Failure to understand Trump a warning for N.Z. political parties


There is no doubt that the phenomena of Donald Trump has taken mainstream politicians by surprise. Brash, forthright, and often outright nasty in what he has had to say, Mr Trump has nevertheless caught the imagination of people who feel disenfranchised with the political system; politicians who lead or represent parties that do not conform to the basic – and outmoded – left/right model of thinking.

It is possible that all that Mr Trump has pledged to do might simply be a smoke screen for a completely different agenda. If that is the case, the smoke screen worked brilliantly, but it just remains to be seen how long must pass before people pick up on the deceit and start viewing him as a great lost hope. Were this to happen, mainstream politics and politicians have a chance to fight back but to do so, their entire philosophy, fundraising and policy platforms would need systemic overhaul or even entirely new ones adopted.

Another possibility is that Mr Trump could be totally genuine, totally committed to doing everything he pledged to do on the campaign trail.

But political parties in New Zealand are dreaming if they think the Trumpolution does not matter to New Zealand. It does, and they could find out just how much it does as early as next year.

His promises to kill off the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement affects New Zealand. This is a trade agreement which the National, A.C.T. and United Future parties all committed to despite an American death sentence on it being a certainty, show how little any of them understand the politics that led Donald Trump to victory on Wednesday our time.

But Labour and the Greens seem to be equally at loss to understand Mr Trump’s staggering win. Their failure to acknowledge his victory and do the polite thing, however much it might have grated against their conscience speaks volumes. They seem unable to grasp the basic premise that Americans across the board are fed up with being ignored by mainstream politicians who muddle their way through without making any comprehensively positive changes.

In fact, there is only one party in Parliament that seems to have got the common people memo that the Trump victory and the Brexit vote have sent the major western democracies: you can only fiddle the people so far before they fiddle you back.

That party is New Zealand First.

The T.P.P.A. was not the only so called Free Trade Agreement Mr Trump is promising to pull out of. The North American Free Trade Agreement, whose critics say has cost tens of millions of jobs in Canada, America and Mexico is also in the gun. He said he will create American jobs for American people.

Mr Trump promised to pull out of alliances whose member states are not pulling their weight. Not that New Zealand has been a member for over 25 years now, but the Cold War alliances, one and all are out moded and need either complete overhaul or abandonment. A new round of disarmament negotiations need to be had, especially on the Asian sub-continent where the C.I.A. thinks an accidental nuclear exchange  between India and Pakistan, costing hundreds of millions of lives is as high a probability event as one between the West and Russia.

 

Perhaps the truly amazing thing about all of this is, Mr Trump’s victory did not just give Republicans the White House. It gave them control of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the ability to pick Supreme Court judges. Although a comprehensive victory by a political party in New Zealand (thank heavens!)does not enable such appointments to happen here it shows the magnitude of Hillary Clinton’s failure. It also shows how (unfortunately somewhat true)alleged rigging of the system can only go so far before it becomes brazenly obvious. Hillary Clinton must have known this, but it did not stop her trying and in the end she and the Democrats paid the price.

So, going back to New Zealand politics, the question is how long are New Zealanders going to take before they decide enough is enough? How many more “brighter futures” that look like the grey foreboding sky out my window, how many more “knowledge economy’s” are we going to take before we simply stand up and put our country, our people first?

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