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May 1, 2017 | by  | in Opinion |
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Politician or Performer?

US President Donald Trump is known for his chitchat, rants, and cheap catchphrases; normally presidents discuss real issues and policies. There are a lot of problems in the US that need sorting out. But action may be hard for the kind of president who owns a golden toilet. Trump would rather spread conspiracy theories about the media and threaten Muslim and Mexican immigrants than try to begin to help the US.  

I’ve comprised a list of five alarming ways I think the new US president and former reality TV star defies common sense.  

If you don’t already know, news is fake.

At least this is what Trump has repeatedly claimed. By using the word “fake” he creates a dichotomy with “real”. He implies he is a trustworthy source who is more reliable than news. News outlets, not like Fox News or MSN, more like the New York Times, will check facts according to regulatory rules. On Twitter, Trump is free to express himself without checking facts. I think the way he uses media is actually more deceptive than the supposed fake media he criticises. For example, Trump recently claimed: “The fake news is the enemy of the people.” This is disturbing when in actual fact “the fake news,” news outlets like CNN, work to inform the American public. Mainstream news outlets draw from official sources and conform to regulations to ensure the public knows what’s really going on in society, economics, and politics.  

Trump tweeted: “The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred. @MSNBC & @CNN are unwatchable. @foxandfriends is great!”

Both MSNBC and CNN extensively research stories and will draw from a number of sources, including government officials. They do not spread conspiracy theories. Trump, however, once discussed the theory of whether Obama’s presidency was a “scam” in an interview, questioning whether Obama was born in the US without any evidence. This is a conspiracy theory in the true sense of the word conspiracy. When Trump claims the “fake news” spread conspiracy theories and blind hatred he is actually doing just that. The only news outlet Trump does like, Fox & Friends, rarely officially source their stories. Fox News is basically propaganda, which is exactly why Trump is a fan. The new US president is a populist right-wing dictator who believes his voice is the best voice.

“I’m not racist.”

During Trump’s inauguration speech he used the cliché, “White, Brown, Black — we all bleed the same red blood of patriotism.” Yet he is still trying to build a wall to prevent illegal Mexican immigrants from entering the US. So Trump simply claiming “I’m not racist” is not legitimate. Actions legitimate words. And many of Trump’s actions, such as the recent immigration ban for one, undermine his claims about equality. The man is anything but impartial to different ethnic or racial groups.  

Trump University fraud scandal.

In 2004 Trump established his own for-profit university. The problem was that the privately owned and operated company of the Trump Organisation was unaccredited. In other words, the education standards were not acceptable. You could not get a recognised degree from Trump University. During his inauguration speech, Trump claimed, “[We have] an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge.” In other words, the man does not value the current education system since he believes it deprives students of knowledge. Perhaps he tried to establish his own university as a way of improving the current education system… In any case, he didn’t appreciate the rules and regulations that legitimise universities, and Trump University has ended up with two class action lawsuits in federal court.  

Does Trump care more about business than people?

During his inauguration speech, Trump claimed that Americans would rise up under his administration. He mentions factories being closed, rusted out. This sets a traditional, industrial, and patriotic tone. He says, “We will get off of welfare and back to work — rebuilding our country with American hands and American labour.” But labour work is something that is usually done by the working class. It’s tough, tedious, and physically demanding work that pays minimal. When Trump claims people will rise up, as if to suggest he wants to create a redistribution of wealth, I think he wants more working class citizens. This is why I believe Trump cares more about money than people. He’s more concerned with mass business strategies to keep CEOs wealthy while their workers remain plenty and poor. I think he plans to clean up unemployment by creating more working class employment opportunities, which does not begin to clean up the enormous issue of uneven wealth distribution.

Is Trump a politician or performer?

It’s clear Trump cares very deeply about his image in the media. He cares about his representation to the point where he’ll use valuable presidential time to tweet or rant at a press conference about the supposed misrepresentation of his image. Sure, I can understand the annoyance of feeling like you are misrepresented to millions of people. But Trump never goes into any detail about how the media misrepresent him. If he’s being labeled as a racist he might say, “I’m not racist.” But his actions on immigration and the wall suggest otherwise. He can’t explain how he isn’t racist, because he is, so he merely attacks his general misrepresentation. He blames “the media” for his own problems on his Twitter feed. This is not the typical behaviour of a US president and Trump represents a new form of politics. He’s a populist. His image is the most important component of his presidency. Trump has yet to have a serious conversation with the media about policy because the man cannot take a hint of criticism — to him, there is never anything he does wrong. So, the question is, is Trump a politician or a performer? Should performers be politicians?

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