By George Cook
Ever since the unlikely election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America, it has been an unpredictable and unprecedented presidency with few envisaging the events that have subsequently unfolded. Adopting an extremely unorthodox and unconventional style, Trump seems to be revelling in his role as Twitter Provocateur in Chief, a role that he said he enjoys from the comfort of his own bed. And the media continue to show their dismay at his Presidency from the aloof Ivory Tower in which they are situated, continuing to distance and even alienate themselves from the America people.
Mocking a politician is not unusual and it can be healthy for democracy, but in moderation. However what has developed now is a situation whereby his policies are inferior to the way he is mocked, and it is his policies that what need to be debated and debunked even more. Outrage ensues at the slightest Tweet or misdemeanour, and after a year of being in office, you’d have thought people would have become more accustomed to his late-night Twitter binges.
It’s an unusual way of governing, and Trump is also an unusual character and that is why he has faced so much mocking and jokes at his expense in the media. Such treatment is far greater than any other politician receives, and whilst I am all for making fun of politicians, we risk avoiding any significant critique of Trump’s policies for the sake of a cheap laugh and a boost in TV ratings.
Whilst these are evidently humorous, we are deflecting from the real danger of Trump’s policies and the damage they can cause. Whether it be tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the poor or his ban on Muslims entering the US, Trump has always pursued policies that are divisive. They cause a chasm across many aspects of society, in the economy, in human rights and in our cultural identity. For the country that is commonly referred to as a ‘melting pot’, Trump risks diluting all the cultural diversity that had been achieved in the Obama years, and will be dividing America into a country of not one pot, but of many that are often full of hatred for the others.
Trump is also a man who adores the attention, and is always in a desperate search for next spotlight. From the man who bought us Piers Morgan on the Celebrity Apprentice, the constant mocking of his Presidency means we are continuing to treat Trump as though he is still some sort of celebrity, instead of treating him as what he unfortunately is: the most powerful man in the world.
As such, the jibes and jokes in the established media are only playing into the hands of Trump as his supporters give more credence to his rhetoric. We need to move away from the mocking of Trump, as it is clearly something that is failing to resonate with many ordinary Americans. With no clear alternatives emerging to Trump, there needs to be far more scrutiny of the ideals for which he advocates and the policies he wishes to implement. And it is to that future we must now turn to.