NYT: Fat Australian Pink-Hair Claims It’s a Right-Wing Theory That Australia is Under Tyranny

Previously: Australian Female Cop Says Cops are Tired of Beating Up Innocent People

This is an op-ed by Van Badham:

This is Van Badham’s Twitter profile picture:

Badham is an Australian journalist who is studying the *checks note* studying the rise of QAnon disinformation campaigns.

She writes for the New York Times:

Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida who has made a name for himself as an extreme opponent of vaccine mandates, announced at the end of last month that Australia was “not a free country.” This was surprising news — most of all to Australians.

We have mostly spent pandemic lockdowns alternating between boredom, frustration, wine, a lot of Netflix and trying to locate our trousers before Zoom meetings. Recently, we’ve also become aware of a disturbing myth that appears to be enthusiastically fostered on the American right: Our experience of the pandemic, apparently, has been that of a violent police state. We must have been too busy taking out the bins to notice.

Last week, the myth of our enslavement propelled aspirational allies into the streets. In the United States, Poland and Britain, distinctly non-Australian protesters assembled outside Australian diplomatic missions, denouncing the country’s decline into thuggish autocracy. A #SaveAustralia hashtag trended.

If Australians on Twitter were confused about what they required saving from — the sunshine? free health care? low Covid deaths? — it was perhaps because they weren’t visiting the dark corners of the internet where the myth has taken form. There, propaganda that depicts Australia as a blasted hellscape is being generated and shared.

Confected for an American audience, it seems to be part of an international right-wing campaign to recruit those frustrated by lockdowns, unsure of vaccines and animated by appeals to personal liberty. Australians, trying to get their kids to bed before bingeing on “Ted Lasso,” have been enlisted as unwitting props in an American culture war.

These anti-lockdown protests, never attended by more than a few thousand people, are small by Australian standards. And unlike Americans, Australians are not politically inclined to demands for liberty and choice as much as we are for fairness and solidarity. (The name of the national anthem is “Advance Australia Fair.”) As Australia’s First Nations people knew and settler-colonial Australians learned on arrival, individualism is far less useful than collaboration on a continent where everything from the weather to the insects is trying to kill you, all the time.

Even as some lockdown restrictions ease, Australians continue to comply with public health orders, which even now enjoy overwhelming public support. But where lockdowns remain, far-right activists have seized a rare chance to march on empty streets.

I don’t even really know how to comment on this.

I think this is an “I’ll just leave this here” type moment.

There’s an official list of things Australians are not allowed to do if they’re not vaccinated.

The country is not getting any less weird.

Australian defenders of this elitist new order of tyranny recently attacked Tucker Carlson for simply talking about what was happening in Australia.

The NYT piece is clearly an announcement that the American media needs to start doing some damage control. People are hearing about this – seeing clips on social media and so on. And the argument that people are just not supposed to talk about it might be kind of thin.

If the liberal media starts just saying “oh actually it’s not tyranny, these are just safety precautions because of a virus, and actually right-wing QAnon people in America are just making this all up anyway,” then a certain number of people will just take that and repeat it.

Related: Australian Government Attempts to Shut It Down as Melbourne Protestors Stand Their Ground