In the midst of moving, getting settled into my new space, and working, I’ve been struck by how much media coverage Donald Trump is getting. There is no TV in the new space yet. So, the only TV coverage of the spectacle that is Donald Trump is [mercifully] limited to the 11:00 PM news and to the first half hour of TV programming at 7:00 AM. For weeks now, though, my Facebook feed is filled with Trump-related posts, both “for” and “against.” No one seems to post up about their being neutral. What’s happening with Trump represents today’s brand of politics.
I’m a personal brand strategist, so I’m not here to write about Trump’s positions [or lack thereof] on any issue.
I want to focus on today’s brand of politics as a brief overview of how branding and politics collide. It’s why Donald Trump, and others, is surging in the polls.
The electorate is apathetic. This is not necessarily anything new. But, the level of apathy is so high that Donald Trump is electrifying a formidable size of this electorate. The political left’s equivalently politically incorrect entertainer, Bill Maher, may only match Trump’s political incorrectness. Of course, Maher is not a candidate for president.
Trump is a candidate who is synonymous with entertainment. He has come to energize politics as a result of the electorate being indifferent and unenergetic for such a long time. It may be entertaining to watch him on stage, particularly to those who agree with his rhetoric. Interestingly enough, even those who find his demeanor and message distasteful may also find it entertaining to dislike him as much as they may.
Today’s brand of politics may be a wake up call for the electorate. As an entertainer on the big stage of politics, Donald Trump may be the warm-up act that comes out to rile up the crowd, and actually has a bigger act than the headliner. But, just like at a rock concert, the warm-up act always must leave the stage, and the headliner will take over.
The pundits on TV want to talk about the “brand” of Donald Trump because he is the shiny object that they can all drool and coalesce around. For a man who can well afford to put his money where his motor mouth is, he doesn’t have to rely on money very much because the media is unabashedly whipped up into a frenzy over him.
In the end, though, the question is whom the electorate will coalesce around? Is Trump a merger or a uniter? Are any of the candidates?
Maybe the thing that American voters can be thankful for is that Trump is shaking up today’s brand of politics by awakening the electorate. In the end, America’s brand of politics has constantly and consistently gone on to support a more classic candidate.
What will happen during this election cycle? Who knows for sure? As citizens and voters, we each need to decide whether we want to sit back and be entertained by our country’s politics, or if we want to take some kind of action. Today’s brand of politics is a reflection of us all.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs and executives discover their personal brands and design their personal styles. Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “6 Secrets to Success in Silicon Valley”. Need immediate and fast help? Learn about 1:1 private, intensive, and comprehensive 1-2 day VIP program designed to transform your personal brand and style in record time.