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Chris Trotter says as anybody with the intestinal fortitude to brave the commentary threads of local news-sites, large and small, will attest: the number of Trump-supporting New Zealanders is really quite astounding

Chris Trotter says as anybody with the intestinal fortitude to brave the commentary threads of local news-sites, large and small, will attest: the number of Trump-supporting New Zealanders is really quite astounding

By Chris Trotter*

It's so difficult to resist the temptation to be smug. From the distant perspective of New Zealand, the United States is fast becoming incomprehensible.

We greet the information that there are now more US troops in Washington DC than there are in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria combined, with a dumfounded shake of the head. As we witness National Guardsmen and women securing the streets of the United States capital city against car bombs and IEDs, we struggle to accept that the terrorists against whom these extraordinary measures are directed are not from foreign parts – they’re home-grown.

“Thank God we live in New Zealand!”, has become a common refrain wherever people gather to discuss the images of insurrection and political violence filling our screens. As if the god of nations has given us some sort of free-pass through the unending vicissitudes of history.

As if …

Bryan Gould who, had the dice rolled differently, might have ended up leading the British Labour Party, has an interesting tale to tell about the political tensions simmering just beneath the surface of New Zealand. Astonishingly, this Oxford graduate and former Vice-Chancellor of Waikato University had a column submitted to his local newspaper rejected. In Gould’s own words:

“In a recent column I wrote for local newspapers, I ventured to suggest that Donald Trump – in addition to being a liar and a cheat, and sexist and racist – was a fascist in the making and would probably try, if he were to lose the election, to defy the democratic will of the people. The column was deemed to be too extreme by my editor who declined to publish it on the ground that it would offend some of his Trump-supporting readers who might write letters to him to complain. So much for a free and courageous press! Our failure to agree on the issue led to my no longer writing my column for his paper.”

Gould is very far from being the first person to have his editor reject a contribution. Editorial discretion and press freedom cannot be separated without abandoning both principles. What is remarkable about Gould’s account, however, is the editor’s reference to his “Trump-supporting readers” and their potential to make sufficient epistolary mischief to give him pause.

Now, granted, all this happened well before what CNN delights in calling “The Trump Insurrection”. This event has, presumably, reduced the number of Gould’s editor’s Trump-supporting readers considerably. Nevertheless, as anybody with the intestinal fortitude to brave the commentary threads of local news-sites, large and small, will attest: the number of Trump-supporting New Zealanders is really quite astounding. There are certainly enough of them to raise the question: If a truly Trumpian figure were to emerge from our own political environment, would he or she attract a level of support comparable to the original?

The question isn’t quite as hypothetical as it might at first appear. In the general election of 2005, the Don Brash-led National Party came within 46,000 votes of winning a plurality of the Party Vote. With the support of Act and NZ First, Brash could very easily have become prime minister. And what a prime minister he would have been! The National leader and his party were committed to returning the Treaty of Waitangi to history’s glass case. The Maori seats were marked down for abolition, and all race-based references were to be expunged from the statute books. In the parlance of present-day “progressives”, Brash’s would have been a “ neo-colonialist”, “white supremacist” government.

Not to put too fine a point upon it, all hell would have broken loose.

It does not require too large a slice of the Devil’s imagination to envisage Brash and his allies being left with little alternative but to mobilise their “silent majority” of supporters against the fury his policies had unleashed in the streets. Protest action that resulted in serious property damage or, even worse, to loss of life, would have left him with even fewer choices. Calling-in the military to support the civil power would likely have become necessary quite quickly – with all-too-predictable results. A snap election, called to provide ex-post-facto validation for the emergency powers taken by the government to quell the unrest (as happened following the 1951 Waterfront Dispute) would, almost certainly, have delivered National a stunning victory. New Zealanders would have struggled to recognise the angry mess their country had become.

It didn’t happen, of course, because, as recently happened in Georgia’s run-off Senate elections, people of colour resident in a handful of crucial suburbs came through at the eleventh hour with enough votes to save the day. South Auckland’s Maori and Pasifika voters gave Labour’s Helen Clark the leverage she needed to persuade Winston Peters to keep the National Party off the Treasury Benches. (Even though NZ First had actively campaigned on an anti-Treaty manifesto no less radical than Brash’s.)

The other thing that happened over the course of the three years following the 2005 election was exactly what all moderate Republicans must be praying for in the post-Trump era. A young, charismatic and, most importantly, moderate leader of the dominant centre-right party emerged to challenge the incumbent centre-left government.

