It’s three degrees and the first tiny flakes of snow are falling in Manhattan. Somehow I find it symbolic, given that my secondment to the United Nations and my stay here is drawing to a close. The end of one season and the beginning of another.
The past weeks have been enlightening and filled with amazing experiences. In a sense, they have extended my understanding of what is possible and reinforced my knowledge of what needs to be done.
I don’t mean this in just a political context, although that has been a primary interest. However, seeing the scale of individual achievement evident wherever I look makes it seem that anything is possible.
Going back to politics, the Trump victory also makes it seem that standing up for change and making a difference isn’t a futile task either. Over the past years, I have often considered myself a lone voice, only able to slow – not reverse – the advancing tide of the tyrannical progressive agenda.
Despite sounding warning after warning about what was coming our way, the advances of new age socialism continued. That such initiatives were pushed by Labor and the Greens is to be expected, but the level of support for this dangerous agenda by Liberals has been heartbreaking to witness.
It is not and has never been the Liberal Party’s job to pursue the ‘regressive’ Left agenda. Why then have so many on the right of politics sought to support the green mirage, reduced public discourse to a perpetual discussion of newly discovered ‘rights’, embraced higher taxes, introduced bigger government spending, allowed themselves to be ‘guilt-tripped’ into migration increases and lost control of the economic, social and cultural narrative?
Political parties, if they are to survive, need to have a strong base of principled conviction that shapes and frames policy development. They don’t drift along wondering where the tide of public opinion will take them. Instead, they take up the oars with intent and try to convince others to join them on the journey.
I lament that for too many, the willingness to actually pick up an oar and do some of the hard paddling has been put in the too-hard basket. Much easier to leave it to others, or to just go along with the chirping minority voice in the hope of having a pleasant time.
But a pleasant time is not what politics is for. It’s to strengthen, to change, to advocate and to inspire. I regret too many seem to have lost sight of that.
Who then can blame the public for their high degree of cynicism about politics and politicians? It helps to explain why around 40 per cent of the electorate didn’t vote for either of the major parties in Australia. It explains why Donald Trump won the US Presidential election. It explains Brexit. It explains why Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders are becoming more popular by the day. It explains many things but doesn’t explain why too few are really listening.
And it all goes to explain why politics in Australia needs to change.
My time in the USA has made me realise I have to be a part of that change, perhaps even in some way a catalyst for it.
Exactly what direction that will take is still a work in progress but there is one thing of which I am certain - I hope you will embark on the journey with me.