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Monday, October 25, 2004

It's Tuesday: Wankers day

The floodgates of wankerdom open every Tuesday. In the SMH its Gerard Henderson (already tackled by Rob Corr), the Daily Telegraph its Piers Akerman, but my pick of the wankers this week is Greg Sheridan from the Australian. The banner looks promising enough, " Family First a sign Lucky Country is going the American way" lulls me into believing that a diatribe against all things Goddy and US is on the way. Not so. First of the bat, he denounces the claim that John Howard is not a cultural Americaphile because his middle name is Winston. Well Greg as you say, maybe Howard had fuck all to do with picking his middle name. Greg then claims that Australia has been "pregnant with a Christian Right for years", implying that we have been screwed at some time in the past. Then onto Family First (who I thought had no link whatsover to Christianity), and a peek into the future with a vision from America:
The American Christian Right is much demonised in the Australian media, but within the US it is a perfectly normal, mainstream force. It has not turned the US into a theocracy nor curtailed civil liberties. It has injected a strong values discussion into national politics.
Beg to differ old stock, the Patriot Act is a curtailment of civil liberites, and when the POTUS bangs on about God at every available opportunity you have a theocracy. It has injected strong values into politics, but are they morally right values. It has banned the education of evolution in certain states (because although while omnipotent, God couldn't have possibly created evolution - it's just too damn tricky)
There are about 50million US evangelical Christians. They are highly committed, with a high church-going rate, and their churches have become centres of social and political as well as religious organisation. Australian Bible-based churches are also committed, evident in the growth of Christian schools. They are a social movement that seeks political expression. That's called democracy.
Which means there are around 250 million non US evangelical Christians, so ipso facto the God botherers should be ignored. Thats called democracy. And now a cracking stat from Sheridan:
Australia's national wealth is now $5trillion, which is $250,000 for every man, woman and child.
Of course this would be more true if we lived in a socialist society where the wealth was distributed fairly, but we do not. I have a wife and 2 kids so where is our cool $1 million dollars? My sister in law's family is 6, so they are obviously wealthier than me to the tune of $500,000. Onto MacMansions (and the right call us elitist). While Sheridan states that:
The McMansion suburbs are now politically detribalised. Labor can never count on them automatically again, nor indeed can the Liberals.
it doesn't stop him from speaking on their behalf and politically pigeonholing them:
They are defined by concern for their homes and their mortgage payments, social conservatism on crime and education, patriotism and support for our armed forces, and interest in local issues.
thus contradicting himself. And to finish off we have a left field statement about cultural diversity:
And here's a point on ethnic diversity. This year's epic NRL grand final, in which the magnificent Bulldogs triumphed over the Sydney Roosters, was a historic first. All the points for the winners were scored by Muslims (Hazem El Masri and Matt Utai). Nobody noticed, and there's no reason why they should. But it's a social indicator nonetheless. Just as in the US, professional sport integrates very fast, in terms of race and religion, because it emphasises performance, not background.
So as sport integrates cultural diversity quickly based on performance, can we see the Christian Right power bloc adopt this philosophy? Or will it be, don't worry Muslims, you have a couple of footy players, leave running the country to us.
Aspirational voters come from everywhere. An idea born in the US, we may produce an even better version of it here.
Like scrap the concept. So according to Greg: Aspirational voter = Evangelical Christian who lives in a MacMansion. Cockhead.

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