Friday, February 23, 2018

Donald Trump: A Social Experiment

Amanda Muccio ’18

Features Editor

Like it or not, Donald Trump has been a force for change in American politics. His unconventional campaign has scrambled most political minds.
Here’s some food for thought: What if Trump’s campaign wasn’t legitimate? What if his so-called chase for the presidency is just the means by which he could conduct the greatest social experiment? How genius would it be if Trump were to reveal that his rhetoric and behavior have all been part of some carefully crafted scheme –– one designed to expose the ignorance, bigotry and racism prevalent in American culture? What if?
Just think about the extent to which “The Donald” has revolutionized the political game. The old rules have been completely tossed aside. Mr. Trump has reinvented a new, ‘despicable’ playbook. He’s redefined what it means to be the front-running candidate of a major political party: it’s angry, it’s insulting, it’s often times lacking of substance, and it’s to ‘hell with being political correct.’ He reminds us that quite literally anyone can call the shots in the Oval Office –– even if you’re a private-sector know-it-all with no prior experience in government or public policy.
Yet, there’s no doubt that Donald Trump, who is more of a populist rather than a government professional, successfully gamed the U.S. political system. Heck, he beat long-standing Republicans and Democrats out of this election because he maneuvered around laws, and has mastered the art of controversial innuendos. And Trump shouts this from the rooftops: “That makes me smart,” he exclaimed to a newscaster, when admitting he hadn’t paid federal income tax in over a decade and a half.
Yes, Trump is a phenomenon –– and he continues to be. It’s certifiably insane –– the more reprehensible Trump’s words, actions and attitude have become, the more popular he has grown.  His denial of charges –– despite audio and video evidence –– and denial of condoning, doing or saying things that are terrible by any standard have become the order.
He (initially) also collected the support of conservatives, despite his nature and the negative implications it has on the Republican Party’s future. Even they couldn’t detect the dangers of his candidacy.
Trump would explain that his “experiment” proved he could pretty much do anything without consequence –– tap into the raging anger of so many Americans, push the envelope on his plan to “build a wall,” offend immigrants and refugees, call Mexicans rapists, and attack women and people with disabilities.
Maybe one day, in a grandiose, fancy golden-chaired event, Mr. Trump will step up before the sea of cameras for the big reveal: “I actually didn’t want to be President, and I’m leaving the race. I just wanted to broadcast the ignorance and bigotry that many Americans seem to share. I am just as shocked as you all are – at the vile, racist things I said that many of you seemed to agree with. No matter what I did, I went up in the polls! You are all shameful. You can thank me, America, for showing you what you have to work on.”
So what if instead of being a mean-spirited political campaign it was actually a developing, honorable research project that would turn him into a hero overnight?
The last laugh would certainly be Trump’s…
-AEM

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