Satirical news programmes and jobless ACDC groupies have scored a big win with the re-emergence of Pauline Hanson’s amusingly-named One Nation Party.
“So, what’s the deal with red heads and hatred?”- Jerry Seinfeld. Actually not a real quote. Nobody would say such a thing, but you might be thinking it. Of course, you’d be wrong, as that’s just the kind of generalistic propaganda that the Trumps and Paulines of this world thrive on.
If you’re not amongst the angriest of individuals whom woke up yesterday morning with a hyped hate-induced One Nation victory morning glory, you may be asking yourself… WHAT? WHY? HOW?
How did this known fear mongerer and Vegemite-obsessed would-be oppressor of human rights manage to slither her way back into politics? The answer, my friends, is embedded in the question: angry individuals. And the easiest way to create hordes of angry individuals is to induce fear, anger’s close cousin.
Miss Pauline, like the Donald, specializes in preaching propaganda to idiots. This can be outlined by looking at One Nation’s proposed policies:
- A royal commission or inquiry to establish whether Islam is “a religion or political ideology”.
- Cease the intake of Muslim refugees and other migrants. ( Fish and chips for all! Every day, forever!)
- A push to ban the burqa and niqab in public places, and mandate that surveillance cameras be installed in all mosques and Muslim schools.
- Scrap the Family Court System. (Which, I would support if it wasn’t for the fact One Nation could potentially put something far, far worse in the place of an already broken system.)
- Other assorted nonsense to take us even further back in time.
Riding upon the waves of the people’s fear and paranoia on your way into office is not a new concept. It’s the political equivalent of finding your target audience. Sex sells in the cinemas because, well, target audience. Squillions of teens and young adults swirling in the realms of their own confusing desires for hanky panky and metallic carnage. So we have ‘Fast and the Furious part 19: Intense Artic Submarine Drift’. It makes your heart beat faster and adrenaline pump deeper.
Similarly, we can ask ourselves, who is the target audience for voters? The answer is adults past their prime and stuck in boring, self-containment. Mortgages and babies abound. Bombard their reality with a healthy dose of hatred, loathing and longing for their perceived golden years, and the ones not quite intelligent to think for themselves are up and out of their respective armchairs and ready to picket to the riffs of ACDC. Yet these are probably still the same people that chain-emailed ‘RIP Muhammed Ali’ notices to all their mates because ‘Sport! Hell yeah’!
I remember watching the 9/11 attacks from my lounge room. My initial reaction being ‘Shit, alien invasion?’ Of course, then came the incessant media bombardment of anti-Islam sentiment. I knew nothing about Islam, yet was bombarded with theories and passages about just how evil it was. I also had no idea about how many Muslims I already knew: at work, at school, in the neighborhood. I didn’t ask before because I didn’t care. So I spoke to people. I spent a great deal of time reading and researching. The shock and hate subsides when common sense takes its place. What the media told me was in stark contrast to what I was experiencing first hand. Put down the picket signs, stop the screaming, and start dialoguing. It’s pretty easy to say a group of people refuse to assimilate, but when was the last time you took the time to talk to a stranger in a head scarf?
There’s always going to be people like Pauline Hanson. There’s always going to be people that vote for people like Pauline Hanson. The best way to stifle her nasal rage into a barely audible whimper is to treat her like she attempts to treats others: as nothing but a threat to our democracy. I only hope the people she’s taking her hateful ideologies and anger out on realise just how long-winded and unhelpful her rantings really are. She does not and will not represent this nation. Not one bit.