This is not Donald Trump’s first go at the Oval Office. He attempted it before and after a short time quit the race citing that the Reform Party was self-destructive and could not provide the “support a candidate needs to win.” At that time, the candidate also warned Americans that he might run again in the future. In 2000, Trump quit the Republican Party to join the Reform Party and seek that party’s presidential nomination. What is different nearly two decades later that has given the business mogul such an edge for the 2016 Election? The answer is simple. In an era where reality TV reigns, there is no wonder Americans love him. Trump fits the bill perfectly.
Americans cannot deny that the Primaries have played out like a top-rated reality television show. It should not be a surprise that the Republican Nominee has ineradicably married celebrity, politics, and ratings. Prior to the election, Trump had already established himself as a reality television star. His former NBC hit “The Apprentice” ran for many successful seasons followed by “Celebrity Apprentice.” In an interview with “TIME”, the mogul said:
I go on one of these shows and the ratings double, they triple, and that gives you power.
Yes, “The Donald” wears many hats such as real estate and business mogul, however, prior to the current election, he was best known to this era of voters as the host of “The Apprentice.” In 2004, when the reality show debuted it became an instant hit among viewers. Millions of households tuned in weekly to hear the famous words, “You’re Fired!” In an era where reality television reigns, Trump is the quintessential reality star and the Primaries have proven to be the ultimate reality show. In an era where reality TV reigns, there is no wonder Americans love him.
When the Republican Nominee’s fans are asked what they like most about him, it usually has nothing to do with his slogan, “Make America Great Again!” Rather, a great deal of support has to do with his quick wit, political incorrectness, and blunt speech. Face it, the cast members who gain the most attention on reality shows are the ones who cause the most drama. This is the driving force of reality television as well as the perfect recipe for a spin-off.
Trump’s rallies have been nothing short of dramatic, chaotic, and unruly.
The real estate mogul has blustered his way through the primaries by being the loudest and most contentious candidate. The spinoff, in this case, would be to land a seat in the Oval Office. Reality TV has proven that this type of approach appeals to viewers – who in this instance are the voters. Why do Americans love Trump? He is the prototypical reality television star and the master of insults.
Another powerful element of reality television are the confessional segments and live tweets during episodes. Confessionals are the interjections throughout the show that allow the stars to explain their actions and feelings in hopes of further connecting with the viewers. The shows are all pre-recorded which also allows fan favorites to live tweet during episodes. Trump understands the power of interaction and utilizes the same unfiltered direct plea to his audience. He tweets. This simple approach lends to his appeal and “authenticity” with the millennial generation who has been raised during the era of reality television.
Reality TV is the dominant source of televised entertainment in today’s society. This generation wants to see life unfold in real-time with unscripted moments. Trump speaks the language people understand, and as such, has secured his place as the Republican Nominee. In an era where reality TV reigns, there is no wonder Americans love the reality television star.
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
The Hill: A look back at Trump’s first run
Christian Science Monitor: Trump’s reality TV playbook: Seven ways it changed 2016 election
TIME: How Reality TV Took Over U.S. Politics
Top and Featured Images Courtesy of Gage Skidmore – Flickr License
Inline Image Courtesy of Chris & Karen Highland – Flickr License