We're Living In A Reality TV Show

Two weeks ago, I wrote a snarky satirical article in which I described President Trump’s inauguration as a season premiere of a reality show. I pointed to the unnecessary drama that Trump has introduced into the political system, his unconventional campaign strategy, and the controversy that kept Americans engaged. The fact is, Donald Trump took reality TV clichés and strategies and transplanted them into the real world. Up until the inauguration, my emotions mostly consisted of disappointment in the American people for letting these outlandish tactics succeed in the political system. I also clung to the hope that once he took office, he would act more presidential and stop the outbursts. Now, two weeks into Trump’s presidency, I know what it’s like to live in a reality show, and it’s terrifying.

Donald Trump has only one specialty – entertainment. He claims that he is a successful businessman, but he’s bankrupted four companies. He has, however, created an image of himself that is larger than life and instantly recognizable. Throughout his years of experience, he’s realized that the best way to attract a following is to be outlandish and controversial. He associated his name with a lifestyle of luxury that is constantly covered by gossip sites. On The Apprentice, he pitted contestants against each other to create as much drama as possible. On the campaign trail, he insulted as many people as possible to make headlines. And each time, the American public ate it up.

Donald Trump’s method has always loved to be the center of attention by any means necessary. A professor of psychology attributed this to a disorder called malignant narcissism, which causes someone to do anything and everything to achieve his or her goals, with no regard to the consequences. This is why Trump has taken his Reality TV methods into politics – it’s the best way to ensure that everyone will be talking about him. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has no regard for the fact that his attempts to stir up controversy now have real consequences, such as stranding thousands of U.S. residents outside the country, nominating members of the cabinet that are completely incompetent, and branding lies as “alternative facts.” This is only the beginning, and like any reality show, it’s only going to get more and more dramatic. While that may be fun to watch on TV, it’s downright terrifying to be a part of.

So, we’re stuck in a reality show for the time being, but what can we do about it? In theory, the answer is simple – a TV show gets cancelled when ratings go down. If we want to cancel Trump’s publicity stunt, all we have to do is stop giving him the attention. This will not be easy, as he is the president. However, I do believe that it’s possible to continue to actively exercise our right to participate in government without giving Donald Trump the right of day. We have to focus our efforts on specific, substantive issues, and we have to attack the actions, not the man. Protesting Trump by calling him out only brings him to the center of attention, and we would be much better served by pointing out the issues with the specific policies of his administration without even mentioning his name. Donald Trump’s greatest fear is not that people will disagree with him, but that people will stop paying attention to him, so let’s make that fear a reality.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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