The hysteria surrounding alleged political correctness in Australia, where a garbled mess of accusations against “cultural Marxists” and “gay militancy” has seeped out into the mainstream, means it’s necessary that we ring in this new year with focus on the inane mythology being spun by those looking to sell a conspiracy that simply doesn’t exist.
From Australia’s former prime minister John Howard, to former federal opposition leader Mark Latham, there is no shortage of pundits and commentators reciting dramatic monologues about the imagined leftist tide that’s overtaken Australian neighbourhoods.
They breathlessly fill up airwaves and television slots with red-faced forewarnings that sound as though they’d be better suited if made from behind a pulpit. They tell you that the fire and brimstone is already here, that they are afraid to speak their minds for fear of public backlash, that Australian society has been weakened, that Australians are now far too sensitive, and—most ominously—that if this threat is not confronted then the country will be lost to Them.
It would be too generous to say that the likes of Howard and Latham, career politicians, are ignorant, or that they are unaware of the impact of their scaremongering—they know the score in terms of how much power the right holds in Australia. It’s the fear that their reign of manipulation will not last that is driving them to proselytise so fervently against an imagined foe.
Mark Latham, who if not for his wealth and political history would more likely be seen inside a train station raving about the End Times and gay people marrying dogs and cats, is still marketed as being “controversial” by members of the press despite calling for white people to “take back” Australia, his allegations that a “new militant gay-left [is] seeking to sack those that believe in God, and man-woman marriage”, and that gay Australians are overrepresented in the media. And yet, Mark Latham, despite all of the bombastic gibberish about an organised, non-white, God-hating, gay horde coming for freedom of speech, is very much employed, and his face and equally nauseating words are smeared across countless publications on a nearly weekly basis.
The accusations of there being any kind of gay militancy in Australia is especially audacious, but nonetheless a common refrain of those who see the passage of gay marriage as symbolising legislative political correctness. In Australia, homophobic violence, and discrimination targeting members of LGBTQI communities has resulted in deaths, physical violence, verbal abuse, and the mental health challenges of those impacted by this bigotry are often overlooked, or outright ignored. According to a report the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS), those who identify as LGBTQI are made to experience “a higher level of social disadvantage than the general population in Australia”, and that includes gaps in healthcare services, difficulties in accessing education programs, and an increased likelihood of living in poverty. If there is a militant gay movement in Australia, the conditions of gay Australians would not be in the state that they are.
With pitchforks and torches at the ready, it’s the freedom to be draconian, and callous that those decrying “political correctness gone mad” are fighting for. It is the fear of being confronted by those most impacted by their brutality—these are the snowflakes that so quickly melt the moment they are challenged.
They prefer that their homophobia, misogyny, racism, and their deep-seated hatred of the poor, be left alone. For too long, they’ve found comfort in espousing abhorrent, even fascist views, without conflict, and they’ve enjoyed the rush of hearing their peers laugh, and join in. It’s the worry that their privileges are no longer enough to spare them from the ramifications brought about by their words that is sending them into a panic. It isn’t that society has become too sensitive, but that tolerance for cruelty and bigotry poorly masked as witticism has ebbed to a small degree, just enough to make the likes of Latham, and Howard writhe and shout on television as though they’ve seen the devil himself.
The likelihood of the flatulent resistors of “political correctness” realising that their dogmatic beliefs, which range from love-it-or-leave it nationalism, to their attacks on welfare and any non-white recipient of government assistance, are a kind of hypersensitive list of commandments, is slim. The spectre of political correctness is certainly no leftist creation. There is no gay Stalinist hiding under their bed. The monster is none other than themselves.