The democratic circus

Cassius and Brutus

Many of us have been shaking our heads at the political ‘system’ and politicians for years now, and we’ve had more examples in recent days of how low things are sinking to.

A front runner for Republican nomination for President of the USA has his rallies cancelled after inciting people to violence in previous rallies (“Get that protestor out of here”  “He should be leaving here in a stretcher”), running one of the most divisive campaigns in history (“Mexicans … are rapists”  “Ban Muslims from entering the country”), and brazenly contradicting previous statements and positions as the mood takes him. That he continues to lead in most of the polls, and win most of the races, is because, as Cassius once argued “… the fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars, but in ourselves…”.

If Trump’s antics were shamed for what they are, if he had stronger opponents who can rise, Obama like, above the fray, and a media that would do its job rather than revel in the show, then he would have seen his run peter out months ago. Instead, every cancelled rally, every call from the establishment and Wall Street to shoot him down just cements his appeal to those who want to be told that America ‘can be great again’ and that the root cause of every problem is someone else (the Mexicans, the Muslims, Wall Street, the press…).

The real leader, the honest person, realises that for any problem there is a solution within. The worst sales person or manager blames the outside for their problems (“the economy”  “the stoopid client”) and wallows in any success as of their own making. It should, as Jim Collins eloquently proved in Good to Great, be the exact opposite.

Over the weekend, a seemingly stupid idea was broached to dump the elected WA Labor leader (one year out from a State election here in WA) for a retired federal politician. Someone somewhere stuffed this up right royally as the retiree, Stephen Smith, well intentioned maybe, did not have the support for the move, and the whole thing was snuffed out within a day. Overall, a bad look all round, and potentially wounding for the Labor party, and with the incumbent Liberal Premier not riding too high in the polls either, it seems the public have few options to turn to. Which, of course, heralds in the weirdos.

Politics, in the age of twitter, has been reduced to repeating slogans ad nauseam. Political debate, such as it is, has been condensed into bite sized pieces for the evening news, or more likely, the Facebook newsfeed. Gone is policy. It’s the politics of the breakfast cereal token, instant gratification, low quality and disposable.

5 Prime Ministers in 5 years. An elected State leader waltzing in on a landslide in Queensland, only to be summarily thrown out again less than 3 years later.

But, it’s all down to us. And it reflects us. The fault is not in our stars.

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