Why don’t moderate politicians fart in public?

As iconic and iconoclastic cartoonist Leunig pointed out, the world is made up of two sorts of people.a49340c89b1ae4a183cb92195138a36d

And, similarly  there are two sorts of politicians.

The first sort agrees to a broad set of conventions: rich people have an obligation to the poor, peace is better than war, everyone is equal under the law, the world is not flat, et cet. The list is very long and agreement is general rather than universal. In the eyes of those who would generally consider themselves enlightened, educated and liberal public and vehement disagreement with these broad conventions is the political equivalent of farting in public.

It happens, but it’s pretty unacceptable. Generally, it’s a behaviour that occurs in people we disagree with. Obnoxious, unpleasant people. Normally, right wing or extremely right-wing people.

These people often do not care what right-minded and decent people think of them. They make outrageous statements in public.

These statements are often in support of clean coal, border protection, deporting migrants, climate scepticism, the sanctity of marriage, the connection between bestiality and homosexuality.  Or any statements that are the political equivalent of farting in public.

The thing about farting in public is that it always attracts attention. Appeals to reason and logic or the rule of science don’t. Which is why right-wing politicians are so effective in the public arena. They may smell bad, but they are very effective getting the message across.


Malcolm Turnbull has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity, if not  in the electorate then in his Parliamentary party, as a result of farting in Parliament with his support of clean coal.  Actually, it’s been a fairly impressive farting in unison act with Treasurer Scott Morrison.


They’ve taken a leaf out of Barnaby Joyce’s song book. Barnaby does nothing other than fart in public. He is politely termed a “retail politician”.

A number of Australia’s right-wing politicians have turned farting in public to an art form.

Politicians of more liberal and centralist persuasion who tend to believe in logic, reason and the rule of science work by a different set of rules. They don’t fart in public.

Then we have Donald Trump.

Donald Trump’s politics are the equivalent of farting (loudly) in public. This is why the people whose politics are of the more polite and more reasonable variety find him so difficult to understand and also so profoundly objectionable.

He is an “in-your-face” public farter.


Not only that, he selects specific groups to fart at: Mexicans, migrants, Muslims, the disabled, the Press anyone he doesn’t like, really.

The thing that the left and the Liberals have found so distressing is that 25% of the population, and possibly more, are not particularly upset by this. They call it “telling it like it is”.

The world has certainly changed.

Different and  probably a little bit more noxious.


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