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Moving in tandem-- Donald and Boris and some election parallels

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posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 11:02 AM
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This is really an updating of my 2012 thread on “Anglo-American election parallels”, because current events have given it a vindication, and also made it more topical. I’ll just give a recap, for the benefit of those many members who did not read it at the time.

I was observing the way that British and American politics seem to have been running on parallel lines since the end of World War 2, switching from left to right and back again within a few years of each other.

The timing of the changes is partly governed by the fact that the U.S. operates on a fixed-term electoral cycle and the U.K. did not. This flexibility means that a change in the political mood can sometimes be expressed first on the British side of the Atlantic.

The pattern goes like this;
When Japan surrendered in 1945, both countries were under comparatively left-wing governments- a Democrat administration and a Labour government- which lasted beyond the end of the decade.

The Fifties were dominated by conservatism. There was the Eisenhower era (from 1952), and in Britain there was a time of Conservative government (from 1951), epitomised by Harold Macmillan’s observation that “Some of our people have never had it so good.”

The Sixties were ready for something a little more radical- the Democrats under Kennedy-Johnson (from 1960) and the Labour party under Harold Wilson (from 1964).

Nevertheless, at the end of the decade, they both gave way to more conservative individuals- Richard Nixon (from 1968) and Ted Heath (from 1970). (I swept to power myself in 1970 as the winning candidate in our school’s Mock Election).

Nixon and Heath were both forced out a few years later, but the change happened more quickly in Britain. Ted Heath was able to call an unnecessary election in early 1974 and get himself thrown out almost instantly. Whereas, even after Nixon resigned, the American Constitution kept the Republicans in power until 1976.

So, in the second half of the Seventies, there was, once more, a Democrat administration and a Labour government. Neither of them impressed people by the way they handled crises, and there was another conservative reaction in both countries. Once again, the change happened in Britain first. Maggie Thatcher was able to force an election in 1979 by winning a “No Confidence” vote in the Commons, while Ronald Reagan had to wait for the fixed election date in 1980.

The Reagan-Bush and Thatcher-Major years were a time of renewed conservative domination. The compatibility between Reagan and Thatcher was noted at the time. Leftists will fondly remember the famous film poster parody, with Reagan carrying Maggie in his arms;
“She promised to follow him to the end of the world.
He promised to arrange it”.

Finally, at the end of the century, conservatism gave way to Clinton and Blair. This time the American change happened first, partly because John Major won an election which nobody was expecting him to win.

Taken individually, all these changes can be explained by local factors, like the Vietnam issue on one side of the Atlantic, and strikes in the nationalised industries on the other. Nonetheless, when the pattern is taken as a whole, there’s a remarkable sequence of parallels.

I don’t know that the mechanism behind it need be anything more mysterious than having a similar culture with similar reactions to world affairs and economic issues. This would include being more resistant to Socialism than the European countries. Certainly British politics and European politics have not been running in parallel to anything like the same extent.

At first glance, the new century seems to have disrupted the pattern. The British equivalent of Clinton remained in power while America was moving from left to right and back again. Or did Tony Blair end up as the British equivalent of Bush Junior after all? Anyway, with the arrival of Gordon Brown and Obama, the two countries were apparently back on parallel tracks.

This brings us to the significance of the 2010 election in Britain. Gordon Brown found himself discarded, but David Cameron could not replace him without first arranging a coalition. My speculation in 2012 was whether this shift in the political mood presaged a similar shift on the American side of the Atlantic. Did it imply that Obama might find himself replaced by a Republican President, on the basis of a rather slender majority? As everybody in America knows, this did not happen in 2012, making my projection look like a failed prediction.

But as everybody knows, again, that is EXACTLY what happened in 2016. A Republican President elected on the basis of a slender majority in the Electoral College system. My theory had been vindicated in triumph. “With feigned modesty, breathes on notional fingernails and polishes them against notional lapel.” Unfortunately I was too busy to notice this at the time. I was getting three new threads out of that election, which were occupying my thoughts (Hillary The Movie, a thread on the disputed election of 1876, and my reaction to a comment on CNN).

Then suddenly, in the summer, the two political climates drew even closer, to the point of collision. Even visually, considering those hairstyles. The fundamental similarity between Donald Trump and Boris Johnson is a tendency to speak or write without regard for the political caution which has become the norm. More so, in Trump's case, because he never had a political boss who could rap his knuckles. Even their own parties were hesitant about them, regarding them as political adventurers. Therefore the politically correct on both sides of the Atlantic regard them both with the same kind of horror.

