The Social Media Campaign and its Generational Fears
By: Marcus Del Valle
With the uprise of social media news and the unfortunate shift of yellow journalism becoming “news,” forming a well-rounded opinion has become more difficult than ever.
President elect Donald Trump has been able to capture this shift of “news” worthiness and wield it to his advantage.
Gaining him a popularity that resembles the likes of reality television stars from the Bad Girls Club, Jersey Shore, or, you guessed it, The Apprentice!
Through his chameleon like escapades he has created an image that has allowed him to conduct himself like no other presidential contestant in history and still land the presidential seat!
Let’s remember, most presidential scandals have happened well into their time in office. This guy has them written on his back before ever walking through the door.
Donald Trump is an actor, both a failed and successful businessman, owner of real estate, a master of rhetoric, a fraud, a father, an information broker, a con artist, a stern yet confused speaker, oftentimes contradictory and an overall enigma.
These qualities belong to many politicians and therefore I will not focus on calling him any different. Here, I will only ask one simple question.
Who is he, really?
I have considered politics important since my days in a high school program by the name of Global Kids. Global Kids works to create passionate activists and community leaders out of their students and hope that they are ready to participate as leaders in the world as they emerge as adults.
After gaining the power to vote in 2008 I was elated with using the power I had learned that I possessed.
After all, not many people from the hood see the need to vote. Obama was a proud first vote for me.
Trump has made people who I have never had political conversations with, suddenly have an opinion on issues spanning international agreements, foreign trade deals, and immigration laws.
These people are appearing in droves and whether they like Trump or not is irrelevant. Either way, they are talking about him.
With the “news” coming out of these social media outlets everyone is seeing these things transpire. They may not have an opinion but it is in their face and they are following it.
The real question is however, are they thinking about it?
If they were, they would be as confused as I am.
Donald Trump uses Twitter as often as some of my middle school students use Snapchat and it is detrimental to himself but also an asset to his campaign.
He once wrote that “Politicians are all talk and no action.”
Two months later in an interview with The New York Times he called himself no different than any other politician running for office.
It was a contradiction that inspired laughter and then was ignored and even accepted.
He has flip flopped on whether he considers himself a Democrat or a Republican many times before and has even stated that he has been an activist for both parties. How?!
He has spent an entire campaign slandering his opponents rather than talking about himself and I’m starting to think that’s because he doesn’t really know who he is either.
The image of him is so unclear, people who are vouching to work under him don’t really know what he is thinking.
According to NBCnews.com, during the second presidential debate when asked a question about his stance with running mate Mike Pence on the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo and military action to stop Syrian siege Trump responded with, “He and I haven’t spoken and we disagree.”
If you analyze the way Donald answers questions, you will see that he is constantly restating the question and nodding along, avoiding ever divulging a direct stance or plan.
All the evidence shows that his stances don’t remain very firm and he often says things that rile people up rather than inform them.
Donald Trump turned politics into Pro Wrestling. I kind of liked wrestling, but it scares me that a person so involved with talking down about others, and being so unempathetic, will have the power that he will soon possess.
Any of the policies that he has reportedly come out with, he has discredited or contradicted himself through his rhetoric. He argued that he would make Mexico pay for the wall, and that he would deport any illegals with criminal records. He now boasts about his experience in construction allowing him to get the wall built with his own workers and that he does not need Mexico.
He berates China, constantly, but uses their goods for his business. Trump uses both Chinese steel to build his tower and Chinese cloth to make his hats.
During the second debate Donald Trump made threats to Hillary Clinton about having a special prosecutor investigate her case about the deleted emails.
He recanted that statement recently when asked saying, in light of him winning the election, “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons. I really don’t. She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways.”
The truth is that he probably doesn’t have a special prosecutor.
In that same debate, he answered questions about inclusivity for the Muslim community by shifting focus to radical Islamists.
He condescended political affiliates and news reporters and bashed individuals who asked him for clarification.
What about this so far sounds Presidential?
In my opinion, none of it. It all sounds like a Life and Times special of a washed-up businessman who fought paparazzi and is now writing a memoir to reclaim his image. Except that’s not what this is.
People have also said that Donald will be different because he is not a career politician. I agree.
Because Trump is an outsider to the politicians he might be a breath of fresh air in terms of policies.
But he is still a demagogue with zero empathy for many of the displaced people of our country.
In his own words the Presidency is not a move up from the world of a business owner to something new. It is in fact, merely, just “Big League” business and that scares me too.
I end this tirade with a story.
I now work for the Global Kids program I credit my political knowledge too and help facilitate three different programs Academic Support, Peacekeepers and The Comic Book Project.
In the Peace Keepers program, we discuss finding peace within oneself so that we may become active change agents against infringements of peace and harmony within our communities and against violations of Human Rights.
On Wednesday November 9th, 2016, my co-facilitators and I led a discussion on how the students feel about living in the upcoming Trump Era.
We take what we call “the temperature” of the room before we begin any of our workshops. Each student raises their hand to tells us their temperature.
If you are at a 1 then you are chillin’ and ready to have the conversation. If you are at a 10 then you are heated and having the conversation will be difficult. The average temperature of the room was a 9.5.
My students at P.S. 109 in Brooklyn were outraged. They were scared and far too upset to have a conversation about Donald Trump. They ranted hateful words to each other and gave praise to their peers for having jokes to say as well.
Some of them shared stories of how they were afraid that their immigrant families were going to lose their citizenship and be deported back to where they came from.
Others said that he just wouldn’t care about their lives, that Obama gave them hope and now they have nothing.
I was asked by one of my students if they would have to become slaves again when Trump became President.
My students did not want to listen, they wanted to yell. They wanted to release. The anxiety and weight of the situation scared them.
They had been following it all on social media as well.
In the end, we don’t know who Donald Trump is, or if he will be able to create a plan and stick to it or not, but I know for sure that the future of this nation seems a lot darker and even our children are feeling it.