You know I couldn’t possibly remain silent on an event as consuming and influential as this. The world is in complete and utter shock. Pollsters, pundits, and their predictions were wrong. The media was blind. People are now outraged. Many are heartbroken and crying. Others are turning against one another. But amongst the chaos remains a silent majority. And across the great divide exists is a foundational establishment called the Electoral College. And beyond all of this, remains a devastating truth that has completely flown under the radar and holds what I believe to be the answer to everyone’s questions: metadata, marketing strategy, and the American psyche. All this has led to one harsh reality and it is what the world has woken up to this morning: Donald Trump as the next US President.
Let’s just address three things:
- The “silent majority”
- The Electoral College
- The Apprentice
The “silent majority”
The media has been ranting on and on about the working-class white folks in middle America and continually paints a picture that leads the general population to view them all as racist, hateful misogynists. And now, they assume these are the ones to blame for a Trump victory — the crazed, uneducated white people who are bitter and extreme traditionalists. They assume all these things because that’s what they keep seeing in the news and social media. And maybe they’re right. Maybe they’re all the same. Or maybe it has simply stirred up some of the ultimate extremists to feel like they can lash out with their views and feel justified because there’s a presidential candidate who appears to share similar views and speaks with no filter.
But what if they’re not? What if the media is still lying to you? I personally know for a fact that not everyone in the silent majority fits this criteria that continues to be spread. How do I know? Because I am close to several of those who are a part of the silent majority. And they are neither uneducated, white, racist, hateful or misogynistic. They are all sharp-minded college graduates with degrees, some even holding masters degrees, all living in urban areas, and a few with very radical beliefs. I know why they voted the way they did because I disagreed with them. But guess what — we don’t hate each other.
They were simply tired of being lied to. They hated what America was becoming. They were disgusted by the showmanship, the media spins, and the political hype and cover ups of corruption. And most of all, they wanted someone who would put an end to the increasing national debt ($983 billion of which President Obama accrued during his legacy) and the only way they could see this happening was by voting for a completely detached, unapologetic businessman with zero political experience and putting him into the most powerful position in the country.
Who they are and why they voted the way they did was never a mystery to me because I knew them personally. But did the media? Did journalists ever make time to get to know them personally or did they want to view them one way, shame them, and present them to the world their own way, convincing themselves and the rest of us to write them off?
It seems to me that if the media had actually taken time to understand the “why” and the heart of these individuals, they could have avoided the shock and embarrassment. Instead, they’re posting articles like “How Did We Get This Wrong?” and sharing videos on how journalists failed to predict Trump’s victory. Hopefully this is a lesson to the media to stop being so damn biased, stop inhaling your own exhaust, and start digging deeper for the stories that aren’t popular. Next…
The Electoral College
I’d put good money on the fact that a vast majority of Americans have no idea how our voting system works. And after seeing people’s reactions from the election results, I started to wonder just how many Americans are actually unaware of a thing called the Electoral College. It’s not like it’s new. It hasn’t changed for years. The media can focus on whatever it wants you to focus on, but believe me when I say the ones responsible for putting Trump into office are not who you think.
Dear America, in case you weren’t paying attention in school, watch this. For those of you who aren’t American, here’s a quick explanation:
Basically, it might be more beneficial and honest if Electorates were put back on the ballot and not required to be affiliated with a party. Instead, what we have now are a bunch of angry citizens upset over their fellow citizens whose state turned a colour (blue or red) that wasn’t aligned with their views and they want to place blame on each other when in reality, the popular vote rarely has a direct impact on the outcome of the presidential election. Devastated yet?
What does the show The Apprentice have to do with Donald Trump’s victory? From a marketing standpoint, everything. I’ve been working in marketing for over eight years now and I can tell you, it has everything to do with statistics, data analysis, and tapping in to people’s emotions. Trump ran a successful primetime television show for 14 seasons. Fourteen seasons — that alone would have provided more than enough metadata and business insight on how to influence, manipulate, and shift the American psyche according to his every whim.
And Trump knows how to captivate and control. Even Mark Burnett, creator of The Apprentice said of Trump: “Choosing Donald Trump as the ‘master’ proved to be one of my best-ever casting decisions. He is an incredible businessman, a captivating television personality and he has become a dear friend.” Burnett was good at building fantasies through reality television, and whether Americans want to admit it or not, fantasies are what resonate with us and our American psyche because deep down, don’t we all share the American dream?
Ira Madison III points out so accurately in his article, “America loves televised villains. We love to see them rise and fall and dust themselves off and try again.” No doubt Trump used this knowledge to his advantage. And the viewership statistics he would have collected over the years, season after season, would have been gold; gold that unfortunately Hillary lacked. If only she hadn’t been so busy serving the needs of families and children in America and abroad or dealing with the FBI over her scandalous secret emails, she too could have had a reality television show.
I was discussing this with a close colleague of mine who runs his own successful real estate business in the US and he added, “[Trump] had so much metadata that he took a calculated gamble to say anything to incite conversation about him and it worked. He did the opposite of the Obama strategy and it worked.”
Yes, Trump’s rhetoric was deplorable, but it worked and frankly I think Americans deserve to be angry and upset because they got played by the media for its total underestimation of Trump’s powerful persuasion. But instead, they’re upset and in tears, rioting and protesting because the election results didn’t pan out the way they thought and they fear America is full of hateful individuals who want to build walls and send people off in boats back to their home countries. And yet, no one is asking the hard question, “Why did you really believe it would be a landslide victory for Hillary?”
It’s difficult because people have been so deeply brainwashed that America is inherently good, great, the best. And with this decision to elect one hell of an unpredictable man as the leader of the most powerful country in the free world, perhaps Americans are feeling sorry for themselves, a bit shameful, maybe even embarrassed. Yet, what they don’t realise is that it’s too late. Sure, the world is surprised but no one thinks Americans are any more crazy, entertaining, or stupid than before. They already saw us that way. And as my colleague puts it, “[America] is the world’s entertainment for better or for worse. Trump realised it and made what I believe to be a brilliant political move. I think what he has said to get into office and what we will actually see while in office will be a much milder/reasonable person.”
For the sake of America and the rest of the free world, I hope my friend is right. At the end of the day, the people or should I say the Electoral College, voted for a businessman. The citizens of America are now having to deal with the backlash of the rhetoric, the results, and the constant media spin. It’s a toxic bubble.
Living in Australia has really opened my eyes to this reality — that the world doesn’t necessarily look to America as a beacon of light; they look because they are fascinated, in awe, and oftentimes in wonder but for all the wrong reasons; and mostly, they shake their heads and laugh. But they love us. They love watching the American experiment unfold. And while a part of me despises it and wants to reject it, I am still so damn proud to have been born and brought up in it; grateful to God for bringing my parents to the US and giving us better opportunities to live and prosper. Who knows, maybe I’m a little brainwashed and crazy too.
But I also left the bubble behind. I only trust and pray it never pops.
God bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her,
Through the night
With the light from above.