It is difficult to overstate the importance of John Key’s decade-long reign of moderate conservatism to the political and cultural evolution of contemporary New Zealand. It protected National from the creeping madness which has slowly but surely overtaken the centre-right parties of the US, UK and Australia. In the 15 years that have elapsed since Don Brash set his lance against the elites’ decolonisation project, the implacable grind of human mortality has eliminated a huge chunk of the electoral support for Brash’s “Iwi/Kiwi” dichotomy of 2005.

Racist nostalgia for the carefully camouflaged white supremacist New Zealand that endured from the end of the Land Wars in the mid-1860s until the defeat of Rob Muldoon in the mid-1980s still exists, of course, and four years of Trump’s shameless racism have given his Kiwi admirers renewed hopes of a National Party committed to making (white) New Zealand great again.

Their hopes are unlikely to be realised. A frankly white supremacist government in power – even if it had only ruled New Zealand for three or four years – could not have failed to extend its electoral base well into younger demographic cohorts. But Brash’s failure and Key’s success have limited significantly the political space available for Trumpism in New Zealand.

They’re here, of course, but not in the numbers needed to generate a politically decisive right-wing populist pulse. Gould’s editor really had no need to worry. The sixty-something-plus voting bloc grew up with Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Hell! A fair number of them wore HART badges and exchanged blows with “Rob’s Mob” on the streets. When the owners of the Steinlager brand start celebrating anti-nuclear protesters as heroes, then you’d have to say that Trumpism’s chances of doing to New Zealand what it has so tragically done to the United States are pretty slim.

Even so, it never pays to give smugness too much room at the table. While there’s precious little scope for right-wing populism gaining significant political purchase here in Aotearoa-New Zealand, the prospects for left-wing populism are looking surprisingly good. What’s more, if this government doesn’t deign to put in an appearance sometime very soon, then that left-wing pulse is only likely to grow stronger.

It might pay to strengthen Parliament’s front doors – you never know these days who’s going to come a-calling.


*Chris Trotter has been writing and commenting professionally about New Zealand politics for more than 30 years. He writes a weekly column for interest.co.nz. His work may also be found at http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com.

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111 Comments

New Zealand is the only hope in the five eyes pack.

Stay this way please.

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Given our Governments no response in joining the rest of the 5 eyes nations in condemning the arrest in Hong Kong of 55 politicians is shameful - we’ve bowed to pressure from the
CCCP to preserve our trade with China.
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/appeasing-china-new-zealand-…

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Check out 'Veteran US diplomat: US confronts China to protect supremacy not security'. Chas Freeman was Nixon's interpreter in 72, among other notable postings during his lengthy career.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrpU9kroOFU

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We did have an NZ Trump movement though - Shane Jones strolling around in 'Put New Zealand First' Caps anyone? As always, the reflex argument here is to pose questions about National, as opposed to recognising the fact that an MNZGA party was the king-maker in 2017 and anointed our current PM.

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And where are NZFirst now? Even before COVID they were polling badly and not likely to get back into Parliament.

Winston only made it back in 2011 due to the teapot tapes (remember that?) and the comparative fall of Labour in the polls.

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We have many of the same underlying issues that created the environment that nurtured support for former President Trump. Just give it a decade or two on this path and we'll probably find our own little populist.

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When you have Governments bent on globalisation and open borders leading to the dilution of wealth of the existing population through overseas money buying strategic assets and immigration pushing up house prices then you will get resistance. In NZ this has widened inequality, increased carbon emissions, consumed productive land and led to infrastructure pressure. This is short term gain for long term pain. We need to be more measured.

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What hope does the population have when governments backflip on campaign promises with little-to-no scrutiny from the media, who seem to lose interest in 'speaking truth to power' when the power is eminating from their Herne Bay or Grey Lynn side of town, instead of say, Parnell? With the abrogation of electoral and ministerial responsibility - and given that the public sector took almost no pain from Covid while the private sector saw involuntary pay cuts and job losses - I don't blame Kiwis for getting frustrated at a lack of change or consequences for those who baited-and-switched the electorate with promises of it.

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A few on here!

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Yes exactly, a fair few.

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If the movement had just stuck with draining the swamp and anti-globalisation, I would have respected it. But there was just so much rabid, paranoid QAnon, delusional nastiness alongside.

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The USA is now too too big, rambunctious, divergent in every walk of life, for any governmental policy or direction, nationally or regionally, to get a grip. Near to one hundred years ago authors such as Steinbeck and Farrell were depicting the massive conflict, injustice and persecution easily uncovered in American society at large.Modernisation, technology have hardly dimmed the rampant and deep seated racial and class inequality. Fuel to the fire in fact.

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If we survived Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson then we can survive anything, although their philosophies still survive to this day in parliament and we can see it in our levels of poverty and homelessness.They must be proud of our present Labour Government, neo-liberal to its core.

