Trump may have fired up the crowd in Cleveland, and even those who watched the speech on TV, but such enthusiasm is ephemeral; it won’t last. Trump will get his post-convention “bounce.” Then Hillary will get hers. And then the campaign will settle down to kabuki theatre debates and a war of attrition between negative political ads.
Among the leading contenders for Donald Trump’s general election running mate is former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Ironically, an Outsider Trump-Gingrich ticket would possible in large part because of a political revolution led by Insider Gingrich.
“I figured the best way to generate interest in my CRAP project was to show the network brass that it wasn’t far-fetched; that with the right celebrity under the right circumstances, anyone who is universally known, respected and willing to say absolutely anything could generate enough support to be elected President of the United States.”
Many people vote to send a message of rage and to shake things up, but I suspect just as many vote to maximize the fun of watching all that tumultuousness play out in the media. I include myself; I feel that undertow.
We’re not just voting for a candidate, we’re voting for an experience — the rush of crisis, the thrill of combat, the high of “breaking news,” the squirt of dopamine when something crazy could happen next. The electorate has become the audience, and the audience has become addicted to entertainment.
The moment I have in mind is October 24, 1922 in Naples, Italy. Addressing a mass rally of his Fascist followers, Benito Mussolini declared, “Either the government will be given to us, or we will seize it by marching on Rome.” It was enough. The prospect of blackshirted mobs rampaging through his capital frightened the King of Italy into appointing Mussolini prime minister. From there, it was a short step to his becoming Il Duce (The Leader)—a dictator with absolute power.
Although some have compared Donald Trump to Hitler, he more nearly resembles Mussolini.