Love It or Leave It

I'm pretty confident you’ve sat behind a car with the Australian flag with the words “Love it or Leave” printed next to the flag. Bumper stickers give an insight into the mindset of the driver. “Love it or Leave” is pretty cut and dry. Love it or fuck off somewhere else. That’s the problem, isn’t it? Unconditional love, irrespective of the behaviour of the individual. It’s one or the other, nothing in between. Take it as it is or piss off.

I love many aspects of Australia, hate other aspects and couldn’t less about others. Does that mean I should leave? I assume even the “Love it or Leave” devotee doesn’t like everything about Australia. I'm sure they don’t like many things that are happening in the country today. Does that mean they should also pack up and leave? I'm sure the “Love it or Leave” patriots would put up a struggle if we tried to turf them out because they didn’t love everything about Australia.

The “Love it or Leave” sticker demonstrates a closed mindset. What do they believe in? Should every Australian be happy about everything that is happening in this country? I'm confident the “Love it or Leave” brigade isn’t happy about the consequences of globalisation, privatisation, deregulation and corporatisation. I'm also confident they’re likely to be against “political correctness” (whatever that means), immigration, refugees and Muslims. So should we help them pack? When you think about it, the “Love it or Leave” brigade’s unconditional support for the status quo is pretty daft.

As I said, I love some things about this country, hate other things and couldn’t care less about others. I’ve never said to myself it’s a question of “Love it or Leave”. What I say to myself is, the things I love, I’ll support, the things I hate I will try to change and the things I don’t care about, well I don’t care about them. All attaching a “Love it or Leave” sticker on your shirt sleeve means is that you think everything is honky dory and if somebody doesn’t agree with your views, they should piss off.

If only it was so simple. Complaining isn’t enough, in an era when people only communicate with like-minded people the “Love it or Leave” brigade are getting a bit of a following. In their eyes all of us who don’t agree with their world view should drop dead. Hopefully I’ll drop dead one day as I don’t want to go through all the pain and suffering that normally comes with dying, especially when the body rots while the mind keeps ticking over – but that’s another story.

Maybe our friend should have a sticker with an Australian flag on it with the words “Don’t love it – change it”. A much more positive, inclusive slogan. On second thoughts the “Love it or Leave” brigade have closed minds. If they don’t love what’s going on in this country, they should leave and give those of us who value living here the opportunity to make things better for ourselves and our community.

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