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Indeed

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Trotter conveniently ignores the most rabid and viscious movement in New Zealand which is the left and the wannabe maori movement.
Ingovernment, particularly education and health, there are people who's salaried job is to destroy you, if you offer a contrary viewpoint.
eg. Don't ever point out a particular client is not interested in the maori "protocols".

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Do we even have a "left" in this country? There is no evidence of anybody in politics wanting to work for the interests of the poor and dispossessed. Even the Greens are neo-liberals in economic understanding. When was the last time that we heard Jacinda mention hungry kids? No doubt that Robertson has put a stop to that. It is all dog eat dog and survival of the fittest now. Only bankers can be pleased with the status quo and we are heading for catastrophe with our levels of household debt.

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Everyone is Left in New Zealand. Some just pretend otherwise.

All our "own two feet"-ers grasp for a universal pension, subsidies for property investment (ACT is not asking to be rid of these), heck, even subsidies for their own private health insurance.

I struggle to take folk seriously who pretend they're not Lefties while having their snouts in the taxpayer trough at any occasion they can.

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To be fair, it's a helluva big (40 years in the making) ship to turn around. I'm friends with the last-but-one commissioner for the Ministry of Works. Listening to him talking about how they got things done in those post-war years is a revelation. The building of the energy sector alone drew international praise and visits from those wanting to know how we pulled it off in as he puts it "one of the most difficult physical environments in the world." And how environmentally-minded they were! So many myths about those years are ripe for renewed scrutiny and debunking. Including the more recent "white supremacy" one by the author of this article. I grew up in Turangi during the building of the Tongariro dam, with an 80% Maori population who mostly held down well-paid jobs on the dam. My late, Scottish engineering father described it as the best, most supportive community he ever lived in. The MoW was the greatest facility for civil construction training this country has ever had and we stupidly got rid of it. Support for populist leaders has its roots in the short-sighted economic policies of the 80s and 90s. Nothing will convince me otherwise.

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When was the last time that we heard Jacinda mention hungry kids?

During the election campaign

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Probably around the same time that she last mentioned Kiwibuild... Jacinda only likes to talk about covid these days.

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Brash was prepared to confront many issues...most of which have not been resolved, only kicked down the road.
What do we have now?
A country where being a 'victim' is desirable.

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Not sure if this comment is hysterical or hilarious. On second thought it's both. And fiction too.

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Trump started off okay, with intention and moves to protect America and make the allies pay more for American support umbrella. He also worked the Saudis away from the spotlight and has brought a sense of downgraded tension in the ME (Contract to Obama who despite being of Muslim lineage could not move the powers there). Trump also worked to protect American jobs and saw a boost to the Markets and employment there.
He failed miserably in controlling his selfish urges and became a megalomaniac and threw away the democratic institutios of the US to be trampled by his followers. He became drunk on his Tweets and gave up governing for inessential moves. In spite of his alleged business acumen, he recruited the most dismal people for his Administration and let it go to decay. He lost the Prestige of the Office of the Presidency faster than any one could imagine. The World mocked at him, laughted at him and felt pity for the Americans. He divided the country almost permanently and the consequences will be felt in the coming decades.
His only worthwhile legacy may be the 3 so called Conservative Justices nominated to the Supreme Court. But there too, he may be surprised by how quickly those Justices belie his expectations. The Bench does bring out the Best in the Justices.
We are all happy to see the back of Trump and now the only thing to do is to make sure he or his family or cronies don't come back..EVER.

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"He also worked the Saudis away from the spotlight and has brought a sense of downgraded tension in the ME".

I don't think so. Let's not forget about the constantly under-reported Yemen conflict, which is being fuelled further by Trump's arms sales to Saudi Arabia. And I strongly doubt the Shia/Sunni situation has eased under his watch; more like the opposite.

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Getting Diplomatic ties established with Israel, Getting the Saudis and the Emiratis to end the boycott of Qataris, Keeping the tension with Iran under control (That is something that won't go away quickly, whoever is in power) are good results. As for Sunni-Shia tussle, it is not escalating or creating violence/terror in other parts of the world. That is progress. Yemen is like Afghanistan. A long term conflict for a shi..y corner of the world. No big power is keen on that.

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Nitpicking on this point: the US has had diplomatic ties with Israel since 1949. But the apartheid continues against the Palestinians and that will never work out nicely.

I don't think the tension with Iran is under control at all, as that's part & parcel of the Sunni/Shia issue. Yemen is in some ways a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. So are aspects of the ongoing Syria conflict, which also has a Shia/Sunni component to it. You might look down on Yemen as a shitty part of the world, but there's at least a few hundred thousand people at malnourishment levels - if not outright starving.

