I have a controversial opinion on Donald Trump. It could very well lead to death threats and my fleeing the country in the hold of an unregistered fishing boat, my silverware wrapped in newspaper and shoved up my arse.
Angry progressives will strip me naked in the street and beat me with phone chargers.
But I must remain committed to my core value of free speech even when I know the backlash will be swift and cruel.
Ok, here it is…
I don’t give a fuck.
It’s been one week since Trump took office and already I am exhausted by the endless outrage machine following his every move. I. Just. Don’t. Give. A. Fuck. I refuse to engage.
I’ll still pay attention to the news so I know what’s generally going on, but the endless think pieces, Facebook rants, celebrity tweets and viral late night TV segments? Fuck no. I don’t have the energy to do this for 4 more years. When it gets to the point where his presidency starts to impact on Australia, such as with trade deals and South East Asian shipping lane tax duties (love me some cabotage!), then maybe I check back in.
I’m sick of Australians obsessing over American politics in general, but especially when it doesn’t affect them. Gun rights, abortion, refugee and LGBT policies relevant only to Americans do not deserve our time. One might argue that the US is a world leader and so what they do has a cultural impact everywhere else. My counterpoint to that is that we have enough debate in Australia over our own gun, abortion, refugee and LGBT policies without taking on the burden of a country with a very different culture in regards to those issues. All this does is stop the debate in Australia about policy that actually affects us. Obamacare is not our problem. Get outraged about the soaring health care insurance rates and breaking down of Medicare in Australia.
It’s all the rage among the Brunswick set to protest Trump, all of them falling over each other to have the most hysterical reaction they can, presenting their hurt feelings as political engagement. NO.
Hipsters: Stop protesting something you cannot change and get involved in a way that furthers your chosen discourse in your own country. Australian politics is not as dull as you think, and political parties are always looking for help. Instead of focusing on the other side of the world, start by improving your street. The local council may not be as exciting as Congress, but there you can start to make positive change in your local community. Otherwise, shut the fuck up.
Further reading: I usually feel rather dirty reading The Guardian, but there’s a surprisingly thoughtful article by David Fettling wherein he describes the obsession with US politics among Australian progressives as ‘West Wing Syndrome’ and lays out how this is going to affect Australia’s relationship with Asia: