Since Donald Trump won the Presidential election there has been a lot of, I believe, lazy comparisons between him and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Whilst, as I will argue, they are similar in the sense of both being unfit for office, there is a significant difference between them, namely one of them has won an election and the other will not.
To start, I will admit to not being a fan of either politician. Trump is a backward-looking, narcissist, who has engaged in racist and disgusting rhetoric for his own personal achievement and Corbyn, is an uninspiring leader who is stuck in the past and has ultimately weakened a political party, of which I am a member and one that I love dearly.
Regardless of what I think of Trump, he has proven to be somewhat competent. Despite all the odds being stacked against him, he was able to win the Presidency and take office. He did this without any previous political experience and very little money, and yet was able to turn loyal Democrat states like Pennsylvania to his side. And whilst, I accept that Hillary Clinton proved to be a useful asset in achieving this, no-one can deny that his straightforward rhetoric and imagery, no matter how false or divisive it was, ended up being successful and a clever ploy even if he was not aware how far it would take him.
In the end it did not matter to many that he was completely unfit for office or acted like a petulant child, or that he was corrupt to the greatest degree. It did not matter that he objectified women or cheated students, a politician who can overcome all of that sleaze and opposition and still win, is one who should not be underestimated at any cost.
On the other hand we have Jeremy Corbyn. He has himself many questions hanging over him from a seeming indifference to national security to strange connections with prominent anti-Semites and former members of the IRA. Unlike Trump he has not been able to tackle or ride over these, they continue to haunt the Labour Leader and will likely keep doing so right until 2020.
Additionally, Corbyn lacks Trump’s style or egotistical charisma. He has recently tried to tweet like Trump but no one is listening. In addition, he is a significantly uninspiring individual with confused and unclear policy plans and no real idea about to how to improve his media image or convince a severely sceptical electorate. He simply lacks the straight forward nature of Trump and cannot seem to cut a definite image for himself, which will cost him severely in the long run.
Quite simply, Trump and Corbyn are very different. They may both pedal in populism and anti- establishmentism, but only one so far has demonstrated any competence in making this an election winning strategy. Corbyn has to somehow, if he can, make it work and resonate because so far it is not. Trump is President and may remain so for eight years, Corbyn is the leader of the opposition and will stay there until he loses the next election or resigns before it.
(Image courtesy of IB Times UK)