(see, this time I capitalised the first letter of the word after the hyphen, and it looks weird. Is there no formatting that will look appealing?)
‘Flip-flip’ is an incredibly varied term, meaning either ‘a light sandal’, ‘a backward handspring’, to ‘move with a flapping sound or motion’ or to ‘make an abrupt reversal of policy’ according to Google. It would be way too long of a post to break down each of these terms, so I’m going to point out the idiocy of the final definition, a definition which I shall apply to all peoples’ decision-making, not just those involved in politics.
There is a deep illogicality at the heart of the term here; the multiple actions, to ‘flip’ and to ‘flop’ would suggest that a policy is not reversed, a singular change, but that it is changed twice: it flips, and then it flops. This could even mean, in some cases, that the policy or decision is not, in fact, reversed, but maintained: the policy changes from x to y, as it flips, and then back to x again, as it flops.
This could explain why the term has gained so much popularity in political discourse: politics is the art of imposing one’s ideology onto as many people as possible, while simultaneously tricking them into thinking that said ideology is at worst only mutually beneficial, so the inclusion of an ambiguous term such as this one fits right into that world.
If you wanted to get all conspiracy theorist up in here, you could even say that the media’s usage of the term reflects the lack of actual differences within politics; the policies of the Conservatives and Labour all boil down to being as alienatory for the little guy, so using such a confused term to refer to their policies would appear to make sense. Personally, I don’t agree with this – it’s all a bit conspiratory for me – but it makes you think.
‘Flip-flop’ could conceivable be used further to refer to indecisiveness on the part of us humble plebs, with our selfish cries for ‘affordable housing’ and ‘equal access to higher education’; if a person flip-flops in life, it suggests they cannot make decisions and stick with them.
In this reading, the term makes sense; ‘flip-flop’ is a conflation of two separate ideas, that together suggest confusion and reversed actions, so it fits into the idea of people not being able to make decisions.
You could even say I have flip-flopped in writing this very post; having said that I will write about ‘whatever the Hell I want’ regarding this blog, the idea for this post came from my mate Dhruv, so I’ve gone back on my decision to write my own ideas, and this entire post was rather confused, perhaps showing that you can’t always draw out an entire piece from a single, hyphenated word. I guess there’s a flip-flopper in all of us.