By Raymond Brewer-Posey
The Trump administration show captured the attention of the American people in a way that rivals the best reality TV show. And this is a good thing.
The opening up of the President’s office through media saturation, endless investigative articles, and even his own shameless tweets allow the American people to view the CEO in historically unprecedented ways. The importance of the news media in a democracy, where ideally an informed public makes decisions, cannot be underestimated
Since the start of 2017, the president has called the news media a “bogus” or a “failure”, trying to berate them for pursuing stories he doesn’t like or stories that present him under a negative day. Ironically, the attention he gave them breathed new life into the industry.
The Economist reported that since the election, shares of the “failing” New York Times Co. have increased by 42% and that cable news networks like Fox, MSNBC and CNN have increased their audiences by 40% or more. It seems the American people never tire of Trump and paid attention to the news because of him.
Raising the popularity of the news industry isn’t the only effect Trump has had on the American public. His outrageous views stimulated liberal opposition, increased activist engagement, and brought civil rights issues to the forefront of the national conversation.
“Donald Trump has reinvigorated the left wing of the Democratic Party in a way that I have not seen since the Vietnam War,” said Mark Gibney, professor of political science at UNC Asheville.
In an election cycle that featured two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in American history, Donald Trump took victory by a narrow margin. However, if it had been Hillary Clinton nothing would have changed
d for the general public and many issues would not have the attention they are currently receiving.
Donald Trump’s presence has destroyed the apathy of the Democratic Party, while his notoriety comes at a price for the GOP. Republicans who enjoy Trump’s petty attacks on the media or his childish rants on Twitter should consider the impact this will have on the Republican Party.
“As a Republican, I think the presence of Donald Trump in the presidency throws a bad light on the Republican Party. He is the extreme of the Republican Party. It represents what is wrong with the beliefs of the Republican Party, ”said Paige Henley, a junior psychology student at UNCA.
Trump’s presidency will haunt the Republican Party for years to come, especially among younger voters who typically have memories of only two presidents: President Obama and vicious President Trump. The same dynamic that fueled the popularity of Ronald Reagan and subsequent Republicans after Jimmy Carter, an unpopular Democratic president, will work against the Republican Party in the modern era following the most unpopular president in American history. Donald Trump has been good to the United States, but not as he intended.