Closed-minded progressives: post-election thoughts out of Melbourne

Added on by Leah Robertson.

In a morose little mood today. Because of the obvious, obviously. But also because I think we – me and my friends, and people like me and my friends – have gone way off-track in how we conduct ourselves politically. Online, in particular.

We’re immature under the guise of humour. In place of actual wit we swear a lot. Worst – rather than actively petitioning for change in meaningful ways we deride and scoff at the people whose opinions we could have altered had we not been above talking to them.

I can’t think of one time I’ve been convinced of something because somebody told me my views were idiotic. Screaming matches just galvanise opinions. Myself: I respond to personal stories of how an issue affects a person, or to wit and logic tied so tightly the case is irrefutable. If change happens, it happens on reflection, when I can decide in private whether I have been an idiot.

But change might not have been what we were after. We behaved en masse in ways that were self-serving but politically counter-productive. We got to vent and laugh and feel righteous but the country’s taken a stagger backward and the Greens a loss in support. Except for in our little bubble. We’re strong here, because we only preach to ourselves.

And we do it with closed minds. Progressives so certain we’re right about everything and that there can be no other truth for any other Australian – that conservative arguments are ‘based on false premises, and their conclusions are post-hoc rationalised non-sequiturs and incoherent nonsense’ – that we actually sound like bigots.

It’s upsetting, because it doesn’t get us anywhere, and I don’t want to stay long in the place we're in now.