The Trump/Corbyn Parallel

In 2015, the UK had a General Election. The Conservatives won. Licking its wounds, the Labour Party elected a new leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn was hardly a natural leader – a socialist straight out of the mold, he had been a dissenter all his life – but he reflected members’ resentment at having been stage-managed for so long. This effect went two ways – with Corbyn’s election, many people who broadly agreed with his views were motivated to join his party. And they became easily the largest party – a half million members, 10x that of any other party.

But in terms of the electorate (about 50M), that’s a tiny number. To many members of the general public, Corbyn was fatally flawed. He was known to sympathise with groups like the IRA (Ireland) and the PLO (Palestine), which the UK media likes to present as terrorists – any group which opposes the UK is conveniently labelled “terrorist”. And Corbyn did not play cricket.

Fast forward to 2016. Our Brexit referendum. The day after losing the vote, our Prime Minister, David Cameron, resigned. To be replaced by Theresa May. At this point in time, their government had a slim majority, but a majority nevertheless. As long as they weren’t too radical, they could pass their agenda.

Dissatisfied with the slimness of this situation, May decided to call another General Election in 2017, in the hope of crushing the opposition. My own feeling was “how can she be so flippant? If we’re going to deliver Brexit, we don’t have time to get distracted”. But, aware of Corbyn’s history, May called an election. She was Aesop’s fabled hare, the general public resented her attitude, and Corbyn did very well. He didn’t quite win, but he erased May’s majority – it took a couple of years, but May had been fatally wounded.

Fast forward to 2019. Bear in mind that throughout all this time, the public did not really like Corbyn. We saw countless interviews on tv which went along the lines, “I can’t vote Labour, not while he’s in charge”. By now Boris Johnson had replaced May, and he limped to yet another election. This time Corbyn was beaten. Trounced.

If you’re still with me, I’ll get to the point.

In 2017, the public voted for Corbyn in numbers, to give his arrogant opponent a bloody nose. But they never really warmed to him, not in the numbers he required to become PM. As soon as the opponent was someone who was palatable – I used the word “charisma” the other day – the electorate showed Corbyn the door.

My point is, I think the US went the exact same route. In 2016, Americans really did not like Hillary Clinton, so they voted for Trump, to give her a bloody nose. The only difference is that Trump won. But I don’t think people particularly voted “for” Trump, so much as “against” Clinton. By extension, put a decent candidate up against him, he will fold.

I don’t really know if Biden is the answer to that – I’m too far away to make a judgement. From what I hear, I’d probably have as many issues with one as with the other.

But I think their first issue is credibility, just like it was with Corbyn.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed IT systems in finance, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing mainly health-related software from home, plus some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

17 thoughts on “The Trump/Corbyn Parallel”

  1. Hilary actually won the popular vote by nearly three million votes, but the controversial electoral college handed the election to tRump.

    Biden is far from perfect, but this isn’t a case of the lesser of two evils, but more so a fight to save democracy and uphold the Constitution. The majority of the country is being pushed aside to benefit a few.

    We’ve lost a lot in the last three and a half years inside and outside our borders. The funniest joke I saw last week was, “What borders stupidity? Canada and Mexico.”

    I’m still laughing. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      1. The rules are, indeed, bad. The Electoral College was written as a compromise to states’ rights back when the country was being established. When it was created as part of the U.S. Constitution, it was based upon the supposition that “ordinary Americans” would lack sufficient information to choose directly and intelligently among leading presidential candidates. It was also a nod to the pro-slavery bias of the Southern states. As a result, the popular vote in the U.S. does not determine the winner of the presidential election, as it does in every other western democracy where there is no such things as state appointed electors. The Electoral College is “undemocratic” in that it permits the election of a candidate who does not win the most votes. Its winner-takes-all approach cancels the votes of the losing candidates in each state.

        Unfortunately, Biden can’t change or remove the Electoral College. It would take a constitutional amendment, which would require passage by two-thirds of the states, and as long as the EC gives more power to the rural, less populated states over the urban, highly populated states, that’s not going to happen.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Certainly the UK has a system which is not based on the popular vote, so the US is not unique. If Biden needs to change the constitution in order to do something, it doesn’t matter at this stage. After the election, when the numbers are set, he can rethink his strategy if necessary. There are several parts of the US constitution which need bringing up to date, as far as I can see.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. If the system in the UK is not based upon the popular vote, what is it based upon?

            Amending the U.S. Constitution is not an easy thing to do. Since 1789 the Constitution has been amended only 27 times; of those amendments, the first 10 are known as the Bill of Rights and were collectively certified on December 15, 1791. The 27th Amendment was ratified in 1992.

            The proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which was originally written in 1923, is intended to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of gender. It was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in October 1971, and by the U.S. Senate March 1972. It was then submitted to the state legislatures for ratification but it has yet to be ratified by 38 states 97 years after it was originally proposed.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny btw that these days, this post is exceptionally long for me. In 2018, say, even just the average was more words than this. No wonder nobody used to read! I note that longtime bloggers have all mastered the 1-minute post, although I find there’s very little can be said in such a short time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. While I agree (1-minute post) I am headed that way. Flash is difficult. Any commentary brief is impossible. But our kiddies and wannabe kiddies want pics and music and twenty-four words or less. Sad.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. At least now you have foresight. Nobody can complain that they didn’t know what to expect with Trump.
      From my distant viewpoint, Biden seems less divisive than Clinton was. I don’t get the impression that people will vote for Trump because he’s not Biden.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This vote in the USA is NOT NOT NOT NOT the lesser of two evils.

    In 2016 it was for some, but it wasn’t. Trump is a horrid man and was before he was elected president. But the media kept showing him on tv because he made them money. But he is crass and bombastic and a liar and a racist and unfortunately appealed to the basest feelings of about 50% of our population.

    Many here are one issue voters and voted for trump because of the abortion issue.

    Liked by 1 person

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