America’s Newest Reality Show


Graphic credit: Charlotte Marcil ’18

Is the presidential election becoming a TV show? Reflection on the campaign.

For the past several months, American and the rest of the world had front row seats to America’s newest reality show—the 2016 Presidential Election. While every election has some sort of drama with past secrets being revealed and the candidates acting passive-aggressive towards each other, the impending election has turned into an elementary school brawl. In other words, the presidential election has devolved into a reality TV show.

One of the reasons for this election’s chaos is Donald Trump. Trump conducts his campaign like how he managed his former reality show The Apprentice; his campaign is filled with insults while it barely focuses on facts. Trump has called Mexicans “murders” and “rapists”, proposed banning Muslims from entering the country, and has indirectly advocated for sexual assault. Similar to most reality show stars, Trump appears to have no sense of shame regarding his actions and words.

The media had a hand in this election. The presidential debates are moderated by news reporters such as NBC’s Lester Holt, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and Fox’s Chris Wallace. The broadcasting of these debates quickly turns the debate into a contest of who can get the last word or who can say the wittiest comment. In addition, social media’s constant coverage further amplifies the atmosphere of a reality show.

This election should not be considered a source of entertainment; it should be a respected and honored symbol for America’s democracy. Treating the election as a TV show diverts the focus of the election from deeper issues and policies.