With parliament not sitting, I have been captivated by the discovery and rescue of the Thai boys from a caving expedition. Initially I was incredulous that they were even found alive after being stranded for more than a week. Now the improbable rescue of these young men has me cheering from the sidelines.
The difficulty of that rescue was highlighted by the death of a former Thai navy seal who was among the first to put himself forward. It just shows how dangerous this process is and the amazing courage of all those involved…including the boys themselves.
Courage manifests itself in many different ways. To me, the ability to compartmentalise fear and doubt in pursuit of the greater good is courage defined.
Nelson Mandela summed it up well when he said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Whether it be a rescue attempt or simply standing up for what’s right, we need more people with courage in every arena of life but particularly in the political sphere.
It seems as if modern politics and the political class has become so risk averse that they daren’t advance a cause that won’t meet with the immediate approval of their potential critics. Despite the lessons of history, appeasement of your opponents’ demands seems to be the main objective of today’s crop of political leaders.
Of course there are some exceptions to that maxim – most notably Donald Trump. The US President has turned US politics on its head and he is confounding his legion of critics. These critics, most of whom are partisan Democrats residing in the clubby media, political or social justice fields are so removed from the concerns of regular people they actually think they are the mainstream voice.
The loudest voices in the public square are condemned by their own conduct, showing breathless hypocrisy, bias and irrationality as they judge others.
We see the same thing in Australia.
Perhaps the loudest media voice is our taxpayer-funded national broadcaster. The ABC has a depth and reach that would be unlawful for any other media outlet. In return for its $1 billion plus of annual funding it steadfastly serves up a 24-hour junk food banquet of climate change alarmism, identity politics and leftist dogma.
The ABC holds others to standards that it is unwilling to uphold itself and often fails to comply with even the most basic requirements of its charter obligations.
Like America, our political debate sees the slightest utterance against the zeitgeist bombarded by a cacophony of slurs and character assassination by those who don’t believe in rational debate. They are cheered on by a support cast of social media sock-puppets who seek to drown out any alternative view.
Our social institutions are rapidly descending into partisan cheer squads of self-interest with a never-ending list of grievances that only more taxpayer funds will ‘fix’. Like most self-perpetuating bureaucracies, the fix will never come but the demands for more money are unending.
It takes courage to stand in the face of that but it is more important than ever that we have people in politics who are prepared to put policy and principle ahead of their personal interests.
Things that make you go Hmm…
Common sense at last for this WA beer loving fisho as North Queensland debates a bikini scandal and burnt rubber. Victoria’s Willatook wind warriors blow the whistle on hush money and are these Brisbane parkers too polite? The ABC claims there’s ticker-fix kickbacks, says these dogs might have done their dash as this SBS writer demands an end to … Canberrasplaining. Victorian ratepayers wear a tax for China’s junk ban at Monash and other councils - but rate capping firewalls these ratepayers.
Gender-neutrality targets Siri, British newborns – even God – but could this set hearts racing? A UK IVF clinic goes ‘No Baby, No Fee’, Polish greenies are pierced by the stork’s bill as more Poles succumb to their cat overlords. Tax goes down the dunny in NZ and planes find cunning ways to lose weight. The UN ignores African poverty to lecture the USA, there’s a new US student debt ‘Hunger Games’ but it might be breast to stay out of this one and