“The Shit We’re In . . .”
Donald Trump, the American People, and the Mainstream Media Performances
Mark Ruhala, Author / email@example.com
The “spectacle”, to use Marxist Guy Debord’s term, of the 2016 presidential campaign is a complex, simplistic, paradoxical dance of the stars, with hidden agendas, shadow powers, and media matters that expose the “shit we’re in”. (Self) As presidential races of recent memory continue down the slippery slope of spectacle, along with the virtual world that encloses in on us daily, these races are beginning to look a lot like wrestling; pro wrestling, the make believe, full-of-shit kind – not amateur wrestling where honest competition resides. To survive is to comprehend this mania and live up to it, at least as far as one can take it without being suffocated by the noxious fumes or knocked out by the onslaught of garbage that is thrown about as if it were important. To thrive in this race is to not only comprehend the madness, but to live out the spectacle to its fullness, to know what the American people want, even if they themselves haven’t a clue. The Sanders, Clintons, Cruzes and the other gofers of the power elite, the collective corporatacracy of America (Perkins) are running in circles as they remain stuck in the nostalgia of an earlier America that exhibited more respect, integrity, and dignity, at least in front of the cameras; that era too had its spectacle shit, but the candidates mostly hid it from view. But out in front, leading the race, trumping the naiveté of those holding onto the past, is billionaire, real estate mogul, reality TV star, pro wrestling supporter and participant, and Miss America lover, Mr. Donald Trump, aka “The Donald” who promises to “make America great again”.
In his reclamation, Trump constructs a performance of nostalgia for the earlier “great” America. He does so by constructing a performance of being disgusted and fed-up with soft America and portrays a hard stance of every country for himself as he constructs a performance of the guy who can get the job done. Trump appoints himself as the man who knows how to broker a deal – the great deal-maker – and constructs his presentation as an intractable billionaire who can sidestep the political gridlock and move mountains. He constructs a recital of, I say whatever I want because nobody can stop me, I can say what I please because no one controls me; I am the quintessential independent man. His performance is archetypically chauvinistic – treasuring the prize of a beautiful trophy woman and yet keeping them one step behind the male dominance of this enduring patriarchal society. In short, Trump is the guy of the hour because the time is ripe for an anti-establishment fighter who can take on the political wrestlers in Washington. The people want it and the media abhors it yet is seduced by it – they can’t help but court and cover him. Together, the performance is complete: the hero/villain is cheered/ridiculed and the conflict sets the stage for a heightened faux drama perfectly fit for our reality TV age.
The fact that golden-haired Trump seems to be hallowed in America while the media pulls its hair out is an amusing, if not terrifying, “spectacle of society” which French Marxist, Guy Debord, penned at the rise of the military-industrial complex, shortly after Dwight D ominously warned the citizens of the United States to beware their grandchildren and “the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage”. (Eisenhower) The predated punksters of the French avant-garde group, Situationist International, were led by Debord, whose theory of spectacle was formulated as “the moment when the commodity has achieved the total occupation of life”. This was the bankrupt intellectual epoch that left the new generation two steps behind nature and afoot to the intoxicating, addictive economic theory of “more”: postmodern capitalism. In this epic bereft shift, Trumps and Obamas are ripe to “rise up” in Hamiltonian (Hamilton) “hope and change” making “America great again” while at the same time physicists the world over are contemplating the universe as conscious (Sahtouris) and even as a simulated reality: an honest-to-God virtual reality. (Campbell) Eisenhower foresaw in 1961, the virtual creeping into our lives and displacing the intellect: “For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers”. Debord, in 1967 argued that through computers, capitalism “controlled the very conditions of existence”. Eisenhower precisely presaged, and cautioned,
. . . the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. (Eisenhower)
Mr. Trump, although a product of this spectacle is also sounding off alarm bells regarding the spectacle; he is turning the spectacle against itself in appealing to the American people that he will indeed make America great again, i.e. prior to this shit. Trump is reclaiming America of old- the heyday and golden age of America, when America was unarguably the leader of the world in economics, technology, standard of living, entertainment, innovation, job security, and military prowess.
