You take the low road

I was a rare joy to read Dennis Glover’s “ALP must atone for asylum-seeker sins” (The Australian, 12/9), which exposed the dark free-market fantasy driving the ruthless refugee policies of the major parties: that “working Australians are an agglomeration of reaction, hard-heartedness and greed”.

Opponents of this view may be in the minority for now, but that doesn’t mean we are “elitist” or “taking the moral high ground”, as our critics would have it. Nor is that even relevant. Throughout history, whether war, slavery or universal suffrage was at stake, the Right has mocked idealism and argued from pragmatic, narcissistic concepts like “common sense” and “the real world”, failing to make the crucial distinction between what is, and what ought to be. This is what enables human progress, a notion the Right rejects and uses as an epithet.

Glover reminds us that we must remain committed to doing the right thing as a nation, leaving the moral low ground to those who claim it so enthusiastically.

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