Donald Trump: The Power of The Spectacle in Political Setting

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In the twentieth century, Guy Debord expressed alarming concerns with his text, the mass-media social manipulation and the spectacle’s influences over society. Starting in Debord era, the spectacle was a capitalist-driven trend used to exercise total economic control over society though mass media to influence their life-perceptions of consumption. In post-modern societies, the spectacle has gained wider power control and now it overtly controls even our political settings. In 2016, President Donald Trump as the republican candidate used the spectacle to spread hate and dissension among groups of society. In his campaign speeches, he uttered several racial remarks against the Latino community. His racist rhetoric, voiced stereotypes such as labeling Latinos as rapist and criminals. Applying Debord’s ideology of the Spectacle, today’s American culture is influenced by President Trump’s rhetoric of hate speech, shifting their discriminatory agenda into the political settings, as well implementing mass media’s manipulation through propaganda.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best” (Montgomerie 10) was part of one of the many Donald Trump speeches that was seen on National television, around the whole world, and was largely criticized. This selfish speech used to gain popularity, caused a national racism rampage around the whole country, minority groups were distinguished as inferior. “Adam Smith. The father of modern economics wasn’t an uncritical defender of free enterprise. He knew that markets could lead to extraordinary selfishness.” (Montgomerie 14)

In a society where the spectacle dominates the modern economics, the spectacle unconsciously leads to the wrong view of other minorities groups ‘in the name of capital’. In a capitalistic society anything must be used to gain the economic control of society, disregarding that perhaps that whatever is good for wall-street, even it perhaps it does not fulfill the necessities of society. The spectacle is able to portray members of society as representation, that belong to radically distinct social systems, this is daily marketing causing stereotypes (Debord 56).

In United States, society is largely driven by the spectacle that constantly transmits its evil judgements through mass media and social media. Specifically, today’s society bases their political belief on newspaper and network television coverage. Murray Edelman viewed the spectacle as a new socially constructed nature of the postmodern society that founded its beliefs based on information from mass-media. Murray calls it the political spectacles, in which the media employs intensive symbolic images in our television programming to control our thoughts unconsciously (Cherylon, 279). On a daily basis, political powerful elites use advertisements that displays prejudices that often degrades minority groups. The media does a great job in categorizing individuals into groups which perpetuates stereotypes.

Society both consciously or subconsciously excepts this media portrayal of minorities. Or they mis labels of minority groups as a displaced political correctness. For example, in Europe with their immigration crisis of Middle Eastern people coming into the EU countries, much of the EU media in the name of pollical correctness is calling them Asian if they committed a crime or terrorist attack. Many Asians from far east cultures are very offended by this deliberate mislabeling. Here in America black people in the media are portrayed with rather rude attitudes and dialogs slang language, rather than well-mannered and articulate. Societies often base their perceptions of various subcultures on stereotypes they see in the media.

President Donald Trump is a master of utilizing stereotypes to his advantage. A key political statagy he has deployed to gain votes and popularity. “The ideology of Trump (Trumpology) has played an important role not just in his business and brand strategies, but also in his political rise” (Fuchs, 48). It is concerning that someone would denigrate other individuals that belong to minority groups that do not have enough political power to defend themselves from false remarks. For example, in order to gain financial support to build his desire wall, which is one of promises he made to the American people in his 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump disproportionally expresses that as a major social problem.

But there is a battle between the democratic ideology that wishes an immigration amnesty to help protect certain immigrants from deportation. But he constantly claims that our border security must be address first before anything else (Montgomerie 15). President Donald Trump has make his stand clear when he mentioned that if the border is not secure by building a wall between Mexico and United States. He will not allow no immigration amnesty until the border is secure. By Trump making those remarks in national television the media provides popularity to him. Debord referred the spectacle, as the relationship trump and the spectacle use to control our society in order to gain political control over other candidates (Debord 4).

The spectacle of Trump provides a perfect platform for his political means, that has successfully promoted distention and alienation among minority groups in order to pressure congress a budget to build a wall or force Mexico to paid for it instead. Ironically, President Donald Trump’ political tactics works in our society is because stereotyping has been a predominant part of society in American culture. It is a powerful tool implemented for many other candidates to ensure social control and power. Just like Guy Debord wrote in his text. Media not just distorts society’s perceptions with regards other smaller groups, it translates those perceptions into the material realm (Debord 5). The spectacle of Trump indeed had secured him the presidential seat, without the spectacle Donald Trump would not have succeeded.

Distention and alienation is base on a false presentation of other groups that is done to exercise domination over the economy. Mainstream media became the platform of the spectacle of Trump that constantly sells populist spectacles to attract audiences. But Donald Trump does not realize of the negative mental impacts of his statements. He does not understand that his remarks are totally wrong and unfair to minority groups. He does not realize that his remarks cause alienation dissenting and promotes racial hate (Wallace, Naomi 2).

Today, due the president’s remarks Latinos are view as criminal and rapists, which causes society to hate the Latino community. Society should understand that they are under the effect of the spectacle of Trump, none of his remarks are based on facts. Sometimes all you got to do is turn off the tv and think for yourself are those facts true or not. In addition, Donald Trump should understand that we are all unique and none of us should not be judged collectively by comparing us with common traits of our group or culture. Debord recognized that the reigning economic system was founded on isolation and dissention of groups (Debord 28).

If Debord was alive today, he would be shock and surprise about the strength of the spectacle and how much of control it exercises in our daily life. Debord’s text seems to be a better prediction of our actual reality than the situation he was living in his era. The spectacle has dominated our political setting in the name of capitals. Today, the government is own by the most power elites of todays generation. Only people with a lot of money will paid for overprice advertisements. The mainstream media will only sensationalize very controversial remarks about influential member of society in this case Donald Trump.

The impact of the intense symbolic message covered by social media are huge and problematic. Ever since Donald Trump become president there are lots of race base attacks against minorities. The society does not longer see this type of behavior as deviant. The spectacle indeed created a race-based platform for racism, hate and dissention. Debord’s text warns us about the manner the spectacle controls our society in many aspects of our life. Debord’s spectacle is alive today, it generates incorrect beliefs, meaningless race-wars and creates crisis among members of society; the spectacle uses mass media and our political setting to gain social control over society.

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Donald Trump: The Power of The Spectacle in Political Setting. (2021, Jul 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/donald-trump-the-power-of-the-spectacle-in-political-setting/

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