Main Media Streaming
Meanwhile, maintaining the Washington mockery of democracy is the media “cartel” that missed the boat, did not take a Trump run seriously, just as South Park presciently animated in the fall of 2015:
We thought it was funny. Nobody really thought he’d ever be president. It was a joke! But we just let the joke go on for too long. He kept gaining momentum, and by the time we were ready to say, OK, let’s get serious now, who should really be president? he was already being sworn into office. (South Park)
South Park found a solution that, unfortunately, the GOP finds un-PC – they have Trump raped to death. Meanwhile the haters are on a fast track to plan B. (Stern) Monopoly, in the media, has become more than a game, as Pulitzer Prize journalist Ben Bagdikian documents, there are “five media giants as a “cartel” that wield enough influence to change U.S. politics and define social values.” (Bagdikian) And boy are they wielding, shielding, dealing, and appealing to the public with a “Never Trump” scare attack, building on the GOP super PAC “Our Principles”, that portrays The Donald as a “dangerous charlatan”. (Cassidy) Truth is, the status quo is supported full-out by the republican elephant in the room as much as the jackass democratic donkey; if ever anyone needed to see the continuum of these party animals to know how embedded and in bed they are, this election offers full-on sights of establishment unity that belies the taunted division the parties bring to their public game face.
Politainment Wrestling Politics
These are the professional wrestlers of politics; they hate each other in front of the cameras but behind the cameras they drink as friends before going to their other friend’s banks to cash their checks. “Wrestling is not a sport, it is a spectacle”; the real sport, according to semiotician Roland Barthes is wrongly called amateur wrestling. (Barthes) “The mythological fight between good and evil” is the game and the signs are of “a purely moral concept: that of justice” – each side proclaims their goodness and portrays the other side as evil. Is it any wonder each successive generation suffers more and more from “politainment”? Conley and Schultz called it in 2000: the twenty-first century admixture of politics/entertainment/infomercials will come from the “ubiquitous, anonymous, symbiotic, syncretic, profane and magical” world of the “adcult” – where the likes of Jesse Ventura will rise from their “commodity of persona”. In the end, the talk show celebrity will logically become our future president. Trump is timely. Trump is a product of this twenty-first century celebrity culture. Trump is the trickster, the enfant terrible, the terror of the beltway, and ultimately, Barthes’ hero wrestler who holds the power, with his game, of “transmutation” – the commonality of spectacle and religion. But not if the establishment media can help it . . .
The media money megaliths are simply fighting in conjunction with the Eisenhower one-time “free university” to push along the left-wing socialist agenda that will allow the corporatacracy to continue to rule governments from the shadows. This masked media constructs a performance of knowledgeable insiders who know how bad Trump is, by creating a character that portrays that they are smarter than Trump and his “uneducated” base of followers. Like the Mexican drug cartels, the mainstream media cartel will go to all lengths to stop a Trump presidency. The fact that they naively forgot to take him seriously, and are desperately searching for a viable plan B, as they watch Trump out-wit their indulgences, makes one wonder what the final outcome will be? Will it be a tragic ending of the hero’s death, literal or figurative, that will further erode the culture, sending it into a tailspin of martial law? Does the dimwitted media, concentrating on their corporate coliseum of wrestlers and their colossal globalization efforts to power-walk the world into a faceless melting pot, forget how colloquially disenchanted the American people are? This would be a devastating turn of events. Media matters are serious business today.
