You Can’t Always Get What You Want
I don’t own a TV and so don’t have the pleasure of being influenced by the prejudice and biases of the major news networks’ coverage of anything. Left to my own devices I saw the 2016 U.S. Presidential race as an election in which Americans voted against the candidate they didn’t want in office. Never before had both primaries appeared so irrevocably unqualified to lead a nation, and to a threatening degree.
After watching the debates between the two imbeciles, calculating voters must have felt confused as to who would be worse for President. This 4-year dilemma always reminds me of that insightful episode of South Park where the schoolchildren are forced to vote between a douchebag and a turd sandwich for their new school mascot.
Indeed, the antics were an entertaining David versus Goliath story – a battle between a pompous businessman, Donald Trump, and the established political system that Hillary Clinton submitted to. However, to me the rival campaigns looked more like a cage match between Trump’s pufferfish potty mouth and Hillary’s buzz killing pantsuits.
The pantsuits probably lost her the election as much as anything. Her fashion sense looked like it was cut from theater curtains – the all-white matching set elicited visions of crooked Televangelists coercing money from their subservient believers. If Bill Cunningham had seen Hillary walking down Fifth Avenue in one of those horrid pantsuits, he wouldn’t even make a motion towards his Nikon. The fashion keen eyes would just gaze past that frumpy figure and widen as they landed upon the divine woman behind wearing the radiant bebe floral print dress topped with a black feather shrug and black calf leather and glass embellished sandals from Dolce & Gabbana – all of which accompanied the enthusiastic strut in her catwalk.
Image is everything.
Now, as a writer I hate to blurt out the more uncouth images that float through my mad, mad, mad, mad head as they would only make me appear clumsy and barbaric. Like, I would never point out Hillary’s attire was enough to cause erectile dysfunction in male voters which would then help explain the gender gap in her results. That is raunchy and I will not partake in such unpleasantries.
Joking aside, if hacked emails and documentaries show us anything, it’s that Hillary Clinton is just another politician – America has enough of those already. We should all be thanking baby Jesus that Hillary Clinton wasn’t elected.
Trying to choose between Trump and Hillary was like asking if you’d rather be shot in the throat with a bow and arrow or have a K0212 firework explode in your anus. The answer is unquestionably neither. But you’re ridiculed by your cohorts and society at large for not picking one or the other, so you’re compelled to pick the lesser evil, which is… um, I guess I’ll choose the arrow.
But how did an impartial voter rationalize between electing Trump or Hillary for the most powerful job (allegedly) in the world? It simply cannot be done. The best thing you can do is one of two things: don’t vote at all, thereby exercising your right not to support either, or vote for the lesser evil. Wait a second, maybe I would choose the firework in the anus instead, I don’t know.
I’m horrified at Donald J. Trump. But I think Hillary Clinton is the true danger.
The problem wasn’t that Trump was elected, it’s that no one was better. And not changing the political system that permitted Trump and Hillary to run for President will result in America revisiting the same absurdities down the road again and again. But I’ll admit, rebuilding the entire political system from scratch is not in the cards for humanity just yet.
And yes, we could change the game’s rules to only count the popular vote. But would that matter? Actually, I can’t see how it would.
Imagine changing the rules to American football so that the team with the most first downs won instead of the team with the most touchdowns. If the rules change, so do the strategies. The better team is always going to win. Let’s just give Hillary a big hug and a lollipop and fuggedaboutit.
Trumped By Publicity?
Trump’s acceptance speech was surprisingly void of any of the trash talk he had displayed in the months leading up to the election. His teleprompter fed words were humble and professional, no divisive comments were made and he stressed how we should now all be working together as one. He even congratulated Clinton on her hard fought campaign and commended her on the years of service she had provided to the country. His change of tone sparked my curiosity and immediately made me question if his endurance and ultimate victory in the Presidential race could be attributed, in part, to the constant coverage of his vulgar comments in the media, and if true… wow. That’s effing brilliant.
…for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
You know, the biggest problem mainstream media has is how they overdramatize stories, dressing them up in endless fluff to arrest the attention of viewers in an effort to increase their own ratings, sell ad space, and beat their competitors – the essence of which was portrayed beautifully in both Anchorman films.
But were Trump’s ridiculous and outrageous statements really just there for his news-baiting strategy, a free publicity stunt of epic proportions?
If you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you.
Apparently so. Just a basic Google search turns up libraries of information regarding Trump’s obsession with publicity – and he doesn’t care what they write as long as they write something.
But really though, is all publicity, good publicity? Common sense tells us that negative coverage should result in negative opinion, but the research will often show that any publicity will increase awareness of the product in the end. And Trump was selling more than just simple-minded comments.
Trump is a master of publicity.
Amazingly, if we review the 8 largest media outlets and record the number of times Trump or Clinton was mentioned in the headlines, we find the media’s attention was fixated on Donald J. Trump throughout the majority of the campaign. He was the clear publicity winner even though Clinton was spending a lot more cash on it than her business-minded counterpart.
The free publicity had reached unimaginable heights and showed that Trump really had trumped Hillary. Of course, if he had run against a better opponent, the end results may have turned out differently.
The Tiger Woods of Politics
Donald Trump is not racist. He poses. He says the most scandalous thing that pops into his head for the free publicity it generates in the media. It’s very likely an addiction, to see his name headline somewhere in the paper each day. Both he and the news outlets are attention whores. Realizing this, it would be more prudent for Trump protesters to object the fact that he’s a total jackass, the racial or other unmentionables are barely noteworthy for decent humans try to understand one another. And understanding Donald Trump would compel good citizens to offer their help and assistance in treating this unhealthy addiction Trump seems to have with publicity.
However, the media should also be held accountable for their contemptible behavior in encouraging Trump’s foul language. The media plays a critical role in the social programming of a nation’s society. Had journalists actually done their job with integrity and researched the source of Trump’s rudeness, they could have reported his mania rather than support his ego.
The collateral damage of Trump’s publicity tactics, however, resulted in a number of protests across the country, which the media overdramatized, I’m sure. But I wouldn’t call their #dumptrump a bonafide protest when a permit was required in New York City to picket around a corral in front of Trump Tower. That’s more like an organized hobby. A proper protest consists of the masses from Occupy Wall Street that drew 250,000+ protesters in Rome, Barcelona, and Madrid each! That must be an American phenomena, to complain feverishly about some topic and then do nothing about it. Come on you hash tagging morons, get your shit together.
Now, every political analyst out there will have their own wisdom as to why Trump did so well, but regardless of anyone’s political views, Trump’s win was unprecedented. A rotten publicity stunt and the wings of an ignorant media machine carried him to victory. Only in America.
But in spite of his sleazy success story, Donald Trump is to politics like Tiger Woods is to golf. Their existence on the playing field has generated a far greater awareness from its spectators than would have otherwise been possible. And, like the Tiger Effect, I fully expect Trump to continue the expansion of the game towards new horizons as he takes the oval office in January. Whether those uncharted territories are good or bad, we’ll just have to wait and see. Nonetheless, to watch the drama unfold is rather exciting, isn’t it?