Donald Trump's Marketing of Fear: The Blurred Lines between Business and Politics

Donald Trump's Marketing of Fear: The Blurred Lines between Business and Politics
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I've spent my 3 decades long career in corporate America working for some amazing and successful companies. Success can be attributed to core business essentials: reinventing your marketing strategy on a regular basis; building a continuous revenue stream; and, turning profits on a consistent basis through efficiencies and delivery of a quality product and service that makes customers happy. The companies I've worked for all of these years managed to be successful while still maintaining a semblance of values that are developed, published and lived by each and every day. A lot of these values are a result of the laws of the land of our great United States that protect fair hiring practices and fair wages while also making it illegal to discriminate at work on the basis of race, religion and sexual orientation. I worked for companies that care about the environment, implementing green policies that make a real difference. I worked for companies that care about humanity and give generously to noble causes. Yes- much success in corporate America is had through tax breaks that regular citizens can't get for themselves, loopholes and sending jobs overseas. These are real issues that many good people are trying to address.

Donald Trump has grown his father's money into a billionaire's empire. He has written books about how to garner media attention; he has taught hungry business students how to promote themselves by being different, being outrageous and shocking. I get that. Think Madonna in the 80s - she went against the grain. People were shocked and aghast at her antics that were risqué for the time that made her popularity soar- as well as her bank account. Morality to some degree is a subjective thing; but, business ethics as a whole have a generally accepted societal construct surrounding them. Targeting or marginalizing groups of people by gender, race, sexual orientation, or religion is a no-no.

Trump is running his campaign like his businesses- with a no holds bar determination that has only one goal in mind: the winning of Donald Trump. In politics, he doesn't have to be bound by the legal or ethical standards that most organizations utilize when dealing with people. He has taken his own advice to extremist levels- of garnering media attention by being outrageous and shocking. Everyone thought it was funny at first and now, it is anything but.

Somewhere down the line, he forgot (or never knew) that serving in public office means you are a servant to the people. He speaks in classic narcissistic language, bragging about the magazine covers he is on and how his ratings are soaring. It's a Me! Me! Me! show with Trump as the agitator, generator and facilitator of attention-harvesting, and seemingly getting high from the incessant buzz on social media. He's basking in it. Many are arguing that the attention by the major news outlets has not been fair, providing Trump with a center ring platform of a three ring circus. He seems more concerned about Trump than any American citizen- and a portion of the U.S. population is eating it up.

Some of his supporters are looking for a savior - as if that exists in politics. What sort of mindset feeds off the drum beat of a narcissist?

His incessant attacks on women, gays, Mexicans, blacks and now - Muslims, has gotten him this attention- and the support of those that seem to like the drum beat of "us versus them." Trump is selling Trump with a supersized side of Fear. He pays no mind to the repercussions of pimping out marginalized groups for his own selfish gain. The Muslim community did not give Trump permission to pimp us out for votes. But we are paying the price (the way he wants Mexico to pay for a wall.) Hate crimes are being reported from coast to coast against the Muslim community. It has affected my own friends and family. Muslims businesses are being targeted, mosques defaced and one torched with a firebomb. An American born woman in my city of Chicago was verbally attacked and then spat on on a city bus by a man wearing a business suit. We've seen these repercussions before when Islamophobic hate bloggers and politicians spew hate. When they do, we brace ourselves for the fallout. It also affects those that walk out in society "appearing to look Muslim" like those in the Sikh community who have been targets of hate crimes after very public campaigns of hate speech on television and in our communities.

Being outrageous may be the key to getting attention; and, selling fear to the 100th degree might get you popularity in some circles, but there is a cost to this game. And it's not being paid for by Donald Trump. It's being paid for by the communities on the receiving end of the hysteria. It's being paid for by my Muslim sisters who are afraid - for good reason - to walk around anywhere in the United States right now, wearing hijab and looking visibly Muslim.

The Muslim community didn't give Trump permission to use us in this way to further his own egomaniacal visions of grandeur of a new world order branded Trump. And while the Trump campaign that is all for one - and one for one- marches on, having shred itself of all moral integrity, the Muslim community will continue to go to work as doctors, lawyers, educators. We'll continue to wake our kids up in the morning and get them ready for school. We'll continue trying to answer their questions about why everyone in the country seems to hate us right now. And we'll continue to call out the mockery of our political process that the Trump campaign represents. We will call it out for what it is: outlandish, self-serving fear mongering and xenophobia.

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