2016 Presidential Campaign 2.0

R. Theodora Appleton

Twitter: @Theapples_816

When Trump came into this race many people did not believe he’d actually stick it out.

They figured it was for publicity and he would disappear a few months later…but that isn’t the case. He’s still here and is actually developing an impressive group of supporters.

This reminds me of the 1980 election when Ronald Reagan decided to run for president because both Reagan and Trump aren’t the typical politician. Both men brought something different to the table.

The non-political “ness” initially made me feel that Trump would make an honest and charismatic candidate in a corrupt political world. Unfortunately, honesty and charisma don’t go hand in hand with the candidate having acceptable ideologies.

His business and entertainment resume has changed the 2016 race entirely.

The fact that Trump is a celebrity makes the media treat this entire race differently. During the debates, so much time is spent on pointing fingers; “he said this” and “she said that.” Covering their tracks and backing up reported statements is taking the place of expelling their financial, economical and health care plans.

Last week I discussed how the media coverage is more cumbersome than ever before because of smart phones and other news technologies. The candidates are all on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. This is just enhancing the celebrity persona.

Everyone knows the definition of celebrity: someone who is widely known. But now that there is a political platform on social media, there are “Internet celebrities” as well. There are self made Internet celebrities and stars that transfer fame to the Internet.

In the field of media studies, celebrity is another word for performative practice. This means that it’s his or her actions that keep the personality trending.

The political force is enormous on twitter and the candidate’s follower numbers prove that.

Donald Trump- 6 million followers.

Hillary Clinton- 5.3 million

Bernie-1.3 million

Marco Rubio- 1.1 million

Ted Cruz- 789.9 K

What scares me is that a lot of millienials get their news from Twitter and Facebook. They’re not reading the Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. What type of opinions are they going to obtain if reading tweets from politicians who are just trying to be in the headlines?

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On twitter these candidates display information about their campaigns like when and where events are happening. Then there are personal stabs like Donald Trump’s on February 2:

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If I want some comedy and drama I will go watch SNL or comedy central. I don’t want the candidates to continue to make the 2016 race a joke. I want them to show me how they will make the country better, because right now I’m scrambling to choose a commander in chief that will do the job correctly.

Actually…maybe I won’t be able to watch SNL without politicians….

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