Donald Trump is Going to Be Elected in 2024 — and here is why.
In August, 2016, I wrote an article for The Huffington Post entitled Donald Trump Is Going To Be Elected.
As soon as I saw Trump, I knew he was going to be elected because I looked at the election not from a journalistic point of view, but rather as a TV producer. Trump was (and is) great TV. He was, after all, trained by Mark Burnett of Survivor and The Apprentice fame. And in America, that is all it takes to get elected — be great TV. Political platforms, policies, scandals and even two impeachments mean nothing, so long as the candidate is entertaining. And Trump is nothing if not entertaining.
This is because we no longer live in America.
Today, we all in live in a place I call The Mediaverse.
Mark Zuckerberg may have spent $211 billion trying to build The Metaverse; a world of avatars. He has been wasting his time and money. We already live in a fake and constructed world, made up of movies and TV shows and TikTok and Instagram and all the rest of our endlessly entertaining universe.
In your grandparents’ day, they might have gone to the movies once a month, and there for an hour or so, were transported from their everyday worries to a magical, invented world on the big screen. Today, we spend almost all out time living in a movie theater — mostly small screens we carry around with us. We never leave.
The AC Nielsen company says that the average American spends 8 hours a day watching TV or movies or videos — and between Netflix, Facebook and TikTok, that’s probably true. We live in a world in which our sense of what is real is informed by entertainment and fantasy.
The essence of any great movie or Netflix series (or novel for that matter), is what Joseph Campbell called The Journey of the Hero. Read his seminal book. The Hero With A Thousand Faces. He explains it all. We are a species driven by storytelling. We love a great story — and every great story in human history, from Moses to Jesus to Luke Skywalker, pretty much follows the same plot and story line — a reluctant figure is given a mission to save the world (or his people or whomever). He (it is almost always men), does not want to do it, but ultimately rises to the challenge. (See Star Wars, the Bible, Walter White, you name it).
The hero sets out on a mission, encounters terrible obstacles, faces an evil enemy (see The Wizard of Oz or Spiderman), but in the end, faces a final challenge but wins.
Because we are a society awash in media, and because storytelling is the lingua franca of our media-driven world (see every series you have ever binge-watched on Netflix, every Marvel movie) we naturally, and almost instinctively resonate to the Journey of the Hero. It’s in our DNA.
Now, let us look at Donald Trump. For better or worse (I have my own strong opinions here), Trump pretty much ticks all the boxes on The Journey of the Hero.
He did not need to run for President. He did it reluctantly. (All this through the eyes of his millions of supporters). He was a billionaire. As his friend Howard Stern said, “what do you need this for? You’ve got a great life.). But he ran anyway. (Think of him as Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne).
Against all odds, he won the election. (I think even he was surprised). Think of him as Luke Skywalker. But even as President, he faced enemies (most of them self-created), at every juncture. Then, he is “cheated” out of his rightful second election. (All opinions here taken directly from TikTok). His chance to “save America” is snatched from him by “evil, nefarious forces”. But now, in a classic Campbellian Return of the Hero arc of story, he comes back for The Final Battle.
And, against all odds, wins. Think of Moses facing the Pharoah. Think Death Star.
This is the arc of story. Amtrak Joe cannot hold a candle to this, and neither can anyone else. This has nothing to do with Trump, ironically. It has nothing to do with his policies (does he even have any? Doesn’t make any difference). This has everything to do with a society that is addicted to the media and to movies and to storytelling.
Watching the upcoming 2024 election, once again, from the perspective of a TV producer, and not from a political or even social point of view, the ending seems pretty inevitable, even now.
After all, when you watch a Bond movie, you know that in the end, Bond is going to get the bad guy. You know the ending but still you watch because it is exciting.
The 2024 election will be exciting. TV ratings will go through the ceiling. The networks will give Trump a billion dollars of air time because he is a ratings machine and they know a good movie when they see one.
But the ending has already been written.
Sorry to say.
If you found this interesting, you might like my new book, Life in the Mediaverse — How Truth Was Destroyed and How We Can Get it Back