The 2016 presidential race has already been highly publicized and will continue to be the subject of public interest for the months leading up to November.
In previous months, GOP candidate Donald Trump has gained daily media attention and successful rankings in voting polls with his outspoken, often insensitive, remarks during rallies and debates. He is currently predicted by CNN politics to win the Republican nomination by 49%.
The success of Trump in political polls seems to beg the question if the race for commander-in-chief has instead become a race for entertainer-in-chief. Today’s political battleground is a place where those with the biggest presence, whether bought by outraging minority groups or an actual desire to improve the country, wins media attention, public favor and possibly even the White House.
In July 2015, in what appeared to be a stand against the Republican front runner, The Huffington Post announced it would cease covering Trump’s campaign as part of its political coverage, and instead cover it as part of its entertainment section alongside the likes of the Kardashians and reality show The Bachelorette.
“Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait,” the site’s announcement read.
But isn’t Trump exactly who we want in a political race? He’s interesting enough to keep us guessing, but also knows enough about what Americans desire, at least at a basic level, to start racking up support. He wants to “make America great again” and who could disagree with that slogan? He’s the perfect subject for news and entertainment coverage- a shock-value loose cannon campaigning to be the most powerful person in the free world.
However, Trump does not deserve the attention that is especially reserved for those running for the White House. His harmful remarks and stirring of the pot to issues in which he has no understanding is contributing to a herd-like mentality that increases with every debate, rally and news story (yes, we are aware of the irony). However, just like a car crash, we, and the rest of America, can’t seem to peel our eyes away from the Trump campaign trail.
The race for the White House is a cross between a popularity contest and a speaking competition. Candidates have to earn the favor of the public while also saying and doing the right things, but depending on who you ask Trump is either doing none or all of those things. It is here in the week of the Iowa caucuses, the kick-off to primary election season, that we ask you to please not forget that this is a country by the people and for the people -the many, many different types of people.