The disintegration of US democracy, that is being reflected in the governments in the United Kingdom and Australia, could be reversed by a landslide against Trump and the Republicans, but I’m not holding my breath. The Republicans have for a long time been breaking the US electoral system with gross gerrymandering, voter suppression, and risible hypocrisy. And their cult politics have their imitators in the the UK and Australia.
Trump, whom Republicans have enabled with intellectual dishonesty and moral incompetence, is the grotesque embodiment of their ideology, their perversion of democracy, their corrupt relationships with an avaricious oligarchy, their subversion of democratic principles, processes and institutions, and their betrayal of one of those core principles – serving the welfare of the people. That’s what modern Fascism looks like and the UK and Australia are on the cusp of that axis of evil.
There lies a lesson for those Australians who value their liberty. They understand that tyranny and authoritarianism thrive on apathy; that susceptibility to propaganda arises because the principles of our democratic system are poorly understood; that they are the victims of daily and calculated misinformation, lies, the weasel words of propaganda, which they call “spin”; that our elected representatives choose to serve vested interests over their their moral obligation to provide services to the people rather than undermining them and flogging them off to profiteering foreign corporations.
The primary duty of elected representatives is to govern equally and justly for all Australians in all their social, cultural, racial, religious, and economic diversity. They have an obligation to husband the resources of the continent and the nation sustainably, preserving them for future generations rather than moonlighting for, and enabling, the polluters to profit from the despoliation of water and productive land, the release of greenhouse emissions, and the destruction of the cultural and heritage values of our nation.
The success of any democracy relies on every citizen being engaged in the politics of the nation at every level from local government to State and Federal governments, holding their representatives to account. The myth that the citizen’s democratic rights are satisfied by their engagement only at the ballot box on election day is exploited by men and women in our governing bodies who have no commitment to the welfare of the people, who seek to undermine the rights and liberties of those citizens, and who serve forces whose interests are distinctly at odds with democracy. And that is most evident in the servility of government to the avarice of the corporate world and the moneyed classes.