Down in the Trumps: Australia’s Search For a New Best Mate
We’re currently living in a world where a reality star is President of the US, a Northern Korean dictator with massive family issues has a missile collection larger than his ego and Russia’s notorious Vladmir Putin (who’s actually always been dodgy af) is an even more pressing issue now that he’s not the only egotistical maniac in charge of a heavily populated nation.
So far, 2017 has essentially been a giant pissing contest for a lot of the world’s leaders. It’s therefore no surprise that the threat of war has been tossed around. So, with this in mind, it’s high time that Australia sorts its shit out and finds a new best mate.
As great a nation as Australia may be, we are also a weak one. We rely heavily on our alliances to other nations, but, as our current allies are falling, it’s time we break away from our buddies and form new relationships. Trump is a good enough reason alone to ditch the US as our pal and find another, paricularly given that on top of the orange man’s detestable and erratic behaviour, there are other factors that come into play.
For many years, the land of the *cough* free has not only served as the world’s powerhouse, but also as our ally. But as their power diminishes, maybe so to should our alliance to this once great nation.
Sure, back when our Prime Minister was John Howard and the US had George Bush as President, we did whatever they told us to. The US was like our older brother who we admired and wanted to be like, and would do just about anything he asked, no matter if it was right or not.
“Oi little buddy, I’m going to war with another country.”
“I think they’re helping the bad guys.”
“Got any proof?”
“Cool, let me grab my stuff.”
But we need to remember that this isn’t the unipolar world anymore, and we don’t have to follow the US’ lead. Yes, back in the day our big bro was the most popular kid in school, but time has moved forward, and he’s now a has-been with wasted potential who peaked when they were in high school.
When Britain left the European Union, that should have been our cue to leave the Commonwealth. Brexit has essentially left the nation useless to anyone who isn’t a wealthy old white man with a mansion in the English countryside. In 1999, we had a referendum to become a Republic, thus leaving the Commonwealth and our ties to Britain. As it turned out, we weren’t ready to depart from the Motherland back then, but as time has moved on, Britain has become nothing more than a battered and barely-usable security blanket. And when the Queen goes, so too should our blanky.
China seems like the obvious choice to be our next best mate. Geographically, it’s a perfect match. Where once we were at a disadvantage for being so far away from the US and Europe, now they’ve both turned to shit, and China is right there.
Sure, China has some flaws. I mean they did hack into our Bureau of Meteorology back in 2015, and their need to rule the South China Sea is a bit of a dick move. Like, we get it China, you want to be in control, but you don’t have to claim the whole area as your own and ruin trade routes in the process. The Chinese are also pretty big on the whole Communism thing, which may work for them, but isn’t going to work for the rest of us.
Despite this, let’s not forget that they’re our biggest trade partner and a huge asset to our economy. With many Chinese businesses and businesspeople already investing in Australian property and industry, it’s inevitable that our economies will intertwine.
Our neighbours in Indonesia have the fourth largest population in the world, and while Global Organised Crime is bigger than their GDP (sadly forming an alliance with GOC is not an option), they still have a lot to offer. But how much do we actually know about them?
I’m sure most Aussies are very familiar with Bali, seen to many ignoramuses as nothing more than the Bintang capital of the world and the perfect place for a cheap tropical holiday. But how many of the people sculling two-for-one drinks actually knows what type of government Indonesia is, and who its leader is? FYI, the country is a democracy, and its President is Joko Widodo.
Other developing countries should not be disregarded either.
India can offer more than just Slumdog Millionaires. In 2014, the Indian economy was assessed by the World Bank to be the world’s third largest in terms of purchasing power parity. And just like Jamal from the Bollywood hit film, India has emerged from the slums into riches and has become one of the world’s fastest growing economies today.
We’re in a difficult situation where we don’t want to piss off China or the US, and right now, they’re both still assets. A strategic analyst reported on Four Corners, “This is the first time in our history where our biggest trading partner is a strategic rival of our principal ally,” – meaning the US and China hate each other, but we’re trying to keep both of them on side.
From a military perspective, the US outdoes China. China may be ahead as far as numbers are concerned, both in terms of its population and its military personnel (they have almost million more), but the power of the people can only get so far, especially where big guns and machines are concerned. At the moment, it is still possible for us to have a relationship with both, but eventually, we are going to have to make a choice.
This is not just the opinion of a young Australian who cares about this country and doesn’t want to see it destroyed because we picked the wrong side and were out fielding when we should have been batting. Malcolm Fraser and Paul Keating are two former Prime Ministers from opposing parties who both vocally oppose our relationship with the US.
As much as Australia has become a westernised country, we need to remember that we are located on the typically non-western part of the world. We are essentially part of Asia – just not from a cultural perspective. I think it’s high time we stop teaching Italian and French in schools and change to Mandarin and Indonesian, because they’re the future; we need to stop living in the past – it will only hold us back.
Cover via timedotcom