A few weeks ago, the Huffington Post announced that it would only show news regarding Donald Trump’s “campaign” in the entertainment section of its publication. The choice, on its face, seems like a rather simple and straightforward one: Donald Trump is a sideshow, so information about him should be placed where we discuss sideshows. But what does it say that a sideshow is the current front runner for one of the two major political parties in America?
It says that we have allowed ourselves to be so consumed by the spectacle of celebrity that we ignore and refuse to deal with the real problems of the day.
If we are brutally honest about the state of American politics, Donald Trump is exactly the candidate we deserve. Our collective apathy toward politics and our indulgence in celebrity culture has left us incapable of addressing real issues, and instead has us clamoring for our shot to climb to the top of the capitalist food chain.
How else could a quasi-religious faith in someone as obviously inept for political office as Donald Trump be leading the Republican polls by 10 points?
As Conor Lynch writes at Salon:
The rapid rise of Trump in American politics is a sign of our decaying public, consciousness, where being filthy rich gives people the ability to do what they want, when they want, even when they very clearly have no idea what they’re talking about. Trump has become a political sensation because he reflects what success has become in modern America – namely, completely monetized – and even though the statistics reveal that growing up in the middle and lower classes severely restricts one’s chances of becoming wealthy, the idea that you can go to college, and take on hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and then become successful like Donald, remains alive and well.
Despite what many Americans, and likely many Trump supporters, apparently believe about being able to grit their way into wealth, the reality is far different. We only have ourselves to blame for becoming so removed from reality that we have created the opportunity that someone as ruthless and deceptive as Donald Trump has a shot at becoming President.
Donald Trump is not right for America, but he is what we deserve.