Since so much of Donald Trump’s reality is mediated through television, perhaps it’s best to view the trajectory of his candidacy as if it were a reality show that hit it big in the beginning but then saw its audience diminish over the years, buoyed at the end only by the most ardent of fans who faithfully watched.
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.
Perhaps the biggest story coming out of campaign 2016 is not the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, but the fact that the media and political establishment never saw it coming. And the fact that they never saw it coming perfectly explains the rise of Sanders and Trump. Continue reading Sanders and Trump: How the Political and Media Establishment Got 2016 So Wrong