Crikey has taken it upon itself to run a competition in which people get the same number of words Lincoln used in the Gettysburg address to get their rocks off about this great nation. The entries have been uniformly execrable – well execrable, but perhaps not uniformly. Even Mem Fox’s entry was awful. A good spoof could be fun but the entrants seem to have taken themselves desperately seriously. And that’s not wise when comparing youself to the iconic greatness of the Gettysburg Address, to the majesty of Lincoln’s quiet, intelligent modesty.
The lefties have been much worse than the righties. Here’s an extract from Barry Jones.
Although science and technology have annihilated boundaries, mankind retreats from global goals of compassion, reconciliation and mutual understanding, nations turn inward, reinforcing tribal values. Racism, nationalism, militarism, religious hatred, democratic populism, suppression of dissent, using propaganda, resolving problems by violence, promoting fear of difference, attacking organised labour, weakening the rule of law, using state violence, torture and execution, remain widespread. All reject rationality, replacing evidence-based policies with faith-based policies.
At least this effort from David Flint – hardly a fave of mine – is a positive expression of achievement. I waited for the carping about multiculturalism, elites and all the rest, perhaps a mention of what a really great bloke Alan Jones is. But it never came.
Society, it has been said, is a contract, a contract between those who are alive, those who have gone before us and those yet to be born. This is especially true of Australia, where our heritage has been the surety of our considerable success. Founded a penal colony under the rule of law by liberal reformers with noble beliefs in redemption, and that slavery should never taint these shores, within a surprisingly short time, our forefathers lived in self governing thriving communities, constituting one of the worlds oldest democracies. Then they did what no others had done — without war, deaths or violence, and humbly relying on the blessings of the Almighty, they united to form one great nation.
Australians were soon to be among the worlds leaders in education; in womens, workers’ and the aged’s rights; and in sports, medicine and the sciences, winning proportionately more Nobel Prizes than any others. They irrigated the parched land, they built thriving cities and towns, and they farmed the interior. Their contributions to the freedom of others were vast — more died in the First War than those of the armed forces of the great United States. The generation who emerged from the hard won victory of the Second War strongly endorsed equality and eschewed indulgence in favour of responsibility, respect and personal abstemiousness. They soon removed the shame of racial discrimination. In brief, we have inherited a decent society. It is our sacred duty to make ourselves worthy of this inheritance by adopting and applying the values and principles enunciated by the pioneers, the founders and those who fought and died for this country.