“Yes” will say “No” to Trumpism and US-like social disintegration

Sep 16, 2023
Greg and his dog Fred-in Canberra.

I’m voting “Yes” as a proud Australian of Aboriginal, European and Middle-eastern ancestry. Australia’s Constitution needs to catch up with the nation we are today. We’re a multicultural superpower and Asia-Pacific democracy, founded on 65,000 years of heritage and culture. Our Constitution needs to reflect that.

But there’s another very important reason not to Vote “No”. Doing so would be a “Yes” vote for the Trumpist politics of hate and division in Australia. It would unravel our social fabric, democratic values and long-term stability. It would take us down the path of the United States.

Trump-style politics thrive on stoking fear. And the “No” campaign’s Trumpist approach is clearly seeking to manipulate public opinion by painting a bleak future under a “Yes” scenario. It is framing the Voice as a threat rather than an opportunity.

Divisive politics thrive on an “us versus them” mentality, framing issues as battles between irreconcilable factions. This fosters polarisation and hinders constructive dialogue, making it difficult to find common ground and build consensus. The “No” campaign’s Trumpist politics dismisses facts and logic in favour of populist rhetoric and fear. It’s disregard for evidence-based debate is undermining the foundations of our democracy and impeding meaningful discussion. By depriving Australians of the facts they need to make informed decisions, the “No” campaign is taking us for mugs.

Respectful and civil discourse is a cornerstone of democracy. Yet, the “No” campaign’s divisive politics is devolving into personal attacks, name-calling, and hostile rhetoric, making it increasingly difficult to engage in productive conversations. A win for the “No” campaign based on this Trumpist strategy risks embedding divisive politics in Australia. It will pit us against each other, and sow greater seeds of mistrust and animosity. It will show that hate, lies and division can win. It will invite future attacks on other minority groups. Jacinta Price has already signalled she will be targeting the LGBTIQ+ community.

In contrast to Trumpism, voting “Yes” can serve as a unifying force for Australia. The Voice acknowledges and embraces our shared history, including our 65,000 years of Indigenous culture and heritage. It is a step towards recognising and celebrating what makes Australia unique. The Voice can strengthen our democratic institutions by ensuring a broader range of voices are heard. It can foster inclusivity and representation, and enrich our political discourse. It can signify our commitment to Reconciliation, healing and unity.

“Yes” is an opportunity to build bridges and mend wounds. “Yes” will demonstrate that Australians value love and unity. That we reject hate and division. “Yes” will say “No” to Trumpism and a path of social disintegration like that in the United States.

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