The Disenfranchised Americans
But 2016 is showing that disenfranchised Americans see from their own experience that the corrupt mainstream media news is not telling the truth. Hence, the historic low confidence in the media and the rise of alternative sources for truth. (Chalabi) The disenfranchised public is performing as rebels who want change; change beyond the hollow “hope and change” of another color. Americans are “disenchanted”, tired and worn-out from being a “cog in the machine” of capitalism – their “iron cage” is closing in but the iron is rusting. Perhaps Mr. Trump will emerge as one of Max Weber’s “entirely new prophets” that will arise and in so doing will bring Weber’s “great rebirth of old ideas and ideals” as Trump truly “makes America great again”. (Weber) Only history will tell, for now there is no certainty and no conversation that moves anyone anywhere other than toeing-the-party-line on both sides. The American public is unable to hold a dialectic discourse in this politainment culture and so Americans remain entrenched in their already formed political ideas – the liberals stay “liberal” and the conservatives stay “conservative”; the public’s performance in this regard is one of a “true believer” (Hoffer) – fear mongering at its best: Trump’s promoting fear of the same ol’ “bought” establishment and business as usual that will allow the snake (bad immigrant people) to bite with impunity (USA Today), and the establishment’s fear of “independent” Trump who resembles Hitler and will take us to tyranny. This is, in essence, what Weber’s capitalism would end like – postmodern bureaucratic, rational-legal authoritarian power of the zweckrational (goal-oriented action) of Protestant efficiency. (Smith and Riley) Salvation is now the carrot held out by Mr. Trump, who refuses, and in so doing, demonstrates that he, and he alone seemingly, can, refuse to be PC. Everyone is getting fired today for their un-PC behavior, while Trump grows in popularity.
Trump is the penultimate postmodern politician yet he paradoxically embodies the postmodern enemy; he hates the roots of his own politainment postmodern culture – the “heterogeneity or diversity of the public . . . the relativism of values . . . the blurring of the line between public and private life . . . the (chaotic) multiplicity of roles . . . and consumerism and the commodification of knowledge”. (Conley and Schultz) Trump wants his traditional cake and to sell (consume) it too. The people get this, they like the super-power of the man, the guy who says what he please, who doesn’t pretend to be non-violent, who gestures with his fists, and who really wants to bring Americans to a new version of the golden-age of America. The white house portrays itself to be non-violent while droning beautiful little children and loving moms, of an “other” culture, to death. But if executed in a politically expedient manner, the white house can, and does, get away with murder. Most Americans see the hypocrisy; a current “humanitarian” foreign policy that resembles Trump’s violence. Ironically, Trump wants to get out of the messy wars the Obamas and Bushes love to fight; he is not the conventional American war-monger of DC, Trump wants to leave the foreigners alone and refocus the resources on domestic issues.
The Global Presstitute
Trump brings a whole new slant to foreign policy; yet the presstitute media conveys the message that Trump has no substantial foreign policy. (Presstitute) Trump believes that America has lost its vitality and power by allowing other countries to take advantage of America’s goodness, generosity, and greatness of culture by making decades of trade agreements that destroy America’s superior position, by outsourcing the jobs of Americans to other countries, and by paying for other countries share in NATO, the UN and other international organizations – in other words paying far more than America’s fair share to police and care for the world. Trump is emphatic: enough! Pay your fair share or get no support from the land of the free, you’ll be on your own. In other words, future president Trump, acting as father to the world, would take a hard line against the strongest allies America has (children to be cared for), and demand they ante-up, play fair, and understand that a bankrupt nation like the US, trillions of dollars in the hole, cannot possibly continue to allow these wards of the state to rely on American hospitality any longer – the Marshall Plan is long over, it is time for America first. Globalization, collectivization, world communism, or whatever one calls the ubiquitous State intervention and capitalization of the globe, has destroyed American greatness. In the effort to make the world in America’s image, the empire has eschewed its capitalistic heritage for a Marxist foreign policy of socialistic cradling, or, one might call it bribery, of its once defeated enemies – Germany, Japan, China, et. al. Add to that Trump’s worst nightmare, a one-hundred and fifty billion dollar blood-money gift to our current nemesis Iran. Marx posited that capitalism would ultimately fail, but did he have a clue that the capitalistic capital of North America would lose its star, be knocked off the stage, by expanding its reach too far, repeating the Roman error, while setting up the need to fulfill the elite’s agenda for a world government performance?
