We watched the results pour in last night, as Donald Trump won decisive victories in all five of yesterday’s primary contests. He finally and consistently broke the 50% barrier, no small feat. We then watched his victory speech, broadcast well into the Trump campaign’s clearly momentous evening.
Most noticeable, from our perspective, was Mr. Trump’s focus on the competitive, me-versus-them aspect of the race. He consistently begins his speeches, be they victory speeches or stump speeches, by insulting his opponents, often in very personal terms; before moving on to highlight, ad nauseam, how high his winning percentages are, how many delegates he just racked up, and how lame his competitors are by comparison.
It reminds one of a scene from the movie Quiz Show (quite an excellent film, directed by Robert Redford), wherein a 1950’s TV executive tells one of his game show contestants that the reason people tune in to watch such shows is because, and I’m paraphrasing … They like to watch the money.
Watching Donald Trump is like watching the money. In fact, this entire primary season, for both Republicans and Democrats, has unfolded pretty much like a game show. And our liberal media (a.k.a. ‘mainstream’ media) hounds serve to heighten the game show mentality, focusing on the horse race, the amounts of money raised and spent, and who said what to insult someone else. What suffers is the quality of our national dialogue, as we lose focus on issues, policies and the integrity, or lack thereof, in our candidates.
There is, of course, another aspect of Mr. Trump’s appeal, one of equal if not greater significance. More on that soon.