New Politics

By Charlie Hess

So, in case you haven’t noticed, it looks like Donald Trump is going to be the Republican Election nominee.

If you had said that last year, people would have laughed.

The simple truth is that politicians have never engaged audiences in the way Trump has. This isn’t a normal Election, it’s become a reality TV show, and he is the star attraction.

He is a headlines machine, and the media love it. They don’t care that it’s not usually about policy because regardless of what he says, it sells.

The numbers speak for themselves, according to mediaQuant, a firm that tracks media spending, Trump has only spent $10 million on television ads but he has benefited from an estimated $1.9 billion in free media coverage. Compare this to Democratic frontrunner, Hilary Clinton who has paid $27.9 million in TV ads and benefited $764 million in free coverage.

Let’s stop and think for a second, in all the Trump coverage we’ve seen, can you remember a time he has discussed policy in a professional manner?

One memorable clip was the debate between Trump and Marco Rubio, where they viciously attacked each other’s physical traits. Whilst incredibly entertaining, this was more high school rumble than a discussion between potential world leaders, yet it made headlines across the globe.

Some of his quotes are simply outrageous, he has been accused of being a sexist, a racist and a liar by plenty, yet he and his followers just don’t seem to care.

Regardless of what is being reported, he is driving record turn out in the Republican presidential primaries, some states up by an incredible 250% compared to 2008. And he is winning.

If he becomes the Republican candidate, then strap yourselves in for the second season of this reality program because who knows what could come next?

What do you think, is politics becoming entertainment? If Trump becomes the Republican candidate, will he see even more engagement from American voters?

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