TUMBY BAY – I don’t know about you but I’m thoroughly enjoying American politics at the moment.
To keep myself informed about the key players and the ever-changing and convoluted narrative I’ve read Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump Whitehouse’ and ordered a copy of James Comey’s new book, ‘A Higher Loyalty’.
I became fascinated with politics after doing a major in a subject the School of External Studies at the University of Queensland quaintly referred to as ‘Government’ way back in the tumultuous 1960s.
I find the shenanigans of ego-driven politicians, past and present, comedy of a very high order. As one erudite commentator once said, “You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried”.
Good old Donald Trump certainly hasn’t let the side down, he’s taken the absurdity of it all to a higher level.
Even George W Bush, himself an extraordinary ignoramus, said of Trump’s rambling and incoherent inauguration speech, “That’s some weird shit”.
We’ve got our own amusing sideshows in Australia too. Some of it is inexplicably linked to what’s going on in Trump’s alternative universe, blathering about North Korea and China, for instance. But a lot of it is home grown, like poor old Barnaby Joyce’s citizenship and family issues.
You may think that my attitude to politics is irresponsible, even dangerous, but do you think any of it really matters?
Do you think that what these arseholes are doing actually makes any difference to anything? If you do, I’d suggest you are grossly ill-informed.
Politicians don’t run anything, let alone whole countries. Other, more responsible adults do that. All politicians do is blather and babble and bubble like so much froth.
When Trump eventually implodes, which will probably happen sooner than later, his impact on the bumbling behemoth that is America will have been zero.
He’ll just be an unpleasant memory and a warning that electing morally-bereft egomaniacs as president is not a good idea – not that it won’t inevitably happen again.
There is, however, one brand of politics that I do tend to take seriously, and that is third-world politics. Politics in places like Papua New Guinea.
Politics in these places make idiots like Donald Trump seem like rank amateurs and are wholly more dangerous and destructive, especially to citizens.
The difference between American and Australian politics and politics in places like Papua New Guinea is that the latter have no life-saving bureaucratic or societal backbones to counterbalance the crazy idiosyncrasies and depredations of their politicians.
Despite theoretical legal or constitutional brakes, these politicians have been allowed to completely corrupt and compromise their public servants and judiciaries, not to mention the mainstream media.
In these places the laws of the land no longer matter and have no relevancy. The police and the judiciary have long danced to the same tune as the politicians.
Recourse for the odd honest politician or most citizens has been so corrupted as to be rendered useless.
Common humanity and decency have disappeared out the window. What remains is a citizenry unnecessarily living in poverty, ignorant through lack of education and dying from curable diseases.
Nobody cares and, even if they do, they are mostly powerless to do anything about it.
This brand of politics doesn’t amuse me at all, it appals and saddens me.
Give me lunatics like Trump any day.
But, for goodness sake, please keep your Peter O’Neill’s to yourself.