I’m scared. Fear was a major election strategy for the Donald Trump campaign, and it worked.
However, unlike the fear of immigrants, terrorism, criminal Mexicans or Muslims, I’m fearful of the intolerance, blame and anger towards “others” that the US election stoked, and that certain political leaders here are also fostering. I’m fearful of the world my children will grow up within if these messages go unchallenged and the real issues aren’t addressed.
My children will already face massive challenges, with technology impacting their social lives and the availability of good, rewarding, well paying employment. They will also have to deal with housing affordability, supporting an ageing population, the effects of climate change, pollution and other environmental issues. Immigration is not to blame for these problems.
To solve the challenges our country, and many countries, face we need principled, evidence based leadership. The evidence shows that immigrants are net contributors to our economy, that they create jobs even as they also take others. The evidence shows that diversity, international mobility and trade with other nations is good for our economy and wellbeing. The evidence shows that the effects of climate change (whatever the cause) are real. Technology is unarguably affecting all aspects of our lives, and our populations are ageing, placing increasing strain on government budgets for healthcare and superannuation.
Of equal if not more importance is the growing recognition that income inequality and the financial stress placed on low income families ultimately underlies much of the dissatisfaction so evident following the US election result. Immigrants are not to blame. Although perhaps a failure to plan for immigration is.
The Brexit and US election results clearly illustrate the dangers of polarisation, of the swing towards extreme political rhetoric. We must be united, not divided, if we’re to successfully deliver a future in which our children can thrive. Evidence shows that we must emphasise our sameness, not our differences, to maintain social cohesion and solve the real problems we face.
We must ensure that the middle ground, the average New Zealand family, has a strong voice in government. In an MMP world that can only be achieved by a strong, evidence-based centre party like UnitedFuture.
UnitedFuture is committed to creating an environment where future generations will have the opportunity to not just survive, but to thrive. Our ambition is to make New Zealand the best place to live, work and raise a family. Help us achieve this vision.
From the Leader’s Pen – Trump’s victory a lesson for politicians here
The against the odds election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States has sent shockwaves through political establishments around the world. Many reasons why he was elected have been suggested but one prevailing comment we should bear in mind is that disillusionment with traditional politics was a primary factor. People want politicians the world over – in New Zealand as in the United States – to focus on the issues that matter to them: a decent job, a safe environment, a place to call home, and the prospect of a good future for their children. This year, UnitedFuture has been focusing on each of these issues, through the policies we have already laid out and those we will announce during next year. Our focus is on our country, its opportunities and its future, not politics as usual. With your continued support, we can achieve these goals, and I remain as determined as ever to achieving them.
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Recent Media Coverage
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New Zealand Should Embrace Immigration
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Peter Dunne says Destiny Church should pay tax