We’re Free to Abuse our Political Leaders (but we’re also free not to)

broken-glasses-1_2379464I live in an amazing country in which our freedom of speech extends so far as to enable us to publicly slander, poke fun at, or disrespect our political leaders. This is a right I would not be without.

Unfortunately, however, there seems to be a general consensus that not only should we have this right, but that we should exercise it.

Leading up to our recent election, social media was rife with slander and abuse; people pushing their own agendas, and openly condemning those who didn’t agree. As I drove to work each day, I saw campaign posters; the faces of those running for the right to represent our communities, disfigured by graffitists.

On election day, as the votes were counted, I waited for the inevitable. As soon as it was called, the abuse started. I saw the new leader of our country being called names that I would not allow my high school students to call each other. I saw people threatening to leave the country as if the world were coming to an end. Have some global perspective!

Maybe it’s time to grow up Australia. You have a voice. But you also have a choice in how to use it. Use your voice to vote; use it to campaign; make your opinions heard, but don’t be the high school bully. Let’s show our leaders some respect, whoever they are, because we didn’t achieve one of the best standards of living in the world by ourselves.

6 comments on “We’re Free to Abuse our Political Leaders (but we’re also free not to)

  1. I sense a double standard pouring out from certain parts of our community within Australia. It really outstands me to see a lot of those who were outspoken against the so called negativity allegedly originating from the Coalition, SILENT when it comes to the abuse and negativity hurled at the Coalition before they are even sworn into office.

    • sarsrose says:

      I agree Rob. The irony is that the Coalition was particularly non-negative this time round, because their strategy was more to keep quiet and let things carry on in their favor.
      I’m not even sure the people you speak of were silent when the election was won… some were very quick to be negative themselves.
      But isn’t that just human nature. We tend to hold others to higher standards than we hold ourselves.

  2. vonhonnauldt says:

    Happens in the US as well, especially if conservatives *gasp* should happen to get into power, as I understand something of the sort has happened in your fair country. Of course, our president gets his share as well, and I don’t think he could be considered conservative.

    • sarsrose says:

      Yes, it doesn’t seem to matter who you are or which side you’re on, you’ll cop it. Though I agree, the conservatives seem to cop it worse.
      I can absolutely believe your poor President gets criticized a lot, and you have the further problem of it being global criticism. Most Australian’s would have an opinion on Obama!! I don’t have a problem with people’s opinions though, even if they are negative, it’s just the childish bullying style abuse.

  3. journeyofjoy says:

    A great call! This has been a burden of my heart in the U.S. for years. I agree with you and I agree with Vonhonnauldt’s comment above. We really ought to set a better standard and example for our children in matters of respect and in showing restraint when our candidates don’t win.

    Ps: your post is up! You have a few comments to respond to. Also, feel free to write something small to direct your readers to your guest post! Thank you so much for your willingness to do it! Heaps of Blessings!!

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