“Yet defeat could turn out to be a blessing in disguise if it forces the defenders of Western civilisation out of their long complacency. For too long we have put up with the trashing of our country’s history and the rubbishing of our ethical norms because we didn’t want to upset people.” – Tony Abbott, November 14
One could easily dismiss the latest blathering of Tony Abbott as an attack of petulance on the eve of the disclosure of the results of the same-sex marriage survey. It would be the easy option. But there is in the preceding quote a slab of such delusional thinking it demands a response.
The paragraph was part of a newspaper column in which Abbott, while raising the white flag on behalf of the No campaign, seized victory from the jaws of defeat, if only to justify his stance and that of fellow travellers.
And it is not a mere trifling win but a mighty presage to the glory of the righteous, which is, what Tony Abbott believes is the correct axis on which the universe and in particular this country should be turning.
His is a nasty piece of solipsism wrapped in syllogism.
Thus the losers become “the defenders of Western civilisation”. What a consolation prize, what a grand and mighty bulwark against the barbarians at the gates of society. We shall quiver no more if these defenders are compelled “out of their long complacency” to save our lives, our lifestyle and our prejudices.
In truth, it’s a nasty piece of solipsism wrapped in syllogism that in its inoffensive wording betrays a view that is predicated on division. Those who are not us are the enemy. Thus if we are the defenders of Western civilisation, no less, then who are these other people? It is a whole world of bigotry in a small mind.
Abbott in his battle cry goes on: “For too long we have put up with the trashing of our country’s history and the rubbishing of our ethical norms because we didn’t want to upset people.”
Ah yes, “the trashing of our country’s history”. If a nation cannot withstand the questioning of its foundation and the bringing into the light of all aspects of its history what hope then for that nation to accept its past and then reconcile all those parts to make the whole. Truth cannot be only those parts of history with which one agrees. Yet that is what Abbott and those of like mind believe and need to believe to justify their thoughts and actions.
History makes no promises of allowing people to live within comfort zones. In fact, history makes no promises at all. It is what it was and its colouring of the present cannot be glossed over.
It is to the last part of this call to arms that desperation, outrage and a strangely pathetic whimper comes into play – “the rubbishing of our ethical norms because we didn’t want to upset people”.
What ethical norms then are being traduced? There is no master manipulator at work here. This is a democracy.
See what reasonable, thoughtful and considerate people we are. We’re saints no less in our control of our emotions. We didn’t want to upset people, even though we had put up with such manifest calumnies and travesties of the truth. Our ethical norms have been rubbished. The poor diddums, one and all.
What ethical norms then are being traduced? Only those that need to be, for example, the allowance that people of whatever gender can marry whomever they choose. There is no master manipulator at work here. This is a democracy.
It’s a curious phrase Abbott uses “that we didn’t want to upset people”. Are his people too nice, don’t want to make a fuss because after all that’s how his people live their lives. Society was, is and will be forever more how it is in their eyes. Change is a monster. It destroys all that is good.
But then how, if this truly is a battle cry, will the uprising occur now that all bets are off and there is a necessity to upset people?
That’s easy. Introducing Tony Abbott, prime minister.