This was posted to a friend’s Facebook stream today:
Now I am no fan of Julie Bishop and I am pretty sure my friend isn’t either. I have a strict don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy on how people vote, but at a rough guess, I’d say my friend’s politics are fairly similar to mine. That is: fairly centrist by any objective measure but easily branded as left wing for our general opposition to the right.
I used to take umbrage at being branded a leftist since I always considered myself fairly middle-of-the-road politically. I was usually described that way because of my opposition to the authoritarianism and social Darwinism espoused by the modern right (who I refuse to call conservatives because their values have precious little resemblance to classical conservatism). These days, I don’t care. The entire political spectrum has shifted so far to the right over the last 40 years that if being a centrist makes me a lefty to you, fine. Call me a leftist, a progressive, a small-l liberal, whatever. Your label isn’t my problem.
The point is, my friend is no more a fan of the current government than I am.
So the next time someone tells you that each side of politics is as crass and ugly as the other, show them this to remind them that there is a difference.
When Julia Gillard delivered her legendary speech calling out the then opposition leader Tony Abbott for his rampant sexism, both casual and overt, I didn’t see a single Liberal supporter or right wing commentator who had the guts and decency to admit she had a point. Instead, it was Gillard’s fault for playing the “gender card.”
I have no time for Julie Bishop but she deserves better than this. Her personal life is nobody else’s business. I’m not linking to The Age’s article. You can find it yourself if you want to, and shame on you if you do.
My friend’s comment shows that it’s possible to despise everything Julie Bishop stands for, and still admit when she’s been treated disgracefully.
That’s the difference.