By Marion Marks
Donald J Trump (DJ Trump) has never been accused of being an average entertainer or a Ring Master incapable of organizing “The Greatest Show on Earth!” However, taking the show from the big top or a major entertainment venue to the world stage for DJ Trump will requires some slight of hand that would challenge world-class Magicians, even a Houdini.
DJ Trump’s entertainment successes have always marveled TV critics and his ability to draw a crowd or an audience speaks volumes as far as monetizing the audience when entertainment is the principle issue. Now that Trump has risen to the level of being the “Presumptive” Republican candidate for president of the United States, it’s time that he be required to put flesh and muscle on the skeleton of plans he has for managing the presidential office, real names and concrete programs on the agenda for November’s election and a potential victory. Also, just what’s the story of the required income tax filings?
No longer will whipping crowds into a frenzy with one-liners or course ridicule of Republican contenders meet the level beyond getting convention votes. The “Presumptive” Democratic nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton (HR Clinton), is a far more serious and solid campaigner and holder of the “Woman card.” And, for this, block voters of women and women’s issues appear to be holding for Clinton. Yet the Republican women’s block has yet to demonstrate if there will be any weakness in supporting Trump.
Perhaps the Fall Season of “The DJ Trump Show” will garner rave reviews, because audiences will do a great deal for an entertaining politician, just as they stick to the whole season of a good reality show. But, for the world of business, serious journalism and hopefully serious voters will prove to be a far more serious critic, not just in the privacy of a voting booth. The business world, particularly big monied interests, will scrutinize the potentially catastrophic error of actually electing to the highest position the power, the scary and erratic mind and hands of DJ Trump.
Entertainment of a political nature as much as large audiences appreciate a good reality show, and entertainment politics may potentially turn the world into a Greek comedy or tragedy. Such possibilities have many committed to serious soul searching and anguish in many quarters.
Just as the world discovered in 1933 the very real power of radio as a persuasive media when Orson Wells, in a live performance of the 1898 science fiction War of the Worlds, reached out to a large audience across the social and party divide. On Halloween eve Wells delivered a one-hour show, based on a fake news report from a modified script, supposedly taking place in New Jersey, and six-million listeners, many of whom missed the opening disclaimer, believed that this was more than a radi performance. They were glued to the supposed gassing of Americans and the take-over of New York City by aliens. The analysts of “propaganda” had a heyday with the scare this show sent around the country. Panicked citizens went wild; one citizen even died of a heart attack.
Actual fear spread among politicians, the media and citizens around the world. But those who believed in the power of modern media, especially those in the media and politicians saw the potential for harnessing this weapon. What came from scholars of the media was early studies of how radio affected thought and behavior, and the result of these analyses became the foundation of modern media development and marketing to influence public behavior in buying and selling not just commodities but politics and politicians.
Organizations such as the Institute for Propaganda Analysis studied issues such as the ability for the public to develop their own critical thought and analysis of marketing messages and political marketing. “Effective fairy tales” on the radio told by Huey Long created proof of the power of media during his lifetime as he tied his messages with specific world chaos, the Great Depression, the rise of Fascist Nazi Germany. Louisiana’s Kingfish may have become president had he lived, as he was a true master of the current media tools.
Current media, the reality show in particular, has been mastered by DJ Trump, and the manner in which he weaves and bobs from mainstream media questioning and his political opponents demonstrates the slippery nature of the Trump image seen by voters. Trump easily harnesses the anger and frustration element demonstrated by the low favorability ratings of congress and government institutions. As sarcasm and negativity is his calling card, so ridicule and name calling becomes his attack strategy.
Nothing is sacred in DJ Trump world. No institution stands above his message marked by scorn and condemnation. And if our institutions are worth saving, we must rise above destructive methods for addressing elections and find redeeming qualities worthy of preservation.
“Make America Great Again” may be a beautifully balanced bumper sticker, but placed on the realistic spectrum where we are, versus where we have come over the lifetime of each generation of potential 2016 voters, the slogan will be seen as no more than that shiny balloon a circus hawker floats above naive, hungry and anxious voters. The slogan doesn’t approach any realistic goal, and the messenger is But a common salesman whose record of failures glistens far brighter than any campaign button or signage.
As difficult as the concepts envisioned by the Foundering Fathers may be in the codification of data relevant to this 2016 election, none are clearer than the right to examine the records of candidates, analyze facts of how their actions reflect their ability to accomplish realistic goals and, finally, communicate to voters truths regarding the rhetoric of candidates versus the non-glossy face value of their spin doctors. Stripping away the veneer used by slick marketers to mystify candidates seems to be the most difficult task voters will have in deciphering facts related the election.
There is a free-floating anxiety hovering above most citizens today that makes the task of choosing the least oily candidate from the political muck a more than sickening experience. Perhaps DJ Trump believes that the more sickening the environment he creates ––, destroying all who stand in his way, the greater the possibility that his candidacy will be the one to survive the plague he is casting over the entire political landscape. This fall’s campaign may be what DJ Trump’s chief aide calls The Ultimate Reality Show, but I suggest it should be titled Survival of the Fittest.