By Abby Tait
Donald Trump reminds me of that kid in middle school who was obnoxious and really offensive, but you never complained when he was in any of your classes because you knew you’d be entertained all year.
You’d probably turn bright red any time he opened his mouth, because what was about to come out of it was always a mystery. He was the kid who would hold the door open for an elderly woman, so everyone would see what a “gentleman” he was. Yet, when he realized how feeble and slow granny was, he’d yell at her to “hurry up.”
While he was impolite and clamorous, part of you admired him. He always said what he felt and seemed indifferent to the consequences.
Now, let’s imagine 50 years later, that kid is grown. He’s not in the locker room with the rest of the team talking about girls on the cheer squad. This isn’t childish banter. This is (was) a campaign for the next president of the United States.
This has been one of the most unique presidential elections in years because of the candidates, and it was the first one I got to participate in. I got to follow each candidate through my senior year and into my freshman year of college.
The use of the media in this campaign has been unlike any other, specifically with Trump. Trump, on average, Tweets three to four times a day. Here a few Tweets that you can imagine the 13-year-old boy writing:
Anthony Weiner is a seven-time congressman from New York. He’s been described as one of the most demanding bosses and had one of the highest turnover rates in congress. In May 2011, he was accused of sending sexually explicit photographs to a woman who was following him on Twitter. He admitted to it and apologized for denying it many times before.
Since then, he has had two more scandals; one including a photograph that he sent of himself lying naked next to his son. He’s also been accused of “sexting” underage girls.
These accusations are quite alarming and disgusting. We could join the commentary about it on social media, on links that our friends share, Tweets, etc., but Trump beat us to it. He will always say what some of us don’t have the guts to say.
I think Trump says what a lot of people want to say. The belief that he doesn’t have a filter is pretty unanimous. Some respect him for saying what they can’t, while others loathe him for it.
Whether the media interacts with Trump positively or negatively, I think is irrelevant. If you support him, you’ll reTweet it. If you don’t, you’ll Tweet why you disagree. And offline, you’ll show your support with bumper stickers, signs, hats, etc. You’ll show refusal the same way – protests, stickers of your admired candidate.
But whether the media covers him in a negative or positive way, they’re still covering him. They’re still repeating his name. They’re causing people to constantly check his Twitter/other social media, waiting to see what he’ll say next.
It’s like the kid we imagined from middle school. He made us uncomfortable. He made us angry. We feared him. Some of us even respected him. Some followed him. Some stood up to him. But whether he was liked or hated isn’t what’s important, it’s where he went after that.
We remember him when we hear about a similar kid in our children’s class. We remember how much a jerk he was. We talk about him. We keep him relevant, and that’s what’s important.