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Speech: Donald Trump

Speeches in Parliament
Mehreen Faruqi 9 Nov 2020

I rise to make a brief contribution on this urgency motion. What a relief. The US election result is a good thing for humanity. Donald Trump is a poisonous force in global politics. While it has become something of a cliche to say that Trump is a symptom not the cause of the far Right extremism he represents, it's also clear that the racism and white supremacy he stands for have been dealt a big blow. We can't dismiss the symbolic and practical importance of his removal from office. All who believe in equity, freedom, social justice and climate justice cheered on Trump's defeat.

As I reflect on the election result I'm thinking particularly of migrants and communities of colour in the US that have suffered much under the Trump administration, for whom there may now be some hope. I'm also thinking of the black-lives-matter, the green-new-deal and medicare-for-all activists who worked so hard to end Trump's regime. It was a joy to watch ordinary people filling America's streets with impromptu parties, dancing and laughter. We should celebrate this win in Australia. A win against the autocrats and the far Right is always worth celebrating. But while we celebrate we should also recognise a few uncomfortable truths.

Trump's new fascist presidency was too often given a free pass or endorsed by large sections of Australia's right-wing media and political classes, including some in this very chamber and some of the loudest media voices in the country. With the writing on the wall and Trump on the way out, quite a number of his former allies and advocates are now distancing themselves from his administration, but, mark my words, we won't forget what they supported and attempted to normalise, and we will continue to challenge their reactionary and toxic politics.

The dystopian racism and authoritarianism of the last four years has been rejected. More ambitious climate and energy targets are a good step forward. One consequence of the Biden election is that Australia will be more and more isolated in our dead-end obsession with fossil fuels led by this dead-end Liberal-National government. It's frankly embarrassing that our country is now even more of an outlier in addressing the climate emergency.

The future is so uncertain, and in the United States, here in Australia and across the world, as COVID-19 rages on, the urgency of tackling systemic racism, economic inequality and the climate emergency is only ramping up. I must say that all my strength and solidarity goes to the insurgent politicians, the grassroots activists and the social movements, which have been incredibly powerful. It goes out to them as we begin the end of this horrific chapter in global politics.


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