New World Order
Trump takes the world government on, like David against Goliath. Trump is asking for fairness. Trump understands that the so called free trade” policy of the United States is actually a push toward world government as anyone who reads history can already see. NAFTA has stripped America of her jobs. Even the Council for Foreign Relations states:
Twenty years after its implementation, the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, has helped boost intraregional trade between Canada, Mexico, and the United States, but has fallen short of generating the jobs and the deeper regional economic integration its advocates promised decades ago. (CFR)
NAFTA’s performance is sub-par. Further, the newer TPP pact will allow corporations to sue the United States in a manner unheard of in US history that would unhinge American sovereignty. The Atlantic magazine questioned its constitutional impact:
Thus, challenges based upon TPP to our duly enacted laws and other regulatory actions would be decided by three individuals who are not government officials and need not be American citizens. And they would have the final word as to whether the federal government will be compelled to pay damages, because there is no judicial review in any U.S. court of the merits of these arbitral rulings. (Atlantic)
Ironically, Obama’s TPP allows corporations to sue the US, but when the shoe is on the other foot, Obama shows no regard, as he is currently deciding on policy for American families’ rights to sue foreign countries for their role in 9/11 and is performing as guardian of sovereignty in this instance. Obama says, “If we open up the possibility that individuals and the United States can routinely start suing other governments, then we are also opening up the United States to being continually sued by individuals in other countries.” (AP) These trade agreements, which people do not necessarily read, but rather get the official sound bite from their favorite media, are Baudrillardian representations of “free trade”, they “feign” a boost for America when in fact they are virtual power usurpers of American control. As Baudrillard posited, these postmodern media mediums construct reality. (Auslander) Trump is not beholden to corporations; he has made his own billions, and has does not appear to have secrets that would keep his mouth shut out of fear; Trump speaks his mind freely and with his heart on his sleeve because he is independent, a rare commodity in postmodern politics and culture. His performance is fresh in this way and has caught the fat-cat establishment by surprise. They had no idea they had an enemy in their lurk who will take them on.
Anglo-American International Elite
Trump is not afraid of the Anglo-American international elite establishment. (Quigley) The secret societies of this clan are well-known to Mr. Trump – they are part of the world of finance after all, Mr. Trump’s specialty. Yet in our historical narrative, one can miss the connecting dots; we do not use a metahistorical perspective that would ask for self-conscious reflection. (Auslander) Instead we drink the Kool-Aid and salute the propaganda of our seventh-inning stretch, if we can put our beer down fast enough. Trump seems to understand the American populous doesn’t really want to dig into the issues, they want someone they can trust, but they do want their leader to know the issues, so they can go to the movies and rest assure that the world is okay. Trump directs his performance thereof. Heady issues of foreign policy and economic theory are above the heads of most Americans who still believe the Federal Reserve is actually a government entity and have no idea that the Fed, who makes America’s money and monetary policy, is privately owned, which logically means they look out for their own self-interest first. The Fed gave trillions of dollars to foreign banks during the recent financial crisis. (Forbes) This fact alone demonstrates the incestuous relationships of the world banks which Trump wants to rein in in his effort to make America great again. As the political outsider, Trump can perform to his own tune, so the established men must resort to base tactics.
