Election 2019: The Remorse Paradox and Doublethink Denial

I was very amused by Steve Dickson having to pull out of the election today – not because he was busted going to a strip club or his appalling behaviour there. My amusement stemmed from the way the One Nation candidate so pathetically tried to excuse himself.

There is a modern phenomenon I call the remorse paradox whereby people – mostly in the public eye, but it’s spread pretty much everywhere – use weasel words to avoid full responsibility even when making admissions.

Busted sportsmen do it. Politicians and pop stars do it. In Steve Dickson’s case the weasel words were as follows:

“The footage shown does not reflect the person I am. It shows a person who was drunk and not in control of his actions and I take full responsibility for allowing that to happen.”

“I found the footage difficult to watch as my words and actions under intoxication and in that environment, are not a true reflection of myself.”

In other words, it wasn’t him. It was some alternative version of himself. He’s taking responsibility for allowing that alternative self to get air time, but he’s not taking responsibility for what that alternative self did or said. So he acknowledges, sheepishly, that he deserves a bit of a slap for letting the genie out of the bottle, but he himself is not the genie.

What a load of crap.

I’m sorry Steve, but YOU are the person who said:

“I think white women fuck a whole lot better, they know what they’re doing. Asian chicks don’t. I’ve done more Asian than I know what to do with.”

YOU are also the chap shown chatting up a dancer after slipping money into her lingerie. Then YOU said:

“You need to slide your hand on my dick.”

This wasn’t the Devil speaking, or alcohol turning you into some sort of innocent automaton. This was YOU, unleashed, showing your own true colours in all their ugly vomitous reality.

And despite behaving like that, you continued to hold yourself out as a person worthy of being elected to the Australian parliament. Until found out.

Even then, you didn’t have the grace to admit your appalling character. The person on the video did not reflect the person you truly are.

It was someone else.

Have we really fallen so low? Is this now our political reality that people with such abysmal morals and outrageous behaviour can genuinely believe they deserve to be elected to (what ought to be) the highest office in the land?

Would Menzies have behaved like this?

Would Edmund Barton, Billy Hughes, Curtin, Chifley, Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke, Keating, Howard…I start to lose confidence after that…would any of those, or any of their colleagues, in any kind of bizarro universe even dreamed of carrying on like Dicko?

Now, not even the One Nation Party want him!

But if that’s bad enough, even weirder is the apparent success of Clive Palmer.

We’re talking about a bloke who went out of business owing $300 million plus many, many millions in entitlements to Queensland Nickel employees – since paid in part by the federal government. But despite still being sued for all of that, not only does he refuse to pay, he boasts about his wealth!

And that’s not even the weird bit.

The truly weird part of this story is that a bloke who tramples on the rights of battlers while boasting about his multi-billionaire success, has managed to spend nearly $40 million on advertising and is genuinely looking at holding the balance of power in the upcoming election.

Is the universe going mad?

Can no-one see what is happening here?

Palmer has taken a leaf straight out of the Donald Trump playbook. Deny, deny, deny – no matter how obvious the truth – and keep hammering home the message that the ruling elite are the true baddies.

YOU are the ruling elite Clive. YOU are the emperor swanning about starkers and it’s time the battlers you’ve ripped off saw you for what you are rather than fawning in your wake and raising you up to the Senate.

I’m just disgusted at the state of our democracy.

By no means do I want it replaced because it’s very clear that open democracy under the rule of law is the only way to maximise happiness in a free society. But there are threats to our democracy which is encouraging the B-graders, the apparatchik manipulators, the doublethink deniers and the outright scumbags to stand for office.

How on earth do we stop it?

The flow of information is so compromised by media minorities, AI algorithms and fake news that no-one can really be sure what matters or even what is objectively true. We’re swimming in a lake of info-quicksand but I can at least still be sure that a vote for Dickson or Palmer would be a really bad idea,

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