Trumpmania

Is it hysteria or a movement?

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As a Baby Boomer, I can vividly remember "Beatlemania" in the 1960's, when John, Paul, George, and Ringo took the United states by storm and caused teenagers to become delirious with their music and the band overall. The girls cried, they screamed, they swooned and fainted. At first, the group welcomed the mania as a sign of their popularity, but over time it became suffocating, thereby limiting their freedom, and ultimately drove them away from touring. The hysterics were mind-boggling and a phenomenon I will not soon forget.

Now we are embroiled in a highly competitive presidential race and Donald Trump has created a mania of his own, something we haven't seen before. Love him or hate him, Trump is causing people to sit up and pay attention to him and, in the process, drive television ratings through the roof. His political rallies are better attended than Mrs. Clinton's, he has a substantially bigger presence on social media, and the press covers everything coming out of his mouth. The same cannot be said about Mrs. Clinton or any other politician in recent memory, and therein lies the "mania" regarding Trump; he's a phenomenon.

Like Mr. Trump, the Beatles were hounded by the press, for better or for worse. Some loved them, others despised them as they represented a challenge to the status quo, particularly because of their long hair. When John Lennon made the comment his group was more popular than Jesus, the press pounced on them, but the people forgave them and the mania survived. As much as CNN complains about Trump, the network would probably go out of business without him. He has been a bonanza for the media. In contrast, Mrs. Clinton has hidden from the press.

There are two sides to Trumpmania, a positive side and a negative.

The negative side is embodied by the anti-Trump movement who curses his name and protests just about everything Trump suggests. This is the establishment side of the house who is content with the status quo. There is also a lunatic faction in the sense they are more than willing to boycott, protest, even cause physical violence wherever Trump appears.

The positive side is more restrained and respects the rule of law. To them, Trump is seen as a savior to restore common sense to America. Unlike the negatives, they want to see the political machine changed in Washington, and Trump is perceived as the perfect outsider to do so. They also perceive the country is divided, fraught with problems, and spiraling out of control. Not surprising, the Silent Majority is definitely on Trump's side; they are not as animated or argumentative as the negative side, but they are very much in his corner.

Between the two sides, positive and negative, Donald Trump has touched the lives of more Americans than any other candidate in a long time. Trumpmania may very well be bigger than Beatlemania in this country. Keep in mind, only the kids were interested in the Beatles. This is why I contend Donald Trump is the most interesting person to run for president of the United States in the last fifty years, maybe longer.

None of the other Republican candidates possessed the mania, and the Clintons certainly do not have it. Senator Bernie Sanders had a touch of it with young liberals, but not enough to carry him to the Democratic nomination. Only Trump seems to know how to engage both his supporters and detractors.

As we enter the last few weeks to the election, both the main street media and the "negatives," will step up the rhetoric and protest in a feverish manner. In all likelihood, it will become vicious and I hope Mr. Trump is well protected, but there is nothing at this late date to stop Trump's mania.

As to the "positives," it is time to keep cool and be smart in campaigning. The "negatives" will undoubtedly go into a frenzy mode, going so far as to threaten Trump supporters. The media will continue to distort the facts and the polls. For this, they must be challenged and taken to task. If this means boycotting them, fine, but it is more important to demonstrate their irresponsible behavior through social media and letters to the editor. It is also imperative to verify that voting is conducted correctly as there will be those wanting to cheat the system.

The mania surrounding Trump must be sustained in order to have it correctly be defined as a movement. At this late date, I see no way of stopping it, be it by the press, the Democrats, President Obama, or the NeverTrumps. Just like the Beatles, it will carry him to new levels of popularity and hopefully the White House. No, it will not be necessary to swoon, just vote.

More than anything, it is important to simply...

Keep the Faith!

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For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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