Unsafe Spaces For Aussie Conservatives
As you know, the governing Coalition led by the Liberal Party (which is what the right-of-center party is called in Australia) pulled of a shock win in last weekend’s national election. For the past three years, every poll has predicted a Labor Party victory. In Australia, Labor’s loss has hit the left with the same force that the Trump victory hit the US left. Some are freaking out in ominous ways. For example:
If you work with a Liberal voter, be nice but keep a diary of what they say. When you have the evidence, go to HR and get them fired. We have not yet made it sufficiently unsafe to be a right-wing #payback #auspol
— carol mcallister (@carolmcalliste2) May 19, 2019
Now, think about that: Carol McAllister hates her fellow citizens who don’t share her politics so much that she encourages leftists to spy them and try to get them sacked. Sacking conservatives over what they say is a favorite pastime of Australian leftists, it would seem: ask Christian rugby player Izzy Folau. I’ve read McAllister’s Twitter feed, and she’s so far to the left that hers almost — almost — seems like a parody account. I wouldn’t take her as normative among the angry left. Still, it strikes me as entirely plausible that some on the left would undertake exactly this kind of strategy.
In Dante’s Inferno, the lowest level of Hell is populated by traitors. There’s an interesting historical reason for this. In Dante’s lifetime — the late 13th and early 14th centuries — the walled cities of Tuscany were frequently at war with each other. When the city gates were closed at night, citizens had to be able to trust in the loyalty of each other. If a traitor in their midst opened the gates under cover of darkness, they could be invaded and defeated. Social life depended on trust and loyalty. Those who destroyed the ability of people to trust each other were the worst kinds of sinners, in Dante’s ordering.
I often receive e-mails from readers who tell me what it’s like in their workplaces, and how they keep their heads down and their mouths shut out of fear of their fellow employees, and of woke Human Resources departments, and Diversity offices. On my last night in Sydney, someone who came to my talk told me about a situation at one of the local universities in which every academic department staged a photo to declare its members’ support for the gay marriage initiative. If you didn’t want to be in the photo, you identified yourself in the eyes of your colleagues as being an anti-gay bigot. It was a sorting mechanism, this photo.
Expect more of them. And never vote for the candidates and the parties that support this totalitarian politicization of daily life.
Relatedly, I want to quote from Miranda Devine’s post-election column in Australia’s Daily Telegraph. Alas, it’s behind a subscriber paywall, but I’ll quote from it here. There’s relevance to US politics, and our 2020 election.
Devine, one of the country’s top conservative columnists, points out that the Labor Party’s social policies — specifically its attack on religious liberty — played a role in bringing about the Liberal Party-led Coalition’s shock victory in last weekend’s national election (in Australia, the Liberal Party is the name of the right-of-center party). Devine points out that Labor leader Bill Shorten said that the 40 percent of Australians who voted against legalizing same-sex marriage in the national plebiscite were “haters (who) crawled out from under a rock.” Devine writes that Shorten made a big mistake in the final days of the campaign, when he tried to tie opponent Scott Morrison, a Pentecostal, to the controversial remarks of rugby superstar Israel Folau. Folau, a fundamentalist, was sacked by the league for posting to social media his view that homosexuals were going to hell. Writes Devine:
Even if few people shared Folau’s views, the episode crystallised a fear that the identity agenda had become a totalitarian threat to freedom of speech and religious belief.
Australians don’t appreciate being told what to believe, how to think or, for that matter, what to drive.
This was the drumbeat playing through the campaign.
Devine goes on to talk about how Australia’s socially conservative immigrant communities turned on Labor. “In western and south-western Sydney, safe Labor seats with a high Christian and Muslim migrant vote also swung towards the Coalition.”
Devine says that Labor’s “existential crisis” has been laid bare. The party has pushed out its social conservatives, she said. In 1980, ethnic Democratic voters flipped to Ronald Reagan, and the Reagan Democrats were born. Seems to me that this election created ScoMo Laborites in Australia. As Devine notes, about socially conservative Labor members:
If they didn’t sign up to abortion, same sex marriage, gender fluidity, and the rest of the hard core identity agenda embedded in Labor’s national platform, they weren’t wanted.
Australia is not America, sociologically or politically. Nevertheless, Republicans running for re-election next year ought to push hard on exposing the radicalism of Democratic identity politics. I am at a loss to explain why Republicans don’t hit this theme harder, aside from fear of being called bigots by the media. Guess what: they’re going to call you bigots no matter what you do. That’s the nature of identity politics. If you stand up against it from a commonsense point of view, voters will rally to your side. Normal people do not want to live in Woke World.
That said, I don’t know how to stop the workplace Stasi agents like Carol McAllister and her allies in HR departments. HR departments love nothing more than “team-building” initiatives — but they also create a culture of snitching and silencing. If I were working in most offices today, I would trust no one, and I would watch every single word I said. It’s a terrible way to live, but that’s what progressives have done to us.
UPDATE: Hey errbody, I’m home. The consensus seems to be that Carol McAllister is a parody account. I hope so, but honestly, who can tell anymore?