Monday, February 29, 2016

Trumping Up Politics

Trumping Up Politics

Written By: 
Carlos Sepulveda
Business Professor
Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencias y Technologia (ULACIT)
San Jose, Costa Rica

No need for a crystal ball.  No need for Nostradamus.  Stop the Presses!  Drum roll please….  The next President of the United States will be Donald Trump for one reason only: the entertainment factor.

Since its birth, Hollywood has made America starstruck.  Throughout the years, celebrities have become gods.  From the days of Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable and James Dean to more contemporary stars, such as Michael Jackson, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, BeyoncĂ©, and J-Lo, America’s fascination has grown immensely.  It has become a tradition to religiously watch the Oscars, Golden Globes, The Grammys, Fashion Police, and of course mainstream media has capitalized by providing apps with up to the minute information, not to mention the instant impact of Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.

Now enter Donald Trump, an outsider to the establishment and a multi-billionaire real estate mogul, who became a reality TV show megastar by being blunt and uncaring.   He made the expression “You’re Fired” a popular phrase that previously could have had a negative connotation.  From the beginning, his strategy during debates was ruthless, not only to other candidates, but also to Fox’s presenter, Megyn Kelly.  Even when people called him a fascist, racist, and bully, ratings went through the roof.   When you mix in the fame of a reality TV star and a powerful self-financed political figure that says things that some people are unwilling to say in public, you have the winner of the popular vote.

As shallow as this may sound, Americans want to be entertained.  If people by the millions tune in to Entertainment Tonight and TMZ online to get the “low-down” on Kanye and Taylor Swift’s beef, Miley Cyrus’ antics, Justin Bieber’s new girlfriend, and the latest Kardashian sighting, at the same rate, America will vote for Megastar Trump to hear his latest shocking statements as president for the next 4 years.  It is perfect to make conversation during coffee breaks.  “Did you hear what Trump just said?”  Without a doubt, it is the same “shock jock” phenomenon of the entertainment factor that made Howard Stern an instant success and one of the most popular radio personalities of his time.  

Whether or not, Trump is the best candidate for the job, political incorrectness is a strategy that is effective and he is proving it in the political arena.  Trump is the master of ratings.  The Republican primaries have become a sneak peak of what is to come.  Only time will tell, if my prediction of the entertainment factor holds true.