Donald Trump’s Approach To the Presidency As Performance Art
Donald Trump is the perfect president for the reality TV age, as this fascinating episode of Fault Lines illustrates, looking into the president’s unique approach to the office as a performance.
The documentary starts with Trump reinventing himself as a reality television figure on The Apprentice, remaking his image into that of strength and authority. It was a carefully crafted narrative, based on the dubious tales of his success as a businessman, and aimed at building his personal brand. The show was the vehicle that he used to establish credibility with the “common man,” which he ultimately used to propel himself into the White House.
Trump thrived on the theatrics of reality television, bringing those techniques to his political campaign. Reality TV above all thrives on conflict, and Trump was masterful at exploiting this. His mockery of the political process brought record ratings to cable networks. “There is no right or wrong in reality TV, there is only interesting and uninteresting. And Trump is, above all things, interesting,” according to Michael Hershon of VH1 documentary films.
In the end it was Donald Trump’s performance that won out. Even if he didn’t win the popular vote, he managed to capture a section of America’s voters that believed the image he was projecting, whether or not it was real.
Check out the video yourself to see how Trump has brought the theater of television entertainment to the Oval Office, and is waging war on the press and basic institutions of democracy in the process.