Thursday, September 09, 2004

Reacting to reaction

Well, right now I am glad that Psephite's readership isn't as large, and/or as vocal as that of Troppo Armadillo. Ken Parish posted in response to the Jakarta bombing with words that were perhaps clumsily chosen but with a sentiment that many are thinking. Not so much that people are thinking that this was actually orchestrated by some Coalition-lovers but that the incumbent government will make political mileage out of it. As of 8.45pm on Thursday (AEST) there are 52 comments on Parish's post and a great deal of them are negative, some are downright obscene. Some express a disbelief that anyone in the current government would seek to use this incident for political advantage. Of course, this comes from people who Troppo classifies as "right wing death beasts" (Tim Blair et al) Howard has used Bali and 9/11 to his advantage, why not this? To not even consider that this is a possibility is to be blind to the past 3 years in Australia. John Howard positions himself as a fatherly protector who will defend us from the evil, bad men who are terrorists. What he refuses to admit, as do his supporters, is that his actions have made us more of a target.

I'm not saying anything new. Those who move and think in left-wing circles see Howard in much this way. Those who move in circles further to the right believe that terrorists are a legitimate threat that must be combatted with "pre-emptive" strikes. Lefties don't deny the threat, but they also see the increase in threat created by the actions of our government. What I have found interesting this evening is the reinforcement of an age-old problem, the world views of those on the left and right are so at odds that there seems little hope of intelligent discussion or compromise. The reactions to Ken Parish's post illustrate that.

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