Since Donald Trump became President we have seen him backtrack and change his mind on numerous policies, most notably some of the policies he proposed in his presidential campaign; proposals which thus won Trump the American election.
One example is his changing stance on American intervention in Syria, going from the refusal to pursue American intervention abroad to the authorisation of an air strike on a Syrian airfield last month. His stance on NATO has also changed after he criticised the multi-state organisation last year for not doing enough to fight terrorism, being dependant on America’s financial input, and for being obsolete. He now thinks NATO “is a bulwark of international peace and security”. Also, after calling China “the world champions” when it comes to devaluing currency, he has now said that China have in fact not manipulated currency while he has been running. Finally, after the main highlight of Trump’s presidential campaign being the proposed building of a wall on the Mexican border… paid for by Mexico, he now says that “payment of the wall shall be arranged at a later date”.
So how does Donald Trump changing his mind about nearly everything remind me of Jeremy Corbyn? Because once Corbyn won the Labour leadership election, his political opinions, some of them 30 years long, funnily enough seemed to change once he held some form of power after being a long-time waste of space backbencher. Funny that.
Corbyn has been known to change his mind on things such as the Scottish Referendum and Article 50, but when I saw in the news the constant ‘backtracking’ of Donald Trump’s policies, it brought to my mind Jeremy Corbyn and his changing opinions on Britain’s membership of the EU. For numerous decades before he became leader of the Labour Party, Corbyn along with his Labour colleague and best friend, Tony Benn, were strongly against Britain’s membership of the EU obviously from a left-wing perspective; being against bureaucracy and free-market neo-liberal economics. However once Corbyn became the Labour leader he remarkably changed his stance on Britain’s EU membership and became a ‘remainer’ during the referendum campaign. Maybe he had a genuine change of heart. Or maybe he is an absolute coward who ignored his own 30 year long beliefs, in order to suck up to the rest of his ‘Blairite’ joke of a Labour Party.
Of course this article isn’t just a discussion of two random politicians and how they change their minds a lot. All politicians change their minds. I wanted to focus on Trump and Corbyn because I believe that their ‘backtracking’ of numerous policies reflects their positions on opposite edges of the left and right political spectrum.
I believe Trump and Corbyn retract lots of their ideas simply because the political elite are not ready to have them both in such high positions, albeit the President of the world’s most powerful country in a much higher position than the leader of Britain’s not so powerful Labour Party.
Western politics has ran on the basis of centre-right conservative neo-liberalism ever since the partnership of Ronald Reagan and ‘the witch’ (I live in a northern former coal mining town, you know who I mean by ‘the witch’), aiming to attract centrist voters following Anthony Downe’s ‘Median Voter Theorem’ with immense success, hence the reason why Tony Bliar completely changed what the Labour Party originally stood for.
However ‘ordinary people’ and ‘ordinary voters’ are now becoming increasingly attracted to populist politics, especially in Europe, seen with the rise of Marine Le Pen and the Syriza Party in Greece for example. If the political elite wasn’t so out of touch then maybe Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn could get on with the politics that they stand for, and not have to modify their initial proposals in order to suit the establishment’s interests.
There is also Western media to think about. An article wrote by myself wouldn’t be complete without a criticism of the press.
Like I have said, all politicians change their minds a lot, but the media put extra focus on to the fact that Trump and Corbyn do so because them two were always going to receive extra scrutiny from the press, purely for the fact that both stand well away from the centre on the political spectrum. It was not in the establishment’s interests for Trump and Corbyn to win their respective elections. Hillary Clinton was supposed to become American president in order to carry on her husband’s legacy with the Syrian pipeline (see previous article on jackmitchellpolitics.com). Corbyn wasn’t supposed to win the Labour leadership election because it didn’t coincide with Tony Bliar’s legacy of ‘New Labour’ (more precisely known as ‘blue labour’). The media’s hammering of Trump and Corbyn runs parallel to their focus on ‘everything wrong’ with Brexit. Just you watch Britain be better off in the long run after leaving the EU! But of course by that time the media will have found something else to focus on. Probably Ebola.
In the West there is pride in the fact that we have a free press.
Free press is a myth.
The press is run in the interests of the establishment, or the illuminati, depends how far you want to go with conspiracy theories.
However not everything that goes on with Trump and Corbyn can be blamed on the media.
The political elite are simply not ready for the two. Ordinary citizens are, but who’d have thought the political elite to be out of touch with ordinary people! People are wanting a different type of politics in Europe and America; populist politics with more radical governance from the left or the right, not the same old centre-right politics repeated through leader after leader. So just you watch the more opinionated figures like Trump and Corbyn to have political success in the near future, and maybe after time the establishment and the media will catch up.