Do it for the kids

There’s a couple of elections in the next few days. The first is today with the Queensland state election.

I find it hard being roused by anything much that happens up in Queensland (which includes the recent AFL season), but in the context of the nation, this is an important election.

I’m not a great fan of the incumbent, the Labor premier Anastacia Palaszczuk. There’ve been some fine leaders in Queensland, and some shockers. I don’t live there, but from my perch, it feels as if she falls somewhere in between.

Like a lot of Queenslanders she’s parochial, some of which is natural, I’m sure, and some I would guess is studied – parochialism plays well to parochial voters. She has a touch of the populist about her and otherwise appears a bit of a lightweight. I find her deputy more impressive.

It needs hardly mentioning, but her Liberal opponent today is pretty dreadful.

Palaszczuk should win, and I think it will be an important victory because it holds the LNP at bay and keeps a balance in Australian politics between the conservative and progressive wings. And it could well be important in the next federal election. Queensland cost Labor victory last year, but they must – and surely, can only – improve next time around.

The big election, of course, is the US election next week. I need hardly to add to things I’ve said before, or what any one of the hundreds of reasonable commentators have said: Trump must go. He’s a disaster for America, and he’s a disaster for the world in general. Neither can afford another four years from him.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of reasons why Trump must be voted out. One, less tangible, struck me as I lay in bed this morning.

There was a time when we lived with hope and optimism. Kids left school full of confidence and wanted to make a difference in the world. Broadly speaking, there was the expectation that we would leave the world a better place than we found it – and we would be a part of that. We carried a light.

I fear that light has dimmed, if not gone out altogether, and a big part of that is the state of our polity. What true hope can there be if the standard of leadership is so poor, and when political machinations take precedence over the common good? In many aspects, society has become more open and progressive, but in reaction, society is now fracturing. The pity of it is that it plays into the hands of the divisive and opportunistic leadership we’re burdened with.

Joe Biden is hardly inspirational – far from it (and I’d say the same thing about Albo here), but he’s a far, far, far better option than the alternative. I don’t think Biden can heal society, but he can stem the bleeding – and others who follow in his steps, and around the world, who can take it further.

Things must change. For the sake of our future, we need leaders with the courage to do the right thing, who go forward with hope rather than cynicism, with generosity rather than selfishness. We must knit society together so that there is reason to believe in a better place and strive for it. As much as anything, it’s our hearts that must be mended and begin to sing again. We owe it to our children, to be part of a world that has meaning and worth, and inspiration to make it better.

It must start now.

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