for ‘mates’. His stacking of the AAT must rival Trump’s work on the Supreme Court. He ignored women, and subsequently lost their votes
Morrison had no policies. He was a shallow religious zealot, with no creativity, no vision, and no care for Australia. He embodied the world-view of his religion, with all the vacuousness of its ‘prosperity gospel’. His disregard for the environment, and especially the climate crisis convinced many that he believed in the end of the world, so why bother? The apocalypse was nigh.
The overwhelming feeling in Australia has been one of relief. We had no antidote for his smirking insolence, his lazy contempt for accountability, and he is now known as a serial liar, and a man who used the government’s budget for his own political purposes.
Many Christians struggled with his government’s cruel policies, towards whistleblowers, refugees, women, indigenous people, the aged and the disabled, even welfare recipients.
He trashed our international reputation wherever he went. An enduring image remains of Morrison standing alone at Glasgow for the COP26 meeting, studying his phone as the other world leaders stood in companionable groups.
His cabinet was filled with nonentities and toadies. Not one minister ever fought the good fight, over policy or principle. Many perfected the same teflon-coated approach to truth that Morrison practised so well.
It has been illuminating to see their shallow responses to a real government, with a real leader, with real policies. Not one has shown the capacity to provide a credible opposition, because lazy Morrison did all their ‘work’ for them.
The Albanese Government will spend years undoing the damage caused by the Morrison reign. Hopefully the Australian voter now knows how to spot a charlatan, and will take evasive action should another one pop up for election.
It is always amazing to read the press in countries which have reasonable defamation laws. Just this week we have seen Boris described as the “greased piglet”, the “Convict” and the “liar”.
He has shown himself as being as utterly shameless as his confederates in the ‘three amigos’. A self-interested liar, a chancer, a person who shamelessly hawked his government to wealthy donors.
His private life should have been a warning as to how he would perform in the ‘big chair’, but as the British have been heard to say, “I like Boris, he makes me laugh”. He doesn’t even know how many children he has fathered.
He had a set of rules for the plebs, and one for himself and his Conservative confreres. He took Britain back to the inequality of the 1960s, but not the glamour. Sadly this might be one reason why he failed so miserably during the Covid-19 pandemic. He ignored medical advice.
He made Great Britain into ‘little Britain’, by taking the country out of Europe. He fed the fantasy that Britain could return to past glories, while failing to realise that history has passed on, leaving plucky little countries like the U.K. alone, and searching for relevance.
His desperate use of the tactics of the discarded Morrison government’s refugee policy is the last gasp in a desperate search for a political solution to a moral question. Sending refugees to Rwanda sounds like an idea from a toddler, and a confused one at that.
Study the moral position of these three men. Populists, cynics, snobs, liars, opportunists, misogynists. In these most difficult of times, perhaps there is hope in the fact that the people are throwing out such obvious phonies, and voting for a bit of moral rectitude and honesty.
Imposing journalistic standards of truth-telling onto media moguls like Rupert Murdoch and his ilk, who seem to wallow in the strife they unleash on the societies which they pretend to uphold, would be a good start in improving the outlook for all of us.
The three amigos have finally bitten the dust, and we can only hope that Russia, Brazil, Hungary, Poland and all the other nations still led by moral pygmies follow suit. We need good leaders to negotiate the next few difficult years in this planet’s existence.