There’s a lot to like about Senator Fraser Anning. I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with him mid-January last year, soon after he’d left Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and long before he really started rocking the boat. He’d invited me to his office to get to know each other as potential allies, and to request some time on the platform at the inaugural Church And State Summit 6 weeks later. I ultimately declined because the schedule was full and speakers are invited only for expertise, never campaigning.

Senator Anning ticks all the right boxes a Christian conservative like me and many others are looking for. He’s anti-abortion, pro-freedom, and opposed to the long march of cultural Marxism through the institutions. He recognises that indiscriminate mass immigration is a failed experiment as is frequently demonstrated in Melbourne news headlines, let alone European nations many years further down that rocky road. He’s likeable: salt of the earth, Aussie farmer, served his country, tells it like it is, doesn’t care if you agree.

In the context of that acquaintance, and a few casual interviews I did with him at subsequent rallies (but never published for unimportant reasons), I was genuinely surprised by his use of the “final solution” phrase on the topic of immigration in his maiden speech. I objectively watched his speech from beginning to end after the media storm, and other than a delivery which was drier than dog biscuits, I thought there was nothing remarkable about it. In full context, he wasn’t actually saying anything remotely sinister.

But it was odd to me that a federal senator, an aspiring statesman, didn’t know the inevitable negative connotations of that phrase. I surmised he was probably genuinely ignorant of it and relying on his speech writer. The speech writer was either fully aware or fully ignorant too, but either way should’ve been fired for that colossal stuff up which so mired the credibility or effectiveness his senator could possibly have hoped for after that all important speech.

But then Anning decided to take the stage at an event organised by someone reputed to be little more than a neo-nazi and an alt-right bully. I won’t mention his name, because notoriety is what he craves, and I simply refuse to indulge that fantasy. Vainglorious ‘conservatives’ like he who shall not be named are an embarrassment. They distract from rational debate and lower our collective credibility to that of far leftist thugs.

For background for the reader: for about one week, early last year, I helped to initially organise an event the promoter wanted this bully to speak at. I advised against it, but soon left the project because of the toxic culture in the organisation. The promotion went ahead without me, but one by one the high profile speakers pulled out when they researched who they were sharing the stage with (as you do).

I later ran into this bully at the Lauren Southern event I helped promote in Melbourne which made national news when mobbed by violent leftists. He confirmed to me then that even he had advised the promoter his name was toxic and would damage the event, which indeed eventually failed because everyone pulled out for that reason.

I walked him through the police lines and private security which had excluded him because of his well-documented lawlessness. He half apologised to me, because he and three other roughnecks had come to my family home on motorbikes after dark one night with a video camera. As always, their low-brow objective was a self-promoting spectacle – which I denied them by taking my family out of sight of their cameras into my room, telling the intruders to leave and calling the police. Nevertheless, this bully posted the video of my home on Facebook; a video which I did take a copy of for my records before he was shamed into taking it down by even his alt-right colleagues.

This is the kind of person Senator Fraser Anning willingly chose to share a platform with at St Kilda Beach when so many high profile, credible conservatives wouldn’t. Was this a coincidentally colossal error of judgment, or an emerging pattern of either unfortunate ignorance or wilful indifference to societal poison?

Remember, I wanted to and still like Anning. I’m not prejudiced against him. I agree with vast amounts of what he says. But we must allow the evidence to inform our conclusions. I’ve come to realise what shrill leftists had accidentally gotten right for once with their knee-jerk biases – the socially poisonous realities hiding in the many things Senator Fraser Anning rightly supports.

I’ve been attacked by some of my few Facebook followers for sharing the damning evidence of the character of his ill-chosen associates. Like Anning though, I’m not affected by waxing or waning affections.

Authentic conservatives and Christians must honestly ask themselves if they would get caught up in a cult of personality or, be able to recognise a charismatic character who said everything they wanted to hear mixed with a little poison – if such a person ever came along. Would we be able to recognise the dangerous realities in someone we desperately wanted to support? As Jesus said, “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.” (John 7:24)

The evidence on my Facebook wall isn’t initially encouraging. On this topic, many are actually guilty of the cognitive dissonance we deride “leftist lemmings” for. Too many of us are protesting, “What about everything good he says…” and blithely ignoring the danger signs, actually intending to vote for Anning above all the quality conservative and or Christian candidates on offer.

If your response is incredulity or insult, you are part of the problem. If you can rise to the intellectual honesty required to consider evidence you don’t like and reach a conclusion you don’t want to, you’re part of the solution. It’s fine to disagree, especially if you’re less interested in point scoring than sincerely debating the point to better understand reality. The evidence of Anning dividing the right is damning. Can we not even civilly disagree amongst ourselves without getting nasty?

Censuring Senator Fraser Anning in Parliament was meaningless virtue-signalling containing its own inherently dangerous ideas like “hate speech”. What he said and when he said it after Christchurch was yet another example of reckless ignorance undermining his credibility and effectiveness. Open minded voters must critically think for themselves. This is now not an isolated incident, nor a possible coincidence. It’s a pattern of dangerous realities in a spoonful of conservative sugar.

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