Donald Trump: A Reality Show Candidate.

Posted: July 26, 2015 in Uncategorized
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By Michael Stelzer Jocks, History Faculty.

I love 21st century political satire. In our 24 hour news cycle world, I feel like John Oliver, Colbert, John Stewart, Larry Wilmore and the satirical news-org The Onion are sometimes the only outlets of political sanity.  Today’s satire onion_fb_placeholdercan capture reality much better than ‘real’ news.

And so, I just about died laughing the other day when The Onion ran a faux-commentary by Donald Trump titled, ‘Admit It: You People Want to See How Far This Goes, Don’t You?’ It was the laughter of recognition.  But, after a couple guffaws, I got to thinking.  As so often happens, The Onion glimpsed an enduring truth in the Trump-capade. Donald Trump is trying to become our first ‘Reality-Show President’.

As a child of the 1980’s, Donald Trump will always be a symbol of Reagan-era decadence to me. He epitomized the ‘Lifestyles of trumpnewsweekthe Rich and Famous’ world of yachts and private jets.  Of course, by the late 2000’s Trump renewed his fame with his reality TV hit, The Apprentice.  He was the perfect candidate for reality TV.  Larger than life, flamboyant and just a bit dangerous.  You never can tell what Trump will say, or who he will destroy. Heck, perhaps he may destroy himself while we all watch. Reality television has always been about this danger, even if it is quasi-scripted. It is like pro-wrestling.  A little real, a little fake, but for so many, addicitively entertaining.

Now Trump the political candidate is using Trump the reality TV star methods on the campaign trail. These methods constantly keep him in the news.  First, he stated that Mexico is sending drug-dealers and ‘rapists’ over the border on purpose. Then he snarked on John McCain’s military record. Most recently, he gave out Lindsey Graham’s cell phone number at a rally, and called Rick Perry and Scott Walker dumb.

After such well publicized, and well criticized gaffes, political candidates usually back down.  They apologize, and hope to move on from a slip of the tongue that caused uproar.  But, not Trump. That is not the way of reality of TV!  Trump has doubled down on all his controversial stances and statements. He will not apologize. Instead, he argues that he is simply telling the truth, and the media is attacking him for doing so.

150616161704-donald-trump-june-16-2015-exlarge-169The media doesn’t know how to respond to this. They point out Trump’s clownishness, and assume he will quickly fall from grace.  But, Trump is proving that he is no clown when it comes to understanding the American public. He understands he is a reality TV star, and reality TV is what people want. They want to see what Trump will do next; who will he insult?  Who will he attack? What ridiculous claim will he make?  Perhaps, he will self-destruct on live TV.  Grab the popcorn.

I don’t think Trump can win the national election with these methods… least not yet.  I think there are enough serious Americans out there who think politics must be more than an episode of Survivor.  Then again, more Americans have been known to vote for American Idol than for president. So, you never know.

  1. Veronica Vargas says:

    Say good-bye to 2015 and hello to 2016! What is every voter excited for and looking forward in 2016? Say it once says it twice, ELECTIONS!!!! Oh yes in 2016, a new president will be elected by the people and for the people. Of course they’re some obvious runners who are running now for presidency. Of course who ever has a Facebook, a smart phone or any connection to social media, the most flamboyant runner is Mr. Trump. Oh Mr. Trump has gotten attention from everyone! No matter how old or young one is, we all know who he is. Weather you get mad when you hear his name or you just laugh and find something else to talk about, Everyone single one of us knows who he is. For instants who doesn’t know who God is or Santa Claus. Of course everyone knows who he or she are, no matter what ones believes are or if you agree with it, you know whom this people are. I do agree that Donald trump is trying to turn him and become the first and only reality president. Which means, he wants to be over dramatic, have all the attention is about him. Trump does not care how he gets the title; he just wants it and will do anything to get it. Who doesn’t want their name on the headlines of all the biggest newspapers or magazines, like the Rolling Stone, LA Times. Trump is heartless; his first hit was towards the Hispanic Community. By stating that Mexico is sending all the drug dealers and rapists to the United States. Also said Mexico was just sending people with problems over to the United States, That Mexico’s Government was smarter but did not want to deal with all their criminals so they were letting them cross over to the United States. We would all think, that this man who is trying to be the Commander and Chief, the Role model, the man representing our country would apologize and try to win back the Latino vote. NO, you are all wrong, instead what does Trump do, He keeps on insulting Latinos and when of the most recognized Univision television reporter and journalist, Jorge Ramos, try’s to question Mr. Trump, he yells at him and says “ Go back to Univision”. Once again insulting the Latino Community. Mr. Trump has not just attacked the Latino Community, he has affected and insulted disrespected many other people race and groups of people. We do not want a want to be reality star TV actor to be our president.

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