It took only moments after the election of Tony Abbott as Opposition Leader for the tirade of abuse to begin.
Labor’s Greg Combet was first off the rank, thundering “extremists have gained control of the Liberal party.” The Fairfax papers were next, frantically dog whistling to their readers that Abbott was a “conservative Catholic” and liberally sprinkling their commentary with the “Mad Monk” moniker. Political failure John Hewson sniped that Abbott was “divisive” and “ideological” with intellectual Robert Manne heralding the rise of the “troglodyte-in-chief” for Abbott’s anti-ETS stance.
Meanwhile, just about everyone agreed he had a ‘serious problem’ with women. Outspoken feminist Eva Cox fretted about returning “back to the 1950s”. The ABC’s Virginia Haussegger screeched “women are angry” while former Democrats leader Lyn Allison moaned that Abbott’s leadership was “an alarming prospect for women”.
The message from the political and media establishment was clear: This man is not one of us.
Tony Abbott’s cardinal sin was to be the one thing the self appointed bastions of inclusivity and diversity cannot tolerate – a social conservative.
Social conservatives are those appallingly backward people who cling to outdated notions like the importance of the traditional family, the value of faith and the love of one’s country. This old fashioned nonsense is completely anathema to the secular transnational urban elites who comprise much of the media, arts, politics and academia – our self-proclaimed ‘intelligentsia’.
The demonization of Tony Abbott is no surprise and reflects a larger trend to marginalise and exclude social conservatives from the public sphere. In modern political discourse, they come in only one of two flavours – evil, or stupid.
John Howard, for example, was “mean and tricky”. Ronald Reagan an ignorant hick. Margaret Thatcher was the malevolent "Iron Lady" while George W Bush had the distinction of being both immensely evil and breathtakingly stupid at the same time.
The playbook is always the same. Labelled as “dangerous”, “backward”, “extreme”, “radical” and cast as one-dimensional characters with no redeeming features, they are first dehumanized so they can be demonized. The so-called intelligentsia for all their talk of diversity, march in mind-numbing conformity to a leftist drumbeat.
Source: Menzies House