Ad Hominen Everywhere
To take Trump on as a real candidate, as a true qualified person for the presidency would credit Mr. Trump with more than the media can stomach; it may upset them so much because they cannot control the outcomes of such an unscripted narrative. Instead of taking the guy seriously, the media resorts to attacks of ad hominen fallacy while accusing Trump of the same behavior. Trump’s performance is successful in many ways because he reverses the usual, standard protocol and the American people love watching the reversal. Trump is not a nice guy in public, he is real (although Trump is currently playing with performance and flirting with changing its script; what the future will bring of his performance is anyone’s guess). The only time we get to see this kind of real performance from “true” politicians is when they mistakenly forget their microphone is still on. The Donald may be captain of his own ship, flippant as he likes, a true believer like everyone else in this narcissistic culture-of-me, and about as independent as one can get and still succeed in politics, yet he is cut from the same cloth as the rest; he is, without any question, an American product. Few take the time to discover the obvious root connections of Trump and the political machine.
Roots connect us to our earlier developments; we all come from a root and grow into what we become. Trump was asked by Obama to be a guest at the white house, even after his birther comments, because Trump has been viewed and rooted as an establishment guy, at least up until this campaign performance. Yet Trump knows better than to run with and for the establishment, instead he turns to his independent roots.
Yet, as Deleuze and Guattari explain, the rhizome may be a much more productive way to understand our connectedness. Roots place one in the vertical structure of arborescent thought and are endemic to American ways of seeing. But if we shift to a rhizome view, a crabgrass view if you will, we lose the hierarchical thinking that politics loves. The world of governments love the individual tree analogy because it allows for an erect order that can easily blame and point fingers rather than understanding that when one points a finger outward there are almost always three other fingers pointing back in reflection of one’s actual interconnectedness. Journalists like John McMurtry use a more rhizomic method to view Trump and connect dots that others overlook. In this instance McMurtry connects the “silent” dots:
Trump is a shameless opportunist, no doubt. Yet we continue to revolve within an ad hominem circle until we go deeper than the establishment morality tale of the evil of the stigma object – the oldest propaganda trick in the book. The major money interests that are really at stake in the conflict between Trump and the political-economic establishment remain unconnected and blocked out. “Who will stop Trump” is not only now asked across America, but the world’s media in China too. But nothing is less talked about than the globally powerful interests he has promised to rein back from the public troughs bleeding the country’s capacities to build for and to employ its people. On this topic, there is only silence or abusive distortion frothing from the mouth. (Counterpunch)
Jonathan Chait also takes a look into the horizontal relationships of Trump and the conservative establishment who want to paint him into an alien corner, even leftist to the core, titling his article for New York magazine, “Trump’s Barbarians Were Inside the Conservative Castle All Along”. (New York) Perhaps Deleuze and Guattari’s theory needs to be adapted more fully for a more comprehensive understanding of the Trump mania. But then that would require a whole other kind of media – one interested in performing real, old-school journalism that wasn’t bought and wasn’t concerned with being so politically correct. Trump is an outgrowth of this fake, reigned-in journalism that exposes nothing more that the ego fighting of subjects and institutions. This kind of junk-journalism is only fueling Trump’s performance; the lack of objective reporting leads the vertical scaling of power that common folks resent and see-through and search thereof, for an alternative source, which generally will be just as vertical but more aligned with common core values of the recipient. In essence people want to be saved from the terror of the “other side”; the extreme PC of the left that is intolerant of other religious or narrow views, and the extreme right that could care less about PC values. Both sides are looking for a savior to rescue them to utopia.
For the right, Trump is playing the Savior, as all politicians do while running for office. But Trump is performing in a special way that connects with Americans who are fed-up and disenchanted with the American political system and its corrupt practitioners. Trump performs the savior role with gusto, clearly letting his people know he can get the job done. Trump is a deal maker that has brokered the almighty dollar successfully over decades, proving his credibility in the capitalistic American universe; people trust a man who can make his fortune without corruption, scandal, and mafia or government alliance. Trump clearly isn’t part of the American political system and constructs his performance squarely regarding his being an outsider (although he now is teasing that he will change this – who knows). Unlike politicians who get stuck in the bi-partisan halls of congress, Trump is a guy that can build a Taj Mahal, make himself the ultimate reality TV star, marry gorgeous exotic women, and have fun, positivity, and a huge grin all the while. This is the postmodern American Dream. “America the free” doesn’t feel so free any more but Trump reminds folks what freedom looks like.