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That is the tragedy of Palestine/Israel. The Jewish State which came about because of the persecution had turned oppressor and the West did not stop that happening. But now things may change as diplomacy is taking root between the Israelis and Arabs. But it is going to be a slow grind, as they are not quick deciders, both of them. And the Arabs have no United Front and no single Spokesperson for the Palestinians. In fact the Palestinians have suffered much in other Arab Countries too.

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Those first were already well in progress. What did he contribute?

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He let the Saudis work silently and deferred to them. Which was a smart move. He respected the Arab Mana, so to speak. And kept the business ties going.

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Getting Diplomatic ties established with Israel, Getting the Saudis and the Emiratis to end the boycott of Qataris, Keeping the tension with Iran under control (That is something that won't go away quickly, whoever is in power) are good results. As for Sunni-Shia tussle, it is not escalating or creating violence/terror in other parts of the world. That is progress. Yemen is like Afghanistan. A long term conflict for a shi..y corner of the world. No big power is keen on that.

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I didn't mean to denigrate Yemen. It is the perception of the Superpowers and the Western World that I referenced.
Like they do with many poor countries with no resources they can exploit.
I have lived in ME and know have experienced the warmth of the locals.
But the politics and governance is so screwed that many countries live at the mercy of more powerful neighbours.
The Saudis have claimed interest in Yemen for a long time, due to historical/nomadic ties. The Royal family has many brides who are Yemenis. Even King Abdul Aziz had some.
As for Shia-Sunni, Iran is not that much of a threat if left alone. Remember Persia was once a great civiliation and many of the present day inhabitants of Iran speak Persiana and are highly cultured. They love a good life as any Westerner does. Their country/culture has been interfered much by the Brits and the Yanks.

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The make ardern go away movement is only going to grow.

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Pathetic partisan misogynistic garbage.

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Strange overreaction so typical of today's debating style. Brock could be Ardern's biggest fan and still note that an anti Ardern movement could get larger. Ardern is a women so noting that fewer people are pleased with her automatically makes the comment 'misogynistic'? If you note that people are disappointed with Ardern you must be 'partisan'?

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Nothing to do with your silly clown words.

The pinocchio princess has just wrecked the futures of the very people who elected her.

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So you'll be voting Green then......? Or.....

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Oh the irony

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The Trump Presidency is a symptom of a greater cause. That cause is to replace an old political establishment. Like self checkout 'upgrades' in retail, a similar future awaits this old outdated establishment. It's enablers and it's chronic costly inefficiencies. How this will bear out in the coming years remains to be seen. Further evidence will be seen in less opposition, as the characters in question reach across the aisle more. To buy time, solidarity and cling onto their diminishing power and status. While technology has changed the lives of most of the population, the political class are still running their gig from a former time.

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True. Trump appealed to a legitimate complaint: people being left behind.

He didn't deliver for them and he never looked likely to, but the complaint still remains (and is even growing in our own society, as the younger generations are milked for their wealth).

Yuval Noah Harari makes the point that "good nationalism" is important, i.e. looking after those in our nation. When we fail to do that "bad nationalism" easily rears its head as people are easily swayed to see some "other" as the cause of their problems.

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Trump is borne of the same stock that leaves people behind. He just represents a different group of self interested billionaires.

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Fair enough but when you add to that personality peculiarities such as egomania and compulsion, it created a head of state unlike any other.

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Counterfactual history is a game that historians sometimes play when they get a bit bored. But it is worth remembering that history is not just the study of what actually happened, but also the consideration of what COULD have happened if some other factors had prevailed. Thus Chris Trotter’s musings about the possible outcomes of a Brash victory in 2005 is a useful warning about those who think that events are “inevitable”. We have seen what has happened when governments failed to take white supremacism seriously, and as he warns there are still plenty of racial bigots in NZ today (well done Mikekirk29 for his warning). Whoever first said “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance” may be debatable, but the sentiment is still relevant in New Zealand today.

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Yip, Trump needs to be a warning to the whole world, including NZ. Are our controls and backstops strong enough for when someone like him or worse gets voted in. We need a strong system that limits the power of any single person.
I hope a quiet review is happening right now.

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Counterfactual history is a game that historians sometimes play when they get a bit bored. But it is worth remembering that history is not just the study of what actually happened, but also the consideration of what COULD have happened if some other factors had prevailed. Thus Chris Trotter’s musings about the possible outcomes of a Brash victory in 2005 is a useful warning about those who think that events are “inevitable”. We have seen what has happened when governments failed to take white supremacism seriously, and as he warns there are still plenty of racial bigots in NZ today (well done Mikekirk29 for his warning). Whoever first said “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance” may be debatable, but the sentiment is still relevant in New Zealand today.

