capitol hill siege donald trump
The US Capitol in Washington during the siege on January 6.(Image: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx via AAP)

Readers seem to agree we should focus more on investigating in our own backyard — no matter how entrancing the extraordinary antics of American politics.

On US politics coverage:

Julanne Sweeney writes: You are so right, Jason Murphy, about the lack of reporting of local government in Australia, especially of regional councils. This has been exacerbated by the closure of local News Corp papers — such as the Innisfail Advocate — where a decent Cassowary Coast Regional Council seems to be replacing a not-so-decent one. The ABC could serve our democracy so much better with more investigative journalists exploring issues which allow ignorance and greed to prosper.

But for outstanding writing at this historical time the United States is gripping, and the brave journalism of Luke Mogelson and camera work of Balazs Gardi in The New Yorker provide indelible tours of the insurrection, taking us through the mayhem with words and images. I hope Australia never stages such a spectacle.

Andrew Foot writes: Frankly I, and most of the people I talk to, couldn’t give a damn about American politics. Most wish to the heavens that the media would if not give it a miss at least reduce the coverage to a minimum.

For the reasons given in the article and probably the easy access to copy, the local media jams it down our throats ad nauseam. How much of the crap written is actually read? How much blather on TV or the “news” is actually heard not just going in one ear and out the other? When it is heard it only serves to create despair, revulsion and a loss of faith in the human race and its future.

The article says people in Australia like to talk and hear what goes on in Loonyland. That might be true of media people, but sure as hell isn’t where I live — with the exception of hearing D. Chump’s latest comedy act which is usually grounds for a laugh, or a sorrowful head shake.

For all our sakes give us a break.

From memory on three occasions Crikey devoted so much space to Yank crap that beyond the headlines I read nothing, and just closed Crikey.

Anybody else do similar?

On the Australian Open:

John Biggs writes: Unfortunately this was one of Dan Andrews’ worst mistakes, given the predictability of what happened. Definitely it should be cancelled. All these people shipped into Australia when Australians are stuck overseas without transport?

Cancel it.

On US imperialism:

Bruce Teakle writes: To me the Donald Trump story has as its foundation the problem of resources.

America as a country and a culture is built on expansion and growth. It was born in the growth made possible by abundant, stolen, highly productive land. Growth was extended beyond this by the bonanzas of coal and oil, empowering its imperial stage and enabling the harvesting of resources from around the world on top of its own.

Now growth has overshot our physical limits — resources, energy, ecological systems — and we have reached an inescapable stage of degrowth.

The United States (like most of us) has no cultural or political mechanisms to comprehend and respond to its circumstances. Trump and his promises are what you get when people have been raised for generations on the prosperity gospel and find they aren’t getting what they deserve.

The end of growth promises social and political catastrophe, mostly because the political conversation is likely to be founded on denial and dominated by blame. Who is game to say we can expect a future that is materially poorer but will be fine if we focus on fairness and frugality?

I love the way Guy Rundle looks at the ideas driving events, but I’d love to see him look more at how fundamentals — energy, resources, limits — are driving the ideas.

Let us know your thoughts by writing to [email protected]. Please include your full name to be considered for publication in Crikey’s Your Say column.

Peter Fray

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