Which horror turned into strong emotional reactions to the shock election of Trump and the more predictable summer campaign of Johnson. The reaction, too, was expressed in similar ways. In America, the Electoral College has been part of the system for two centuries, undisturbed. But once it got Donald Trump into power, the Democrats decided it was evil and undemocratic, because it delivered a result they did not want. Similarly, in Britain, the system by which voters choose between the parties and all the parties choose their own leaders has been operating for two centuries. Yet once it started getting Boris Johnson into power, it was being denounced as evil and undemocratic because it was about to deliver a result which the complainants did not want.

When political criticism had no effect, attacks were extended to non-political factors like hairstyle and domestic life. Another symptom of the sense of “common cause” in opposition is the blatant and undiscriminating lifting of anti-Trump rhetoric for use against Boris. Back in the autumn I saw claims that Boris was undermining democracy “with the help of the Russian military”, and again that he should be impeached (doesn’t apply in Britain, because we’ve got the “no confidence” motion which works quicker). And now there are people parading with “Not my Prime Minister” signs (we never thought that sense of “ownership” was necessary).

Donald has already suggested that the victory of Boris might be a pointer to what happens in 2020. My case is that there may be reasons in history, in similarities of political climate, why the two countries really could go the same way. And if this expectation is fulfilled, there is the further question of one election predicting the other in 2024.

edit on 15-12-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 11:02 AM
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I’ll deal with one possible objection by reiterating one of the points made above. Yes, it is true that America has no Brexit crisis to be a factor in the election. For that matter, American elections were not influenced by continuing ration cards, the Profumo Affair, the devaluation of the Pound, Arthur Scargill, or the Winter of Discontent. Taken individually, as I said, every shift between left and right in either country can be explained by local factors. Only when the history is taken as a whole does the “ moving in tandem” pattern emerge. Yet the pattern is there.



posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 12:17 PM
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global economy, determined partly by US economics.

when times are good voters go left for goodies.
they wreck the economy so voters go right to fix.
8-10 years from now things will be good and they'll go left again.

someday I fear the USA democrats will have the minority majority locked up enough for a permanent rule. that will not be good.



posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 12:30 PM
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a reply to: ElGoobero
Yet Continental Europe seems to follow a different current. Or is it just a different economy?



posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 12:56 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Was Boris Johnson ever involved with Peter Grant I wonder?
Recently learned thru this thread
about the connection to professional wrestling and politics.

And Peter Grant a one time professional wrestler was the only
notable political influence behind the mighty Led Zeppelin.
He had a rather brutal outlook on politics and injected his
low opinion of them when the opportunity presented itself.




posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 01:02 PM
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a reply to: carsforkids
To be honest, I don't know. I haven't studied his life in detail.



posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 01:51 PM
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Very interesting analysis. Thanks.

I've agreed completely with you twice now. I'm scared!
edit on 12/15/2019 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 02:00 PM
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a reply to: schuyler
You are feeling the Force- the channelled power of all the great historians from Herodotus and Edward Gibbon through to Hugh Trevor-Roper.



posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 02:12 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: carsforkids
To be honest, I don't know. I haven't studied his life in detail.



I did some checking and realize I was reaching on that one.



posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 05:43 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
No reason to wonder about the most recent events when the likes of 'innocent' Cambridge Analytica was being courted by very big pockets in damn near all of these events, but yes it would be easy, and probably right to consider yourself/ourselves as being, 'in the matrix' albeit a really artificial (analogue) one at that.

I salute that you used the Harold MacMillan quote in full, in the day it was mainly reported as just, "People have never had it so good" instead of, mostpeople have never had it so good" which really would be not so true at all.
That's another story though.



posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: smurfy
The newspaper headline version and retrospective version was always "You've never had it so good."



posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 06:13 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: smurfy
The newspaper headline version and retrospective version was always "You've never had it so good."

truthfully correct recollection! ... come to think about it, nothing has changed in some politique.



posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 10:07 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


I have spend most of my life informally reading (mostly) about 20 century history. I am now 35 years old. Over the last decade, I have followed the return of discredited or extreme political ideologies. I am deeply disturbed by the people in my age group and younger who subscribe to socialism or communism by stealth.

The people in question are too young to remember the pivotal historical events in your timeline. Broadly speaking, these events are, of course, tied to the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. Nobody who can remember WW2 or the Iron Curtain has any sane reason to support communism, fascism and extreme militarism. The same goes for people who have elementary knowledge of the aforementioned events.

Indeed, the emergence of Reaganism and Thatcherism was owed to the failed economic and social policies of previous decades. Three decades later, there is a clear path for the political rise of Trump and Johnson. In short: Trump's political path stems from the GFC, the Iraq War, trade policy under the control of special interests, and a giant middle finger from voters to the ruling Washington D.C elite.

