Then, in 2017, President Trump was elected to office of the White House of the United States of America. A decidedly, conservative right candidate with anti-socialist and anti-global views of the world. Regardless of your own political opinions, most Americans would agree that his election was a bit of surprise and his political actions have taken us further away from the aligned global values of many of our previous and current allies including Europe and Asia. As a student of communications, I wonder how much of what allowed for us to arrive at this moment in history was a concerted effort by others (in the U.S.) to manipulate American opinion and move it to the right?
As early as the 1930s, America was shifting towards socialism in a similar fashion to its European counterparts. There were subways in Los Angeles and other major cities, talk of National Health Care and other signs of socialism in the works. Then a campaign by many U.S. corporations and organizations, such as Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers attempted to shift public opinion with their public relations. By 1947, a State Department public relations officer remarked that...
There's no doubt that history is littered with examples of such influence. Shell, GM and tire companies took a concerted effort in the 1940s to end the Los Angeles subway purchasing Pacific Electric Rail and closing it down. Today, those same metro lines that are similar to the London Underground are where freeways and millions of cars cut through the city.
"Smart public relations paid off as it has before and will again. While the rest of the world has moved to the left, has admitted labor into government, has passed liberalized legislation, the United States has become anti-social change, anti-economic change, anti-labor." Public opinion "has been moved-cleverly-to the right"
By 1950, major unions were complicit in the new economic order and the Treaty of Detroit essentially bargained certain wage increases and benefits in exchange for Unions ceding control of U.S. labor back to the corporations. This new capitalism, enacted partially as a result of the fear of communism, resulted in a new structure of economic class in America where employees has little to no control in their own self-interest, autonomy and liberty.
Some might argue that the Trump Presidency, one in which a wealthy CEO controls most all major aspects of a nation and arguable the world, is the end result of such a campaign to move America right and to align power away from the collective social will of its citizens and direct it to that of the corporate elite. That's one hell of public relations campaign.