Hello again ATS!
Though we are two weeks out from Election Day as I sit to write these words – I find myself already looking beyond Tuesday, November the eighth and
at some of the things that I think will happen between now and 2020 as well as what I think the landscape will look like in the year leading up to
that year's election.
It won't be a popular opinion here on ATS, I am sure... But as of today I feel confident in saying that, short of some unprecedented and wholly
unforseeable revelation or event – this years election is very likely a done deal. Hillary Clinton will almost certainly be the next President of
the United States. With just two weeks remaining before Election Day ( as of this writing ), the meta-analysis of polls shows Clinton possessing
nearly an insurmountable lead. While it is true that Trump enjoys a very passionate and enthusiastic base, he has done little to successfully expand
that base. The potential for him to find a means of connecting with undecided and uncommitted voters is minimal and shrinks with each passing day.
Having come to this view, I find myself free to look beyond the coming weeks and to try and get a handle on what a post 2016 world will look like.
Frankly, gazing into my allegorical crystal ball, I see dark and threatening clouds gathering on our horizon. Clouds that could very well bring a
storm of epic proportions our way.
Election Night Blues
The night of Tuesday, November the eighth could well be historic – in the worst of ways. This election cycle has broken several taboos and lowered
the bar of political discourse in unprecedented ways. It has been a season of highly divisive hyperbole and rhetoric that has built-up a great deal of
We currently sit atop a very, very dry powder keg of anger that is seething and highly volatile. Passions will be flaring among many as we watch the
Election results stream in on our televisions, computers and phones. Many of those watching will be deeply, deeply emotionally invested in the outcome
of this race. In this climactic moment we, as a nation, will be perilously close to critical mass.
One spark away from potential disaster...
Four years ago a man with some degree of fame was emotionally invested in that years election and he took to social media, Twitter, to vent his
reactions in a paroxysmal spasm of emotion...
That minor celebrity was one Donald J. Trump:
Imagine for a moment what could happen if history repeats itself and this same man goes on a similar rant this Election night. Imagine the violence
such a display could potentially trigger.
Then stop imagining and take a deep breath... Such a reaction is not just possible – given the evidence, it is more than likely the probable
outcome. Trump is currently heavily invested in telling his followers that the election is rigged, that they have no voice and that he is "the only
one" who can save them.
This is a very, very dangerous and unstable bit of social chemistry.
Most Trump supporters, obviously, will not lash out in violence if their candidate loses the race – even if they personally feel that the outcome of
the Election was not legitimate.
However some Trump supporters, those in the extremes of what the media is currently calling "the alt right" very well could take to the streets in
rage. Given some of the fringe support that Trump enjoys, I would honestly be surprised if such things were not already being planned by a handful of
those on the fringe. The rhetoric of revolution has been abused of late – and there are always the few who take such statements far too literally...
Across the line.
Blunty put – if Election night comes and Trump loses – and if he takes to Twitter as he did four years ago – it could well result in a very long
and bloody night. A catastrophic night that we will look back upon with shame. A night that could well poison our nation for years to come.
Much Ado About Trump TV
Many pundits and wonks have mused over the fact that it truly does appear that Trump has been laying the groundwork for a future media operation...
Presumably a news network or service of some kind. I count myself among those who have been suggesting so for a fairly long time.
However where I differ is that I don't see it as being quite so cut and dry any longer. While I do think that Trump's original thoughts ( or more
the thoughts of those who influence Trump ) was to create a new media Conservative news venue... I think that it's now grown into something more.
I think that Trump TV ( Or whatever they end up calling it - "Trump TV" is too generic. There's no inherent propaganda value in the name. I think
something more like "Trump's MAGA Network" is probably more on point. ) will be used as a device to begin a new political party. More accurately to
succeed where others have previously failed ( I’m looking at you Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck ) by congealing the various "Patriot", "Tea Party"
and fringe right wing groups into one collective and singular entity – a party firmly rooted in extreme nationalism with enough religion and
conservatism thrown in to gain wider appeal.
My prediction is that Donald Trump will remain the focal point and figurehead of this coming movement – using this new network much as he currently
utilizes his Twitter feed... A platform for him to vent his late night frustrations, angers and insecurities. His name will be predominantly used in
the branding and messaging and Trump will be the face of it all. The most frequent speaker and guest. Imagine if The Apprentice had been a 24/7/365
live streaming show – and Trump had the power to walk in at any moment to say whatever happened to be on his mind... That is how I see Trump TV.
However I don't see Trump being the driving force behind the actual message. Trump is a brand, after all. He has made his place in this world by
putting his name on buildings he didn't build, shows that he didn't create and ideas he didn't originate. Trump works as a spokesperson – the guy
who says "I’m not only the President of... But I'm also a member". The real people behind the curtain will be The Mercers ( Robert and Rebekah ),
Steve Bannon and, to a lesser degree, Roger Ailes.
As for on camera talents? I think the current obvious potential faces of this new media enterprise will be Hannity, O'Reilly and Lahren – though
I'm honestly not personally sure if O'Reilly will make the jump. Money is money, after all, and Big Daddy Bill is sitting pretty comfortably atop
the Fox news heap as his career winds down.
Regardless, however, of who wins the backstage power war ( Other than the Mercers who are a lock ) and the on camera positions... The network itself
will be the propaganda arm of the extreme right wing and I think it very well could end up pulling the national discourse much further to the right in
the coming 4-8 years. Particularly with the subjects of national isolationism and national identity politics.