The globalisation of politics

by Richard on October 3, 2012

The Conversation: Cranks, crazies and globalisation – US politics is fair game for Aussies

Wayne Swan’s remark last month that the US Republican Party had been taken over by “cranks and crazies” is notable in two respects.

First, it is true.

Second, it marks a further move towards a globalised politics, in which political arguments routinely transcend national boundaries.

The truth of Swan’s claim is so obvious that few, even in Australia, have bothered to dispute it. The following are just a sample of the lunatic beliefs held by much of the Republican Party base, propounded on its news outlets such as Fox News, and put forward by leading Republican politicians:

  • That President Obama is a foreign-born Muslim, a rabid socialist and more sympathetic to jihadists than to the United States.
  • That scientific evidence on climate change is the product of a global conspiracy aimed at imposing a UN-dominated world government.
  • That opinion polls showing Republican candidate Mitt Romney trailing President Obama have been rigged in the hope of depressing the turnout of Republican voters.

While not all Republicans believe all of these things, few, if any, have been willing to repudiate these conspiracy theories and their advocates. Mitt Romney, for example, has equivocated on climate change, embraced “birthers” such as Donald Trump and, through his campaign organisation, promoted opinion poll denialism.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }


Kim 10.04.12 at 5:02 am

Yeah, but Mitt is a good friend of Bibi, right? And even the insane have a right to be represented at the centre of power, yes? “Christians-have-a-divine-mandate-to-support-Israel” Tea Party Madonna Michelle Bachmann might have been an even insaner, friendlier ally, but half a (white) loaf is better than a crypto-Islamist naan in the White House.


Richard 10.04.12 at 8:14 am

The BBC are saying that Mitt ‘won’ the debate last night. Extraordinary.


Kim 10.04.12 at 9:31 am

Yes, and Douglas “won” the debate(s) against Lincoln…


Richard 10.04.12 at 9:48 am

That’s reassuring.


Kim 10.04.12 at 12:03 pm

Douglas (Democrat) was re-elected, over Lincoln (Republican), to his senate seat in Illinois (the year is 1858), but the debates (mainly about slavery) established Lincoln’s reputation and put him on the national political map. Needless to say, Mitt’s Republican politics would be unrecognisable to Abe. The best thing you can say aboout Mitt is that he is named after an item of baseball equipment. (Dan Quale could’t spell either.)


Earl 10.04.12 at 8:59 pm

Re: Outcome of the debate. It looks like Clint was right, the chair is empty.


Richard 10.04.12 at 9:11 pm


It’s been a while - how’re you doing, Earl? From what I heard, Obama didn’t exactly cover himself in glory. But mitt was a bit lacklustre too.


Richard 10.05.12 at 7:02 am

geoffff - I’ve just got out of bed. I find two comments from you in moderation. Before I approve them, I check your blog. Sure enough, there you are, complaining about being banned. Where would you like your comments to be: there or here?


Kim 10.05.12 at 7:54 am

Must be counting on what someone called the Dopeler Effect: the illusion that stupid ideas seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.


geoffff 10.05.12 at 10:45 am

This is a public controversy Richard.

I would like the comment here because I am interested in dialogue on an issue we share a strong common interest. Either way it will be published on my blog.

I already have a dialogue with many others who share that interest in a passionate way. They see this as important. So do I. So presumably do you. Certainly Kim does.

What’s your problem?


Richard 10.05.12 at 11:15 am

My problem is you, geofffffffffff. It appears that if your comments go into moderation, I find you mewling about being ‘banned’ even before I’ve had chance to see them. You say you’re interested in dialogue, but I haven’t seen much evidence of it. You can say what you like elsewhere, but I’m responsible for what gets posted here, and I’m not under any obligation to post everything that other people write. This is my space. You’re welcome to comment here, but you’ve got up my nose and that doesn’t incline me to towards the ‘approve’ button.


geoffff 10.05.12 at 6:37 pm

I think you have got a bull by the tits here Richard as they say around these parts.

I knew that my comment would be in moderation until your morning as it should be. . But I have a political blog with a message and naturally I am going to get my message up before you get up hours away.

That’s the point of having a blog. No offence but you can hardly object to me taking the opportunity to focus on the principal message of the hour.

That the notion that antizionism is a form of antisemitism, let alone the construct that antizionism is the new antisemitism, is so shocking for you that your reflex was to ban me from the thread.

That’s cool. Your rules your space as you say. Honestly I’m not at all offended. On the contrary I’m curious therefore I’m probing.

I know what Peled says. It’s the one state fraud straight off the shelf from the seventies since before the Oslo fraud was hatched.

I think there is an intellectual sleight of hand going on here. I think this is something more dishonest than having your cake and eating it too here.

I think Western trendy liberals want to postulate about the one democratic state where all are equal and free because it allows them to avoid thinking.

It also allows them to continue their endless and bottomless delusion that there is something fundamentally flawed about the most successful human rights and national liberation movements of the century just because it is hated with a vengeance by violent religious fanatics from the Dark Ages who trade in hate for a living .


geoffff 10.05.12 at 6:40 pm

Sorry … my comments.


Richard 10.05.12 at 7:32 pm

Nonsense. You post what you like, where you like. But when you go around the internet bleating about being “banned”, especially when it isn’t true, I get cheesed off. People who cheese me off don’t make good conversation partners in my experience. And your last couple of comments haven’t helped.

PS I don’t know any “former” Americans.

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