Earlier this year, Australian writer Don Watson visited the United States, observing the race for president. Rather than examine the “rust belt” or “down-at-heel” cities, Watson chose America’s heartland.
“I found in Wisconsin many of the underlying themes of this election. And that sort of Gothic quality of the United States where everything has a very deep and often dark story behind it.”
Watson tells Michelle Grattan that what is happening in the United States now has “something to do with the religion of neoliberalism and the really nasty tactics of the Republican Party since Reagan”.
“We ought to be careful I think that we don’t go the same way. Certainly inequality is increasing here and we have seen the revival of Hansonism and we know that Australia is prone to bouts of xenophobia and even of racism,” he says.
Music credit: Ketsa, “Within the earth”, on the Free Music Archive.
Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra