It seems that a new election might be upon us, and if we deify Bill and demonise Malcolm, I fear history will repeat. It’s the hope that kills us.
It seems, at least to the casual observer, that the knives are in a constant state of being fished from metaphorical drawers and metaphorically waved at one Malcolm Turnbull.
But, I’m not going to talk about the purported regal disappointments of Mal, because I fear that the swathes of takedowns carved on the trunks of the million felled virtual forests has probably said it better, and crucially, previous to this piece. He deserved it, because he let us down. We’ve all done it, it’s discoursal masturbation. It performs a base function, we move on and don’t think about it.
However, as the I can’t believe it’s not a citizenship audit creeps closer, and with it, the chance of us being marched to the polling booth once more, there’s one danger that we need to address. If the ALP takes the reigns, then we, the electorate (especially those who voted for them) need to check themselves before their ambition wrecks themselves.
Flashback to the last two times we ended up with Malcolm, and the feeling was the same. That searing blinding hope. He was the chosen, we chose him, and he’ll do all the things, because we trusted him to that, why wouldn’t he?
He’s not Tony.
Wiggle the side of the screen, and we now sit at an identical pivot point, our flaming political eye scanning the wastelands for that one figure that could bind us. The nation has constructed a towering erection for justice, pursuing the rightful banishing of an antagonist that has long ruled us like the vague, glassy-eyed monarch who gave no fucks for the ills of Gondor or the rest of Middle Earth.
What we should be able to do, with knowledge of forethought, is avoid the same mistakes. Not, in not electing these people in the first place, but rather the height of the skyscraper of hopeful assumption that we built alongside it. We need to prepare ourselves for the fact that whoever gets the job, is not going to be everything to us, and won’t be everything we need them to be.
The romantic world has the same problems as the political one. We barely know that mysterious figure that told us what we wanted to hear, they seem fresh and new, as we sway, drunk on the possibilities, sure we’ll vote for you. Unfortunately, backlit by morning euphoria, we see the form from the night before is sleeping next to us, and our mind races before flying out the window, losing it entirely. They’re so amazing. They’re everything. Ohmygosh.
Simply put, we expect too much, and we shouldn’t. The awful truth is that Bill Shorten isn’t going to save us any more than Malcolm did. Soon, in the afternoon of the election, the spooling wishlist that hits the floor at our feet and keeps running will slowly have each meaningful plan bitterly struck off, and while we might settle for one or two. If Bill fails to end offshore detention, enable marriage equality, investigate the banking sector, fix the NBN, or give an adequate amount of fucks on a daily basis, would he soon be cast into the same bin as Tony, Mal colloquially sits in?
You know the answer.
The current vibe is anyone but Malcolm, and we should keep it that way. However, if we look toward the horizon, hoping to see an impossibly white white knight, one that’ll slay the dragon of conservatism and heal our prestige internationally in one easy blow, then we shall not pass this crippling point-scoring rhetoric we fight on a daily basis.