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Apart from the fact that the USA & NZ were once British colonies, founded mostly, and relying a lot on religious overtones, you must struggle to claim any pertinent and profound parallels, economic, societal and geographic. The USA was formed by a revolution and forged ahead to arrive at the greatest super power ever witnessed on this planet. NZ is a pip squeak in comparison and it is both ludicrous and capricious for Mr Trotter to try and overlay one nation over the other to support and promote his celebrated left doctrine, which for unknown reasons, appeared to have been somewhat tempered of late.

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As long as they keep on buying off the NZ middle class by allowing them to become the LandLord Master Race with buying up the NZ housing stock. 20,000 people will remain in motels at around $43m a month and NZ will be(come) much, much more poorer for it.

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They don't know what they want, all they know is that, whatever it is, it will annoy progressives. Trump supremely annoyed progressives, so he must have been worth supremely supporting (never mind that the annoyance was due to the well-founded fear that they would become an international laughing stock, rather than any particular policy position).

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If by progressive you mean going forward and doing it better than you cant be talking about this Labour Government. They talk but they don’t seem to implement anything tangible.
Trump (a horrible man) knew what he wanted but found the progressives wanted open borders. They could not accept that he won and did everything they could, at all levels of government, to get rid of him or at least frustrate his plans. But why do the Democrats want open borders as this surely keeps wages low and puts pressure on housing when a lot of jobs were outsourced to China etc. May be the war machine, supported by both Democrats and Republicans, needed more dispensable bodies. Who knows?

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You seem to have an axe to grind against certain political parties, I didn't mention any. If Trump wanted secure borders, there are probably better ways to achieve it than his infantile wall promise.

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What a great caption of JC.. I am so glad that my vote didn't go to her!

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Me too! :)

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red, red, stoned and dead

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Chris conveniently avoids the reality that it is the major donor(s) that dictate the major policies of government. If Brash had of won then Monday morning he would be told what he was actually going to do. The campaign promises are only to win the election.

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This definitely is the case in the USA and who has the money, big Pharma, Oil, Banks, war machine and tech companies. Money first, people second.

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How anyone could view Trump as a role model and continue to support him is beyond me. He's a first ever term president to be impeached twice while losing the popular vote twice. Not to mention his deliberate attempt to over throw democracy and install himself as a dictator.

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Sounds like a bit of revisionist historical political opinion....a bit like the romanticism associated with precolonial maoridom we seem to find ourselves knee deep in.

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Why did you pick such a horrible picture of Collins? it's not gentlemanly, I find it in very poor taste.

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Only a suspicion, but perhaps with a Labour government back in office, in power on their own, unfettered by coalition, that it is opportune and en vogue, to dust off and work once more, in the old red overalls or failing that, covertly at least, undergarments of the same hue?

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Andrew - the $50 million media bribe only extends to Ardern file photos.

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Any facts to back this up? Didn't think so.

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Yes, noticed that as well, and the motive that using it represents.

Was also wondering if that was the best photo Chris could find of himself, especially after being photoshopped?

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It's a fantastic picture of Collins haha!

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This list of Trump accomplishments gives you an idea why conservatives would support Trump or similar in the US or NZ - despite his messaging & tone etc.
.

https://downloads.frcaction.org/EF/EF19L01.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0EweE9uvTqkjC…
.

Pro-Life, Pro Israel, Pro religious freedom, and independent from the normal corporate obligations.
No wonder he was hated so much by the establishment and the liberal PC set - media, education, corporates, Big Tech, affluent salaried city dwellers, etc.

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Sounds like good policies to keep hicks uneducated.

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I agree with Andrew. The photo that accompanies the article clearly suggests that Judith Collins is a Trump supporter and wants to emulate his policies. Likewise the article by Trotter is vicious, unbalanced and rabid, not worthy of a once good reporter. It’s no wonder one of his editors turned him down. I’ve been following Interest.co since it’s inception, but this article and the accompanying photo is well below your usual excellent standard. Please reconsider your position.

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BigDaddy,
'Please reconsider your position". A serious question: are you a paid member of interest.co.nz ?

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I disagree. These are important points worth discussing. It's a bad photo of Judith, but she allowed herself to be photographed in front of that sign making that stupid face.
It does remind me a bit of when Tony Abbott allowed himself to be photographed speaking in front of signs referring to Julia Gillard "ditch the witch" and calling her a b*tch. A decent person would have shut that down, and if Judith had respect for her competition she should have been more careful and asked that lady holding the sign to put it down. She is the leader of the opposition, and is responsible for how the public see her.

