Politics is a charade

Charade: an absurd pretence intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance.

We, the people, are the victims of such deliberate pretence by the political class.

Do any of you need convincing of this cruel reality?

If you do, reflect for a moment on the proceedings of Donald Trump’s so-called ‘impeachment trial’ in the Senate that was thrust at you every day on your TV screens. There you saw both sides of the ‘debate’ pretending that it was a serious attempt to ascertain the facts and reach a reasoned conclusion about whether Trump incited the riotous behaviour at the Capitol building on January 6 that we all saw in such graphic detail on our TV screens, and whether his words: ”Fight like hell or you won’t have a country” were simply rhetorical flourish, or whether they were calculated words of incitement?

Even a cursory glimpse at the Senate process exposed it as a charade, indeed the most cynical we are ever likely to witness during our lifetime! From the very beginning we knew what the outcome would be: Trump would be acquitted.

The February 10 issue of The New York Times spelt this out in an article that asserted: ”Donald Trump’s impeachment team is trying to rewrite the narrative of January 6, calling the charge against Trump ‘a monstrous lie’.” It went on: ”Trump’s team insisted that he never glorified violence during his presidency, and that he consistently called for peace as the rampage of the Capitol unfolded. By showing video clips of Democrats urging their supporters to ‘fight’ and Donald Trump venerating ‘law and order’ they sought to rewrite not just the narrative of Trump’s campaign to overturn the election, but also that of his entire presidency.” Charade writ large!

Of course, Trump is a supreme master of charade. Can you recall a more striking example than Trump’s insistence that despite the vote count that showed he had been convincingly defeated by Joe Biden in the recent Presidential election, he had actually won it in a landslide, and had been ‘robbed’ of his due only because there had been widespread corruption in multiple jurisdictions all across the US? If he really believed that, his deranged mental state could be the only plausible explanation.

When we hear China’s CPC feigning distress at Australia’s ‘dumping’ of our barley and wine on their markets, we know immediately that is yet another charade, Chinese style, that permits them to retaliate.

But we don’t need to look at the US for examples of charade.

When PM Morrison stands outside the parliament and repeatedly refuses to commit to a zero emissions target by 2050, because he can’t until he knows how to reach it, we all know that’s a charade.

When he insists that his office had nothing to do with Bridget McKenzie’s ‘sports-rort’, the evidence exposes that distortion of the truth as a charade.

When he pretends that the illegal attempts to retrieve so-called ‘over-payments’ by Centrelink were appropriate, he perpetrates another charade.

More recently, when asked to explain the actions of maverick Craig Kelly’s repeated spread of false health information on his web platform, our PM responded (complete with smirk) with: “He’s not your doctor, and he’s not mine”, and even more irrelevantly, “He’s doing a great job in Hughes”, you immediately recognise the cynical charade those words portray.

Still more recently, there was the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins in the office of Defence Minister’s Linda Reynolds, which evoked this response from Brittany: “It was the sight of the Prime Minister standing on a podium with Australian of the Year Grace Tame, a survivor of sexual assault that hardened my resolve to speak. I was sick to my stomach. He’s standing next to a woman who has campaigned for ‘Let her speak’ and yet in my mind his government was complicit in silencing me. It was a betrayal. It was a lie.”

This is charade writ large, and in a distressingly extreme form.

Of course, charade is universal. You’ve see Boris Johnson perpetrate charade after charade as he pretends he knows the solution to the UK’s escalating Covid-19 crisis, that worsens by the day. Many would call it simply BS! You’ve seen Vladimir Putin’s charades again and again

Years ago, writing in The Hill, in an article titled: Change tack: Don’t embolden Putin to continue his charade, Mareh Sarif detailed the unsuccessful attempts of successive US Presidents to reach rapprochement with him. Master of charade, Putin outmanoeuvred his counterparts again and again. He had Trump on a string despite Trump’s bluster. We can envisage him smiling from the safety of the Kremlin at Trump’s egomaniacal ineptitude, stupidity and arrogance. Is there any doubt that Putin interfered with the recent Presidential election?

Do these examples convince you that politics is a charade? Do tell us of other instances.

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