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.

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