Social movements are as American as the Constitution which grants its existence. Sometimes, social movements are ultra-popular; and other times, they’re uber-polarizing; but nonetheless, they’re the right of all Americans to undertake, and when such an undertaking of a Constitutional right occurs, even when the impact of the political pursuit leaves many observers feeling vulnerable, democracy is working as planned.
Democracy doesn’t aim to lean toward a good or bad feeling, rather it merely exists, and, in its purest form, it’s indiscriminate in who it favors. Democracy is a process, and those citizens who are willing to participate and invest in it, and make a sacrifice of themselves to inspire others to do the same at a greater rate than their opposers, will likely receive what they want from it.
A recent chief benefactor of democracy is, of course, Mr. Donald J. Trump, an ostentatious businessman and television personality who, in his quest to be elected President of the United States, which was successful to dismay of millions, defied odds and norms set before him, while drumming up, via the launch of a social movement to “Make America Great Again,” a cult-like following and, with it, nods for separatism.
Truly, it’s hard to quantify the degree to which Mr. Trump’s campaign, and the things he said during it, was seen as controversial and abnormal; nonetheless, the real-estate mogul indulged earnestly in democracy; and, though he lost the popular vote by more than 2 million, he won the Electoral College, and he will be inaugurated in January as the 45th President of the United States of America – that’s the process.
We got where we are, in part, because Mr. Trump for over a year garnered earned media that wasn’t as earned as much as it was relinquished. Indeed, journalists seemed powerless against the media-savvy provocateur that understood and utilized ‘The Big Lie.’ Interestingly enough, ‘The Big Lie,’ a theory that if a falsehood is reverberated ad nasueum people will come to accept it as right, was coined by Mr. Adolf Hitler, who in 1938 was named TIME Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year,’ a title this year awarded to Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump, who seemed to relish in the crowning, finds himself in good company; Mr. Joseph Stalin, the former General Secretary of the Central Committee Communist Party of the Soviet Union, was awarded the title twice: in 1939 and 1942. By TIME’s own admission, the ‘Person of the Year’ isn’t always a hero, but it is always, according to a former TIME Managing Editor, “the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse.”
The news media in 2016 was Mr. Trump’s to lose; no matter how frequently he maligned them, the coverage never faltered – though it did become more hostile – and he continued to own the news cycle. Mr. Trump was everywhere, and everywhere was likely talking about Mr. Trump. To deny his ubiquity in the news, and his impact on global political discourse, would be to reconfigure our reality into a big lie.
Opposition, in the forms of protests, scathing Op-Eds and mockery, to Mr. Trump’s candidacy was overt and often. His name alone became a burden of sorts. His ability to elicit strong emotions is worthy of marvel: very few people are indifferent to him; you either really love him or really hate him.
Mr. Trump was, and still is, the biggest news story of 2016. He cast a huge shadow over everyone, especially those who were contenders for his title, including Mrs. Hillary Clinton. Whether we like or not, 2016 was the year of Trump.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
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