Why we should be ignoring Donald Trump
The very fact I am writing this and you are reading it is hypocritical to the point that this article is trying to make. But then again, points have to be said so that something can be done about them. The very fact that you are reading this is proof that Trump’s name generates a huge amount of interest. Too much interest.
The issue is that he is so obviously the perfect story: he is the president of one of the most powerful and influential countries on the planet, he actively engages and makes decisions that affect controversial issues, he says totally ludicrous things, defends them and gets away with the lot. So often these are comments and actions that would have destroyed anybody else’s normal career, let alone a political career, but not his. Yet.
In 2016 (the year he was elected) he was the 3rd most searched topic on google and the 1st most searched person. Interestingly he dropped off Google's list in 2017, but look at any news sight from around the world and he will be somewhere. In the UK a piece about Trump seems to be published almost daily. Just type ‘Donald Trump News UK’ into google and look at the dates of the articles. Many are published only hours apart, let alone days.
He is egocentric. The name ‘Trump’ being in almost every news organisations’ publications or on every social media sight, in almost every country, is the perfect fuel for such a man. He has continuous publicity, as news organisations everywhere pick up on tweets from his continuous stream and set about scrutinising them as if they are policy statements that need to be looked into by the best political minds there are. The truth is that many of Trump’s comments don’t need analysis. They are literally just comments. However, the analysis makes fantastic content that can gather high click rates.
A part of the reason for this wide ranging interest in him is his connection to the anti-establishment shift we have seen across the western world. As this is a subject that is so relevant currently, it naturally makes his politics a regular day to day topic of conversation, particularly as what he says and does repeatedly challenge the norms of current society. Of course, news and media organisations want to capitalise on this. If people want to read it, then they will print it. The whole thing forms a sort of self-perpetuating loop. The public are interested in him and so media outlets continue to report on his every move. This keeps the public informed and thus interested, making them want to read more.
Perhaps it is time to simply ignore Trump. Let him do his thing and let the American people work out what should be done. Ultimately, do we really need to keep informed about the internal politics of America? If we didn’t know about everything he does day in and day out, would we care? Would we miss it? Would it make any difference to us? He seems to have become a staple of our news, like a sitcom might be part of our regular watch list. But if we were to find a new sitcom to watch, we would soon lose interest in the original. It is wrong to say that American politics should not be covered in our news, but imagine if the Prime Minister of New Zealand -Jacinda Ardern, or the President of South Africa -Jacob Zuma, was getting the same levels of coverage as Trump. Would we not find that a little strange? Admittedly he has the bestowed title as the 'Leader of the Free world', but it's a title that he feeds off and arguably abuses. We don’t need to know about his golfing holidays, about his most recent tweet, or his most recent staff appointment. Why are we so obsessed with American politics? I fancy the problem is that humans like gossip, and Trump provides a lot.
If he was to lose the excess of coverage, he would lose a lot of his impact. The international obsessive interest in him would decrease and if he loses that, then he’s less able to affect our daily lives and we can concentrate on other things in life. After all there is so much else we could be thinking about: the gender pay gap, the environment, the housing crisis, the NHS, the development of our local community, the maintaining of our own relationships and friendships to name a very small few. Perhaps we need to ask out media outlets to reduce their coverage of him and increase their coverage of a more diverse range of countries. Let’s find out what is happening in Brazil, Austria, Uruguay or in the Philippines. Individually, let’s not treat him as a celebrity to gossip about, as for him, like the saying goes ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’.
It is a busy world for each of us and there is a lot of other things out there to be interested in. Trump does not have the right to claim the 'time of day' most of us give him.