Or to put it another way:
Have you noticed how many of your friends and family, coworkers and acquaintances are just determined to get rid of “that woman”, meaning Gillard – but if you ask them why, how little depth there is to their reasoning? Okay, you despise her, and blame her for wrecking the country, but why specifically?
Maybe you’ll hear –
- “Carbon tax”, but if you ask why, and they say “my energy bills”, and you ask them if they’ve checked which part of the increase has anything to do with the “carbon tax” and what compensation they received in tax cuts, they won’t have checked at all.
- “I’m paying more tax”, but they won’t actually have any figures, because if they’ve actually checked, they’d have noticed that, odds are, they’re paying less.
- “Cost of living”, and sure, that has indeed increased somewhat – housing costs, in particular – but if you ask them what government policy led to that, or what Abbott policy would improve the situation, they won’t be able to point to one.
- “Boat people” – but if you ask what possible impact that has had on their lives and why they’re so concerned, they won’t have anything. How much is it costing the budget? Point out that we’re spending vastly more locking them up offshore (the Liberal policy the ALP has now adopted) than we would if we just processed them here, and there’s no response.
But questioning the shallowness of the above impressions, thoughts, feelings often results in a shutdown or hostility. Why? Because you’re questioning away an easy villain, an easy solution, the satisfaction of blaming someone else for every difficulty.
Because once that’s gone, what’s left? A challenging world with difficult decisions? Shut up and leave us with our fantasy!
We can deal with reality after September. And when we get Abbott, and things actually get worse, maybe we’ll be able to convince ourselves it’s someone else’s fault again.