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"Racist nostalgia for the carefully camouflaged white supremacist New Zealand that endured from the end of the Land Wars in the mid-1860s until the defeat of Rob Muldoon in the mid-1980s still exists" I grew up in the 60s and 70s - were we racist? I accept that early NZ Government policies were as they actively stole land from Maori and deprived them of the ability to have a voice that could be heard. But in the 60s and 70s I went to school with Maori and Pacifica, I played with them after school. we lived in the same street, in the same standard of houses. Indeed my house in the street was one of the last to be able to afford a TV. Our scholastic outcomes were comparable, and some from all groups went on to university, while others didn't. Mostly our parents worked along side Maori and Pacifica. Looking back now I also realise that as my father worked in the Post Office and many of our neighbours worked at the local tanning factory and meat works, that their income with overtime, was likely better than ours. But we certainly did not measure people on their cultural or ethnic back ground.

What we did not know was that Tikanga Maori, or Maori culture was fading fast, despite have several native Te Reo speakers in our neighbourhood. Were we racist? How?

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This is the result of the separatist politics that have been played out over the past 2 decades. I foresee today's generation of Pakeha being scapegoated for Maori hardships and punished accordingly. All while the govt watch on

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Exactly. One thing also is the racist under the bed brigade ignore, is NZ people feel in love with each other and had children, grand children, great grand children who are mixed. Partners who are different races in NZ are very common, more than ever.
Only the media, politicians, seem to want to cause division. Oh and the academics who make money from their talks, books, lectures on racism everywhere are fairly dubious too.

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You were not racist, but then 'unconscious racism' was invented to fit you into the dogma.
Very cunning move. (but of course - crap)

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The whole setup was/still to a degree, is, racist. Come the era of Roger Douglas and waving goodbye to the fairly egalitarian state we had, Maori were quickly left behind, and I think as much by design as anything else. They became the fodder on which the newly minted landlords fed. Now look at the results of all of that.

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To a degree the economic pictures' consequences had a disproportionate impact on Maori, but i don't think it was purposefully racist, although Maori were disproportionately impacted, anyone in the lower half of the socio-economic spectrum was. I think instead that Roger Douglas and his cronies just swallowed the US propaganda on the 'Free Market' without understanding the consequences. Subsequent Government were worse as those effects started to become evident, they refused to move to stop them.

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There will always be pockets of society that aren't racist, really depends on who your parents are mostly, and if they impart clear values on this matter. I am the next generation down but know plenty of people in their 60's who are low key racist, regularly making jokes about "the bros" etc. So I would suggest while you are sitting on your high horse, that you undoubtedly know people your own age, or come across them in your day to day activities, that look at your face and talk to you as if you share the same low key shitty world views. I know this because I am younger than you and it still happens to me.
So let's not pretend racism doesn't exist in NZ. It may be mostly suppressed, but it is undoubtedly alive and well.
The question is, do we call people on it every time they talk to us like this? We should be

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Yes I do know pakeha who are casually racist, but the racist extremes i see today all come from Maori who mostly are racially and culturally intolerant. While they do have some justification from their history of how they were treated, perpetuating bad treatment as a victim is not the way to build a positive future of tolerance.

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"We greet the information that there are now more US troops in Washington DC than there are in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria combined, with a dumfounded shake of the head." Well Chris, it is called partisan politics. I don't think you are dumbfounded, just duplicitous. Soldiers are called to sleep on the floor of the capital building without cots, and to stand in front of Pelosi, for the photo opportunities. The left didn't do jack when BLM was fire bombing police cars, burning churches and looting Washington DC for days on end. Nor did they convict any rioters or arsonists after the Trump inauguration. All walked free . Suddenly the left is all about law and order. How convenient.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/31/fires-light-up-washingt…
https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/inauguration-2017/washington-faces-mo…

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Crazy world you live in, profile. Pretending folk weren't deployed in force against BLM.

Master gymnast.

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Oh Rick, please contort yourself as your explain to us why not a single rioter or arsonist was convicted after the Trump inauguration.

"Last November the ineffectual Mayor of the city, Ted Wheeler, was re-elected over an Antifa-backed candidate. To say that he has lost control of his city is an understatement; the city authorities have allowed rioting for months, even resisting federal requests to assist law enforcement. Wheeler was chased out of his own apartment block and earlier this month was assaulted in a restaurant. None of the placation seems to have worked."
https://unherd.com/2021/01/the-antifa-thugs-shame-america/

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IMO This Partisan approach is a bigger problem, everything now days is either pro or anti. No middle ground, no room for negotiation, no ability to have a reasonable discussion.

Just because a person is not Anti-[insert anything], does not make them Pro-[insert anything]
Just because a person is not Pro-[insert anything], does not make them Anti-[insert anything]

e.g. insert
Trump
Ardern
Brexit
BLM
etc...