PC Culture of Offense
Freedom, increasingly for the left, is a romp through an “anything goes” attitude accompanied by a “don’t offend me” stance of “social justice warriors” (Observer) that pretty much defies logic for most persons. Offending is a once counter-cultural, now mainstream, way of living. MLB superstar Curt Shilling exposes this bent in his personal opinion blog “The hunt to be defended . . .”. (Shilling) And in the new PC era he was fired from ESPN for his “offensive” manner: the coporatacracy cannot afford any understanding; the bottom line requires zero-tolerance in this sensitive period of America finding out what is what. Otherwise ESPN will be indicted by the PC actors and will lose its center stage of the sports world.
Gender theorist Judith Butler may persuade some folks in the academy that there is no binary of gender, but most folks see through the lunacy of this denial of nature. (Auslander) Trump helps people stay grounded in the fact that men have dicks and women have pussies. This is the way the majority of Americans think, and these are the voters. It wasn’t that long ago that gays were excluded from marriage rights, and it is easy to view Obama’s abrupt turn-around on the issue to be simple political expediency. And not so long prior to that, people were considered mentally unstable who made up or identified their gender as opposite of their natural endowment. Butler and the left-leaning academy may reject identity politics, or even identity itself, but the vast majority of Americans, on both sides of the party line, still believe a man has a penis.
It is a patriarchic society after all, in spite of how much the new PC offendees want to change that. Hollywood, that great American, capitalist art form that helped spread profit-making democracy around the world, may not be out of the closet and open enough for the new PC crowd, but it represents views that sell billions of dollars worth of tickets. Actress Gena Davis’ gender studies of different film industries, show that “people in this industry, remain unaware” of the gender bias of the industry which features men over women. (Chemaly)
The media is on a mission, and even when trying to understand, rather than reinforce their bias, pop culture celebs like Samantha Bee of Full Frontal can’t seem to remain objective long enough to assimilate another view. Instead, fun is made, mockery enforces stereotypes, and the liberals retain their hold on truth and justice. In a discussion with college-educated Trump supporters, Ms. Bee cannot understand what “context” means to these supporters, or even that Trump jokes and pokes fun, for that matter. (Gabillet) In this manner of trying to understand, it is absolutely impossible for left-wingers to make more than a mockery of Trump’s national border wall. Yet nobody states how effective walls have been historically to keep people out of restricted places. Walls have worked for ages to keep people out. The only question journalists seem to ask is how to pay for it; they do not seem to question the logic and rational solution it provides. Israel has had successful walls to keep out terrorists and Africans, but this is just one of many examples that get overlooked and omitted from the conversation. (Levi)
The “anything goes” mentality of the “new and heretofore undescribed planet” filling up and expanding its base of “transnational, multinational and subnational bodies”, as James Traub puts it, is the polarity and birthing center that spawned Donald Trump’s performance and his supporters. (Schechner) Add to this list the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Two-spirited, Queer ,Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Ally, Pansexual, Agender, Gender Queer, Bigender, Gender Variant, Pangender, or LGBTQ+, and one can see how fast and furiously the planet is changing and how hard it is for most persons to keep up with these changes as they are so specialized and so globalized that it can make the head spin. (OK2BMe)
For confused citizens, Trump is like a breath of fresh air, a grounding in the paradigm they grew up with, providing a sense of security and stableness. He calms and inspires his audience. But stableness is not what a ruler wants from his people; stable societies create cohesion, and cohesiveness between people can spell trouble for the ruling elite if the masses unify. Unstableness, like the kind America has brought to the Middle East, allows powers that be to exploit the divisiveness and take control, be it control of a nation, a region, or an ill-informed, chaotic body politic of us vs. them, liberal/conservative dichotomy. Trump threatens this power base who likes to divide and conquer, and brings rational, old-fashioned common sense performance to these issues; people are unified behind his easy-to-understand rhetoric.
