Donald Trump spent well over a year attacking “Crooked Hillary,” calling her “nasty”, saying she was on drugs and that she should be jailed, yet in an interview after he became president-elect, he changed his narrative completely. According to Trump, Hillary Clinton is “very strong and very smart.” Not only that, Trump also sang praises about Mr Clinton, now describing him as “a very talented guy” and even said he may seek out the former president’s advice in the future. “I mean, this is a very talented family. Certainly, I would certainly think about that,” Trump said.
Let’s not forget the what Trump said about Obama. After calling “President Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history”, alleging that Obama was “the founder of ISIS” and having based his campaign on a pledge to erase the Obama presidency and its legacy, Mr Trump has made a 180. Now, there are elements of Obama’s system he wishes to preserve saying, “I like those very much.” He even looked “forward to dealing with the president in the future,” including receiving Obama’s counsel.
And who can forget the president-elect’s Muslim immigration ban proposal? Yup, that too temporarily disappeared. Instead of sending visitors to Trump’s December 7th call for the “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”, the link redirected visitors to the site’s homepage. After global criticism, the link was later restored.
However, this might not have surprised you one bit. Besides, “flaky politics” isn’t exclusive to the Americans or any country for that matter.
In 2013, Julia Gillard voted against a bill for marriage equality in 2012 when she was still prime minister. Two years later she told an audience in Melbourne she had changed her view that both heterosexual and same-sex couples should embrace civil unions. Kevin Rudd accused Ms Gillard’s initial anti-gay marriage stance was because she owed conservative unions, such as the Catholic-leaning Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association, for parachuting her into office. However, Mr Rudd is not without his own contradictions; just two years before Gillard’s backflip, he declared he has changed his mind on same-sex marriage and thrown his support behind it.
Every leader has made a U-turn; even prime minister Tony Abbott who took a long list of promises to the 2013 federal election. In 2011 he said: “It is an absolute principle of democracy that governments should not and must not say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards.” At the time this story published, the coalition has already broken 19 promises and stalled ten others.
Long before the 2013 federal election, Tony Abbott promised to spend a week every year in an Indigenous community if elected.
On January 31, 2012, Mr Abbott told the National Press Club: “I want to end forever any lingering suspicion that the Coalition has a good head but a cold heart for dealing with Aboriginal people … Should I become Prime Minister I will spend at least a week every year in a remote Indigenous community, because if these places are good enough for Australians to live in, they should be good enough for a prime minister and senior officials to stay in.”
You guess it; that didn’t happen.