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I totally agree Noncents. I believe I am a 'moderate' and enjoy studying both sides of an argument, however, I DETEST being told how I should feel or think - in fact, I tend to head in the opposite direction. In NZ I have stopped watching both TV1 and TV3 for this reason, gave up on Stuff and have to really search for unbiased reporting.

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Pretty much stopped myself as vomiting is bad for the airways.
When you watch the news readers, you can tell by the change in tone and facial expression as to how they expect you to 'feel' about the item being read - this is even before you brain has received processed the words.
I find and Wendy Petrie particularly bad, Dallow a very close second.

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The Herald needs to added to that. Gone are the days of hard hitting invesgative journalism.

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Aye, wouldn’t it be good to have a Warren Berryman out and about and in print.

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Does my head in. The the magnetism of similar opinions in an era of AI and information saturation is one of the biggest existential threats to humanity. Most people have forgotten how to have a solid conversation without being an a*rsehole in defending their own views. It is certainly not helped by the emotionalisation of media which is driven by outrage, clicks, and sanctimony rather than unbiased investigaive reporting.

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Also driven by advertising revenue said opinion piece may attract or discourage.

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Exactly - that's the problem - they are paid on the number of clicks and not the quality of the story.

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Prof G is a prophet of the modern age and sums it up nicely. The stupid walk among us.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmLbBorFz7A

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Trump actively stood up to globalism* when no one else would and was entertaining while doing it. That's probably all it took for many overlook his many flaws.
Here in NZ, our MSM the vast majority commentators are sheep who readily push narratives from US MSM (eg CNN and NYT) which as far as I can tell are baseless and or "fake news". Anyone got any real evidence that Trump is a racist or has any fascist believes? Over time some of the public finds holes in this narrative (its never properly justified) or gets sick of the endless beat-down on MSM enemies. This leads to scepticism or sympathy for those being attacked and thus you start develop a "silent majority".
All the societal problems and phenomenons that caused Tump to be elected are being imported here buy our MSM and intellectual class and for all his flaws he's a hero for standing up to it and for being entertaining while doing it.

*I think this the best word you could also substitute progressivism or intellectualism.

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"who readily push narratives from US MSM (eg CNN and NYT) which as far as I can tell are baseless and or "fake news"

Are you sure you are not just mesmerized by trump and his incessant babbling. If trumps leanings were not apparent to you a long time ago they should have been crystal clear by now??

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What leanings are you referring to? He was rude, narcissistic and out of his depth at times but seemed pretty moderate for rich American to me.

My favourite accusation by the MSM was when they called him anti-Semitic, have a go at proving that one... I found him uncomfortably Zionist until late this year when he looked like he might have got somewhere in resolving the Israel situation.

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Perpetual commander in chief

In 2017, the way he disrespected and shoved the European leaders to get to the front with a stupid look on his stupid face told something.

I like him as a human being I admit he has a sort of aura call it self confidence. But i hope you realize he is on another planet.

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That must be almost four years ago now. It tells something but nothing important a few years later.
I don't think anyone here takes Trump completely seriously, he's not a prophet. He's just driven the MSM crazy and shown it for what it is.

The MSM are the ones on another planet, they are just repeating stuff they want to be true.

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"The MSM are the ones on another planet, they are just repeating stuff they want to be true."

Yeah sure mate only trump is sane, please take off your blinkers. You clearly realize the shoving was not good, trump could be excused for it yes. What he is accused and not excused for is the action on Jan 6... probably impeached by senate this week and barred from office forever. His military send off where he had plans to invite and rile up a bunch of mad-as supporters has been rejected by pentagon. Approx 55 percent of yanks want him gone immediately even before inauguration day

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I think your talking about one of the speeches or the protest. Only in MSM world could the speech he gave be considered incitement of the events that followed. His planned constitutional challenge was completely undermined by the invasion and he would have known it.

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Its just a coincidence that trump said "come to Washington 6 Jan its gonna be wild" and then the crowd was incited to hunt with fervent murderous intent. Sure mate that always happens everytime someone gives a speech ... although it did happen when crazy lunatic leaders spoke to the masses. Btw whats your opinion of lawyer Rudy

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I wonder how far back you have to start getting ideas put into your head for you to believe that simplistic narrative? I don't care to find the rest of the speech but "its gonna be wild" could mean a number of things and really needs context. Where did you find this narrative? you are unlikely to have invented it yourself, this requires some serious trust in the source not question the missing motive and logical holes.

This insurrection narrative has no factual beginning it was a pure invention (to undermine trump) months earlier. Unless they actually find some explicit evidence from the capitol building trespassers it would guess it's likely it was their own idea and if so it was probably put there by the MSM but we don't know because the MSM are not interested.
I'm board of this, only if you can fill in the gaps our NZ MSM never does do I care to discuss this.