The global colonies of the United States’ imperialistic march over the past hundred years or so have created what Homi K. Bhabha calls “colonial mimicry”, where “colonized persons adopt in part or wholesale the culture of their colonizers”. (Schechner) America is no longer uniquely great and exceptional, no matter if Obama wants people to believe or not. America is mimicked the world over and often times the aping performance is a better representation of American values than the original. China, although not fully colonized, has usurped American capitalism and has helped make the United States an inferior debtor nation while China sits atop the creditor nations of value. Japan had its glorious performance of American ingenuity and work ethic, but is now, just like America, in deep debt. Trump wants a distinction between American exceptionalism and the rest of the world. He wants America to rise up, reclaim its superiority of old, and lead the way once again, on its own – not in the hodgepodge mix of multiculturalism. And Trump plays the director he wants to become, directing his own performance like an auteur.
Trump recognizes that true multiculturalism is inherent in our global community, and one can see that forced multiculturalism is homogenizing the world and often creating more conflict, not less, while not preserving radically different cultures as is purported. A UNESCO paper states clearly, “The transformation of multi-ethnic, demographically multicultural societies has created a major challenge for policy makers seeking to manage ethnic diversity without exacerbating violence and conflict and in a manner beneficial to all.” (UNESCO) Even as the paper argues for a multiculturalism solution, it nonetheless exposes the problem that has arisen. Trump would prefer to keep nations separate and distinct while focusing on “America first”; that is very appealing to many voters who are tired of watching the rest of the world take American jobs and money, mimic the very fundamental values of America all the while Americans make less, have less opportunity to work in well paid jobs, and are struggling with the inevitable conflicts of the expanding have/have-not split. Trump is convincingly portraying himself as the American savior of traditional values. And let us not forget that America was founded by deeply valued racist, elitist and misogynist attitudes.
The spirit and performance of “The Donald” – Mr. Trump, and the American people, in tandem with the mainstream media, are a perfect fit for this postmodern, capitalistic, democracy-on-the-verge-of-socialism/communism/fascism 2016 presidential campaign spectacle. Filling out its government interventionist, bureaucratic halls of Congress, corporatacracy, America is primed and ready for real change. People are sick and disgusted at the likeness of democratic/republican policy that equates with being “qualified as presidential”. Americans see through the thin performance veneer of bipartisanship to see that when the shit hits the fan, both parties are at the ready to bail-out, or bail-in as the future will see, the American military/industrial, corporate establishment. Trump portrays himself as The Great Savior, the people parade themselves as rejecting the same ol’ DC politics, and the media presents a crass effort, desperate by most standards, to destroy The Donald. Liking it or not, Trump is here to stay and The Donald has outflanked his adversaries with an exact recipe for the American maladies of division and propaganda: one the American people resonate with. It is a most remarkable and historic performance. Will America be “great again” as Trump’s mantra affirms, or will the establishment finally find a solution to the ever-growing, near insanity of appeal the man has for the disenfranchised Americans who were left behind in the thirty years war on the middle-class?
Only history will tell, and that supposes that historians will be truthful. In the meantime, this unique presidential campaign season is a laboratory of politainment. Be it The Donald or Bono, the Kerdashians or Kaitlin Jenner, one of these days our White House will house a “President Camacho” who will show the idiocracy of America as the ultimate spectacle. (Idiocracy)
AP. 19 Apr 2016. Obama: Top intel official reviewing secret 9/11 material. Associated Press. 19
Atlantic. 23 Jun 2015 Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Unconstitutional? The AtlanticMonthly
Group. 12 Apr 2016. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/tpp-isds-
Auslander, Philip. Theory for performance studies: a student’s guide. Taylor & Francis, 2008.
Bagdikian, Ben. 2016. Democracy on Deadline. Who own the Media? ITVS. PBS. 10 Apr 2016.