Boris' political rise is tied to the element of Remainers who refused to accept the result of the 2016 Brexit Referendum. (I respect Remainers who intellectually and passionately support their stance, but accept the result of the referendum. Nor does this mean I agree with Remainers). The Brexit vote in the former industrial heartlands, outside of London and Scotland, was also a middle finger to the ruling political establishment.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 10:08 PM
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If the Illuminati have controlled us for hundreds of years ... then the pattern is understandable.

If the Q phenomenon is global ... then what we are seeing right now is part of the global plan to set humans free.

A beating heart can always have hope.

P



posted on Dec, 15 2019 @ 10:38 PM
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originally posted by: ElGoobero
global economy, determined partly by US economics.

when times are good voters go left for goodies.
they wreck the economy so voters go right to fix.
8-10 years from now things will be good and they'll go left again.

someday I fear the USA democrats will have the minority majority locked up enough for a permanent rule. that will not be good.


2008 after the economy tanked, the US went left voting in Obama. The economy was back on track in 2016 and Trump won. I think you have it backwards.

I predict a Trump win in 2020 and another economic bubble burst around 2022 and a Democrat back in the White House after the 2024 election.



posted on Dec, 16 2019 @ 07:43 AM
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Does Boris want to build a wall? I mean that's where it all started with Trump.

No he doesn't...

BORIS FOR PM.

*drops headphones*



posted on Dec, 16 2019 @ 08:08 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Great Thread. I have something I'd like to have you consider as an addition to your thinking. So small background on my self. I'm an avid follower of US politics for the last 15+ years, and I've become an avid follower of UK politics for the last ten years. (By Virtue of Marrying into British Royalty, albiet not recognized Royalty except by myself)

Anyway, I've also noticed this Trend. MY ONE note, is to expand it not just to specific individuals but to the Political Climate. There is a small superficial correlation between Trump and Johnson. but the REAL correlation is in 2016 the UK Brexit Referendum was on June 23, 2016, sending Historic Tremors throughout the Entire UK for 3+ years (so far) The Establishment was uprooted, the media in frenzy, and ANYTIME anyone in the UK spoke or turned on the TV for 3+ years, it was extremely hard to not discuss BREXIT. The Idea that a SINGLE UK citizen went an entire Day without hearing or talking about Brexit, was almost comical.

Now you might know what I'm going to say next. In the US in November of 2016 less then half a year later the election of Donald Trump happened. Again, sending a Historic Tremors through the Entire US for 3+ years and replace every "UK" with "US" and every "Brexit" with "Trump" in the above paragraph and you see exactly the correlation.

Brexit and Trump Represent an Extreme movement in both Countries. and this last UK election Was NOT about Johnson, make no mistake about it. That election was about Brexit. Brexit was voted on by the UK people and for 3+ years the Media and their government establishment tried to overturn the peoples vote. The UK Response? Send with HISTORIC MAJORITIES the man who promised to implement and honor their original Vote.

My Prediction? The Same will happen in the US on November 2020. for 3+ years the media and political establishment in the US have tried to overturn the peoples Vote. The US Response? They Will send with Historic Majorities the man who will promise to implement and honor their original vote.

TLDR: I agree, but it's more about the political Climate, and not any one man. The Ideas and the political Culture are what are linked.

NOTE* for both elections in 2016 their was an argument that it was "too close" and even ideas of re-votes in the UK and changing the electoral system in the US. in 2019 for the UK and 2020 for the US, the people are sending a clear majority, to overturn any further skepticisms.

FURTHER NOTE* BOTH Trump and Johnson terms will expire in 2024. Theoretically Brexit should be "done and dusted" by then, as well as the Trump agenda. So that paves the way for a Shift to the Left. (If Both countries Left stop with the hysteria they are currently engaged in.


edit on 12/16/2019 by PsychoEmperor because: typos



posted on Dec, 16 2019 @ 08:18 AM
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a reply to: gallop
He doesn't need a wall. That's what the English Channel is for. Regaining control of migrant entry is part of the point of leaving the EU, so that's actually a common factor.



posted on Dec, 16 2019 @ 08:25 AM
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a reply to: PsychoEmperor
Yes, the individual leaders are only symptoms of the political climate- even in the OP, they are only the figureheads of their respective parties- so your argument is right in keeping with the OP, not a massive detour. You give a very plausible answer to the last sentence of the OP.



posted on Dec, 16 2019 @ 08:59 PM
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a reply to: PsychoEmperor

The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.



Do you think voters faced an extreme choice in the 2016 Brexit Referendum?

Voters faced a binary choice with little or no wriggle room for policy debates.

Cameron rushed into the referendum. His arrogance was his and partially Remain's undoing. This is why Cameron is uncomfortable with his political and social legacy. Cameron is first former political leader, I have come across, who is openly uncomfortable with their legacy. Valid criticism exist of Blair and Bush's Iraq War legacy. But both men are comfortable with their political legacies.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



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