DONALD Trump was elected six months ago and we’re still here. We’ve watched the world’s most powerful leader spin fantasy, insult and demean, and legitimise ignorance. And the sky hasn’t fallen in, yet. Life goes on.
But there’s a fallout. The quality of public debate is already jeopardised. We are increasingly unable to filter the information that comes from a plethora of voices. Trump just gives the stamp of approval to our worst behaviours.
So we become more cynical, less trusting, more willing to settle for arguments that confirm what we already believe. We choose to believe that things are simple: black and white, good and bad, us and them. It’s acceptable to jeer.
The cost is a lack of genuine public conversation about issues that matter. People get burnt. Voices dwindle, the shouters stay. Opinions are formed and decisions made on the basis of less and less information. We are less able to arrive at conclusions that will work for most people.
Bass Coast’s first hypothetical will tackle a community issue so contentious it’s usually consigned to the too-hard basket. A panel of lively, informed, articulate people - an events manager, a lawyer, a vigneron, a doctor, the area commander of the Bass Coast Police, a shire councillor and a radio station manager - will draw on their life and work experience to discuss the issue of alcohol consumption across Bass Coast: The ever-popular comedian, Rod Quantock, will join them.
In the style of Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypothetical TV series, the panel and its diverse points of view will be moderated by former judge Peter Hardham. It will be very informative. It’ll be fun. Democratic process at its best!
We hope to see you there!
Wonthaggi Baptist Church, Friday, June 2, 7.30pm. Tickets $10. Bookings: Gilheal@internode.on.net