President Obama recently dismissed Donald Trump as a reality TV star. In this snide remark Obama actually got to the heart of Trump’s attraction and power.
Donald Trump is a reality TV star. He starred for years on CELEBRITY APPRENTICE. He was a celebrity hiring and firing rock stars, actors and other reality TV stars.
To our immense surprise, Trump has done exceedingly well in his campaign. He is again the Republican frontrunner. His continued success has embarrassed such professional politicians as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. His outrageous statements and chronic entertaining have only enhanced his standing.
When we expected Trump to make a poor showing, we underestimated the power of media. Trump well understands it, and has shrewdly taken advantage of it.
Electronic media has been reshaping politics for a long time. Franklin Roosevelt used regular radio broadcasts to win support for his New Deal legislation. It has long been suspected that John Kennedy won the 1960 presidential election through his handsome appearance in TV debates.
Politics will continue to evolve as new media develops. Today we have a star candidate from reality TV. The internet, which is largely the province of the young, has barely begun to do its work in this arena.