Trump is the “WWE president”. Like a character in a wrestling drama, he trashes CNN to the public and talks privately to its CEO. The spats and tantrums attract attention and distract from other issues. With these events, he manages the public domain on his terms. He has turned the presidency into a wrestling show, a political spectacle.
Are you an in on it or are you the mark?
As a spectacle, it has its initiates, those who are on the inside and know that it is a show, and it has the audience, those who believe it to be true. The spectacle is for their benefit so that they can feel good about Trump “sticking it to the media” even as they sell more papers and gain a greater audience. Both profit as Trump stays in the limelight and the media get their profits. What else does either need? The public, the audience, are the ones who live with the consequences. The mark is either the audience or the actor never the director.
Someone suffers either the actors or the audience, never the President.
To be sure, like the WWE, this is not simply staged or faked. They are real actors who do land blows on each other just as the wrestlers do slam, gouge, and punch each other. The physical acts are real. What is faked is the script. We are to believe that the outrage is real. We are to believe that the establishment is under threat and that the battle is so close that if the public just sacrifice a little more Trump could finally win. Instead, the public are being brought into the con for they truly believe what they are told and see. Trump is trying to fight a losing battle and only they, the paying audience, can ensure that he will overcome the odds.
The President basks in limelight as Congress get clobbered by the audience
What is not on the script are the public consequences. The reality is that repealing ACA (Obamacare) has a deep, lasting, and deadly consequence. Most importantly, Trump is not the one who has to reap this whirlwind. As the WWE president, it is for his wrestlers, Republicans and Democrats, to reap the consequences. Congress, not Trump, has to explain to the audience that yes, you will lose your health coverage and you will suffer. What we said during the campaign about being able to save you from “socialism” was really just to be elected. We can neither replace it nor can we repeal it, but “Hey, we are “punching back” and winning the “culture war””.
Trump is the hero against the entrenched interest, the real villain.
Trump, through all of this, benefits. The lower his approval ratings the less his concern because it validates his status as an outsider. For his supporters, they can see how hard he tried to fight the “establishment”, but he was sabotaged. The script works for him, which was the intent, not for the audience or the actors.
Tune in for the next opponent that Trump needs your help to fight
Tune in next week when Trump fights the Courts to keep you safe against the dreaded “Radical Islamic Terrorism”. Pay per view only so be sure to tune into “fake news” CNN for the best coverage.