White Melburnians love Malcolm Turnbull because he enlivens public debate by using words other than "boats", "stop" and "the". He talks naturally, doesn't try to hide his intelligence and isn't openly scornful of the Arts. It's even possible that Turnbull might understand not everybody in society enjoys the same privileges as rich white men. For Melbourne white people, most Liberals come across as bullies or try-hards, so they appreciate Turnbull's lack of bluster and relative honesty. Malcolm Turnbull knows he isn't average and isn't afraid of that. He is rich, privileged and intelligent - and he acts like it! But this is okay for white Melburnians because they want their leaders to be smarter than them. They don't care if their leaders aren't the types they'd have a beer with because that's what friends are for. Tony Abbott tries to act like an average bloke. But average blokes aren't Rhodes Scholars and they never seriously consider becoming a priest.
But Malcolm Turnbull plays an important role in the ongoing pursuit of social status amongst white Melburnians. When Melbourne white people tell you they like Turnbull, what they are really telling you is they are better than the average Labor voter. Their open appreciation of Turnbull is an attempt to position themselves above the fray, to make it look
like they aren't diehard Labor or Greens voters. They want you to recognise their high political IQ, which is hard because in the next sentence they'll go on about
how Tony Abbott or John Howard are "idiots", which is a
grave miscalculation. But like most things in white Melburnian culture, the content of the
message is not as important as its delivery. Pay close attention to the
way white Melburnians tell you they like Turnbull. All of them say it as
if it's a grand revelation! They want you to be shocked to hear they like a Liberal.
Turnbull is also a republican and campaigned hard for the 'yes' vote
in the 1999 referendum. Even though republicans are found on all sides
of politics (as are monarchists), white Melburnians like to pretend the
republic is only for the Left. While the existence of Malcolm Turnbull
is proof that they're wrong, white Melburnians get around this by
claiming Turnbull as one of their own. Remember
when it was uncool to travel to America and white Melburnians said they'd never go there "except to New York"? Malcolm Turnbull
is the New York City of the Coalition. Remember when the only hip hop white Melburnians listened to was the Beastie Boys? Malcolm Turnbull is the Beastie Boys of the LNP. If Kevin Rudd is Labor's answer to John Howard, then Malcom Turnbull is the Liberal's answer to Kevin Rudd.