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We know trump walks a fine line one minute telling the mob "you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong." Then later after the fact "no violence". Slimy snake is he to avoid backlash... If re-publicans don't impeach they will regret. Good riddance to trump and his awful family

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For profile and pocket as well. I am going to make the assertion he believes the election was rigged against him in key states. While I am not sure if they were, those elections were so poorly executed and counted that it provided room to question their accuracy with the tight margins and room for actual manipulation to occur. These were not even close to the well oiled machine that is our national elections. This is a far more interesting topic on the best way to handle this.
Given that Tump and a significant amount of the population think the elections were rigged by the various parts of the political establishment, Trumps efforts to legally challenge it and his temperament. Getting our heads out of MSM world what might be the most plausible reason for all those comments: Probably he wanted big massive loud rally in the capital to show that he had numbers that support him and make it harder to ignore the challenge and to reassure the Republicans leading their part. There are many other interpretations more plausible than insurrection here.
To jump to insurrection you really have to have been lead here by some external source. Lets not skip over the fact that the intent of the invasion and trespassing was never to seize power and after they had had their fun they left. how was this ever going to be helpful to Tump's cause?

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The only rigging was by trump himself

He repeatedly told the brainless to 'vote twice'

Trump spreads lies and deception and even when it's proven wrong he continues stirring ill-feeling. Am happy he has lost his megaphone Twitter.

I go back to my original statement when you asked, but seemed to overlook my response. Trumps leanings are for perpetual rule.

As for 'all a bit of fun' thats hilarious. You are deluded. Plus they are all pointing the finger at each other and the insurrectionists hoping that trump will pardon them...

Most people i have spoken to who used to support trump, some were strong supporters, have seen through him. They get it now. How about taking your blinkers off

Case closed.

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When you start carelessly throwing around brainless/deplorables when referring to roughly half the population it's time to stop.
Why might I think he wants perpetual rule? I have never considered this.
For your own interest you might actually want to go find the sources and evidence for Trump wanting perpetual rule. Look for what's backing up the CNN editorial. I think one should ask for a coherent well sourced story before being asked to believe something.

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Oh come one, you need to read what you are writing, it's pretty unbelievable.
Trump's incitement has gathered speed for a long time, probably the bit where people began to realise that he was capable and complicit was the Proud Boys "Stand back and stand by" comment.

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Or this quote "I just don’t even know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country, and maybe there will be"

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Stand back and stand by comment made on first presidential debate

"Kurt Braddock, an American University professor who studies how extremist groups communicate, said he was troubled particularly by Mr. Trump’s comment that the Proud Boys should “stand by.”

“It suggests that should he need them, he will call on them,” Mr. Braddock said. “It’s that kind of language that can be interpreted as a call to action by some people looking for an excuse to engage in violence.”

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Less intellectualism and more throwing rocks at scapegoats. Yes.

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Well yes, left-wingers should be concerned about left-wingers' come-a- calling as we all know the left eat their own first.

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We do have a trumpist poly in NZ ,its Trump.He has had more effect on the way Kiwis think about politics than any of own.

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'Brash’s would have been a “ neo-colonialist”, “white supremacist” government........
.....Calling-in the military to support the civil power would likely have become necessary quite quickly.'

Chris, you have missed your true calling. The only thing missing was Captain America and Taika Waititi dressed as Hitler.

Next time your phone rings, that will be DC Comics or Marvel.

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Yes this piece is strangely based and over biased. It is more akin to the dark and dire mutterings that used to be presented in the old “The Peoples Voice.” Author for some reason has reverted to his output, theme and style of the eighties.

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Most Trump support outside of the US would be people pushing back against the climate alarmists. He is one of the few political leaders brave enough to take a stand against the UN/IPCC

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Comparing Brash to Trump is a bit disingenuous and unfair. There was nothing wrong with the opinion of Brash - he held a viewpoint that came from a place of good intention. He believed that equality could not be achieved with policies of segregation and that a all people deserved and should share the same treatment regardless of race. My kids are part Maori and they already receive preferential treatment; my wife gets free smear tests among a raft of other benefits specific to her race, despite us being upper middle class. And it’s OK to disagree with Brash. Trump on the other hand is a megalomanic sociopath who lies and only cares about himself.

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The masses will eventually realise that both political parties have foolishly followed this mass immigration policy which has led to high house prices, overcrowded schools, hospitals and roads whilst keeping a lid on wages. The country is ripe for a character like Trump to come along and point out that the establishment parties have been shafting the poorer people for years.

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