Quite a lot it would appear. Let me explain in a roundabouts kind of way. When I joined the BBC in London as a news reporter/anchor I was asked to meet with the head of BBC TV news. I got the usual ‘doing a great job and love your style of presentation’. Clearly I was waiting for the ‘but’ as not everyone gets summoned into the office of such a senior figure at the BBC. Here it was…’but we think you’re too posh for the BBC to anchor the news’. I was left speechless and replied ‘but this is the British Broadcasting Corporation, if I’m not going to be 100% English or British here then, where?’ Apparently the BBC was under scrutiny from the government, from which it derives its license fee of 3 billion pounds, to be more inclusive of the British population/viewer and not be so ‘elitist’. In a nutshell, as some terrestrial channels had dumbed down their programming and attracted those less intelligent, the BBC felt compelled to be more inclusive and that meant little ol me got moved to something more appeasing. I was to be the mew face of travel for the BBC. Not a bad job but that’s not the point. I had my own show but I just couldn’t get over the fact that the BBC felt I was too ‘English’ (too well spoken, well groomed, well presented….etc) to anchor the news. Clearly, the working classes ‘aka’ the bottom of the pyramid, couldn’t relate to me.
Now to the question in hand. Both Donald Trump and Snooki are reality TV stars. Millions of people up and down the country and the world, relate to both. They are both the center and focus of their own shows, both very much relate to the trailer trash element of TV (statistics have shown that the majority of people who have voted for Donald Trump so far, do not have a college education/degree or in other words ‘more trailer trash element’). Both are as outspoken and rude, brash, ignorant, say what they feel regardless of the impact, uncontrollable and more importantly…’appeal to the bottom of the pyramid’ (a phrase that many advertisers and TV executives refer to when talking about the target audience or the numbers). Obviously the bottom of the pyramid offers a lot more in the way of buyers/purchasing power and the most lucrative for advertisers or in this case for Trump, voters.
So, the reason why Donald Trump has created this so called ‘phenomenon’ is for several reasons. He’s successfully carried that TV audience with him of which there are millions, ‘the bottom of that pyramid’. Secondly, the fact that his audience do not posses the ability to analyse, comprehend or even evaluate the real world, he is playing on their ignorance and therefore by talking straight he doesn’t need to use language that is normally used to the political elite or ‘establishment’, as Mr Trump likes to remind us. That’s why his lack of political correctness goes down well with his core voters. Thirdly, Donald Trump has picked up the political spectrum and moved it well and truly to the right. By doing that he’s exposed what many of us have known for many years. That is, Republicans are full of extremists (xenophobes, fascists, racists, sexist, homophobes and pretty much people who are more divisive and elitist with an almost Hitler like Aryan belief that their race or way of life is ‘the right one’). Evidenced by the fact that the Republican old guard have found it so hard to give their support to Donald Trump and are still struggling with the idea of backing his candidacy for the White House. Donald Trump has simply given those Republicans who had hitherto since been quiet, a voice.
Hold that thought for the moment if you will. While in part I understand the dilemma many Republicans now find themselves in, they only have themselves to blame and here’s why. Firstly, way before Donald Trump even appeared on the political scene the Republicans on Capitol Hill have been dragging their heels on almost every move made by the Democrats in Congress and policies coming out of the White House. You have to ask yourself ‘did they do that because they have to as the opposition or, did they do so because they genuinely felt aggrieved by the policies and vehemently disagreed. Whatever their reasons it caused gridlock with the nation facing government shutdown time and time again. It left the electorate asking ‘just what are our elected officials not working?’ That meant, for example that, things like spending bills couldn’t be passed or agreed on because both parties disagreed on so much. The end result is pretty much what you see now. Donald Trump has partly succeeded in convincing the electorate that the old guard doesn’t work. In short that, politicians are out of touch and out of step with the true sentiment of the electorate. So far he’s winning the argument. People have become disenfranchised with politicians both democrat and republican. The electorate have felt for some time now that the political elite have left them out in the wilderness and do not address their core issues like real jobs, schools, crime, infrastructure and health. Donald Trump has appealed directly to the people by jumping over their political masters and quite frankly is now displaying such contempt for the establishment and what it stands for that, he refuses to endorse both Paul Ryan (Speaker of the House) and John McCain (much respected Republican and a war veteran) in their up and coming primary elections. The latter figures represent the old guard and what he believes, is wrong with the country and politics. Trump would rather wash away with those old politicians and bring in his own new breed of political elite who speaks his language and sees things, his way.
So, just why then are the GOP and its senior figures continuing to endorse Donald Trump? In short, they have no choice. Either they face political oblivion or risk going it alone and hope there is still a large chunk of Republicans sufficient enough to support a Trump backlash. Or worst still, risk Hillary Clinton being elected President. With the so called ‘movement’ Trump now claims to herald, these politicians know full well that they will lose if they go against Trump. That is why he remains adamant that he will NOT back both McCain and Ryan in their primaries. What those Republican politicians who still support Trump should realie is, they are putting party before country. If they were truly selfless leaders then, they would disavow themselves of Trump and go it alone. But they need Trump more now than ever before and Trump knows that. Michael Bloomberg has had the strength of conviction of his politics to go it alone. Those who now question their allegiance to Trump and the Republican party, should do the same. But they won’t. I’m afraid they’re more concerned about their own jobs and their political legacy to give it all up now. So, they will just sit tight and wait until after the election in November before they plan their next move.
Trump’s popularity is far from waning as he gathers more and more momentum despite his political gaffs, which occur on a daily basis. The sad truth is that he will not be stopped. The American people have been duped into believing anything and everything he says because they are so lulled in to this false sense of security. It reminds me of Waco and the Davidian sect. A saviour whose every word and message must be adhered to the letter. A messiah who has come to save them from the political elite and take them to a new citadel of hope, is probably how many see Donald Trump.
Dare I say it, it’s that sort of popularity that made Snooki a household name and now, Donald Trump. Thankfully Snooki is not running for President but even more frighteningly, Donald is. Both have benefitted from their respective shows and popularity and both have appealed to the dumb, ignorant, uneducated and those who would see America as the ONLY country on the planet 9in Donald’s case) to the utter exclusion of the rest of the world.
In conclusion, Mr Trump doesn’t really care if he wins or loses. The Presidential election is just a huge ego trip for him. He’s more concerned about winning for winning’s sake rather than really wanting to become the most powerful man in the world. Egged on further by the fact that he can’t possibly lose to a ‘woman’. You can guarantee that this is not the end of the reality show but those cameras will have unfettered access like never before, to the White House if Trump were to win.
The West Wing just got real….come back Martin Sheen, all is forgiven!!