Barthes, Roland. Mythologies: The World of Wrestling. Translated by Annette Lavers, Hill and
Wang, New York, 1984. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~drbr/wrestlin.html
Campbell, Thomas. My big TOE: awakening, discovery, inner workings: a trilogy unifying
philosophy, physics, and metaphysics. Lightning Strike Books, 2007.
Cassidy, John, 3 Mar 2016. The Problem with the “Never Trump” Movement. Conde Nast. The
New Yorker. 12 Apr 2016 http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/the-problem-
CFR. 14 Feb 2014. NAFTA’s Economic Impact by Mohammed Aly Sergie. Council for Foreign Relations. 16 Apr 2016.
Chalabi, Mona. 30 Mar 2016. Fact-check: is the media really to blame for Donald Trump? The
Guardian News and Media 14 Apr 2016
Chemaly, Soraya. 24 Sept 2014. 20 Facts Everyone Should Know About Gender Bias in Movies.
Huffington Post. 19 Apr 2016. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/20-
Conely, Ann and Schultz, David. 2000. Jesse Ventura and the Brave New World of Politainer
Politics. Journal of American & Comparative Cultures.15 Apr 2016.
Debord, Guy. Society of the Spectacle. Bread and Circuses Publishing, 2012.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. 17 Jan 1961. Farewell Address to the Nation. 12 Apr 2016
Forbes. 20 Sept 2011. The Fed’s $16 Trillion Bailouts Under-Reported. 10 Apr 2016
Gabillet, Annie. 15 Mar 2016 Pop Sugar. Samantha Bee does her best to understand Trump
supporters. 19 Apr 20126. http://www.popsugar.com/news/College-Educated-Trump-
Quigley, Carroll. Anglo-American Establishment. G. S. G. & Associates, Incorporated, 1981.
Hoffer, Eric. The true believer. Harper & Row, 1989.
Hamilton: the musical. 2015. My Shot by Lin Manuel Miranda. 11 Apr 2016
Idiocracy. 2016. IMBD. 19 Apr 2016 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/
Levi, Yaakov. 17 Jun 2015. Good Enough for the EU: Hungary to build anti migrant “wall”.
19 Apr 2016. Israël National News
New York. 14 Apr 2016. Trump’s Barbarians Were Inside the Conservative Castle All Along by
Jonathan Chait. New York Media. 17 Apr 2016.
OK2BMe. 2016. KW Counseling Services. 19 Apr 2016.
Observer. 2 Feb 2016. The Totalitarian Doctrine of ‘Social Justice Warriors’. 25 Apr 2016
Presstitute. 2016. Trump Derangement Syndrome The Washington Post, Completely Unhinged.
16 Apr 2016. http://presstitutes.org/
Self, Will. 14 nov 2013. Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle. Guardian News and Media.
Perkins, John. Confessions of an economic hit man. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2004.
Sahtouris, Elisabet. “A Tentative Model for a Living Universe.” (2003).
Schechner, Richard. Performance studies: An introduction. Routledge, 2013.
Schilling, Curt. 19 Apr 2016. The hunt to be offended… Curt Schilling Official blog. 21 Apr
Smith, Phillip, and Alexander Riley. Cultural Theory. Blackwell Publishing 2009.
Stern, Marlow. 24 Oct 2015. ‘South Park’ Depicts the Brutal Rape of Donald Trump
The Daily Beast. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/24/south-park-depicts-
UNESCO. 2016. Multiculturalism: New Policy Responses to Diversity by Christine
Inglis. 20 Apr 2016. http://www.unesco.org/most/pp4.htm#clarification
Ventura, Jess. 2016. Politics is like pro wrestling. YouTube. 13 Apr 2016.
Weber, Max. 2016. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 3 Apr 2016.
USA Today. 13 Jan 2016. Trump tells tale of ‘the snake’ to warn on immigration. 23 Apr 2016.