Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Trump Phenomenon

Donald Trump knows America.  He understands that racism and intolerance pervade our society, that many Americans fear "foreigners" and that a sizable contingent of American citizens are convinced that the Federal Government is out to steal their guns, their property and their money.

Trump also knows the American media, a segment of our society that he has courted for many years.  Most importantly, he understands that cable news programs are enamored with celebrities, especially those who relish the spotlight and provide "news" fodder by making outrageous and provocative statements.

Claiming to be a serious Presidential candidate, Trump is taking advantage of paranoid, right-wing zealots and tabloid journalists to expand his brand and feed his narcissism.  In the end, thoughtful, moderate Americans will reject Trump's self-righteous hyperbole and he will retreat to the world of flamboyant moguls and "reality" television.  In the meantime, our obsession with his self-serving rhetoric reflects an ugly and worrisome undercurrent in American society.