Donald Trump discovered early on that the media can be his biggest ally in the presidential race over the course of the primaries, and he is using it to his advantage.
Not all of Trump’s exposure in the media has been good media, as he is often criticized for his strong ideas. Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” goes against the growing theme of acceptance and change in the American media. He has figured out how to harness all media exposure, the good and the bad, and use it for the benefit of his campaign. This has been a large part of his success in securing the Republican nomination.
“The media tries to set the agenda, but Trump seems to be able to build the agenda for the media,” said BYU communications professor Ken Plowman.
In Trump’s battles with the media, he has come out on top as the presumptive Republican nominee. The question is if he will be able to maintain this favorability and gain more voters by the general election this November.
“He is a maverick with his ideas, that is why he is popular. He is also a maverick with the media, and that’s why they don’t like him,” Plowman said.
The way that Trump’s ideas spread make him unique. He is outspoken with his belief that things were better the way they were before. To many, the way things were before because seems safe. He uses this platform to draw in voters.
“Trump is playing to the preservationist view of the Republican platform, (that) shaping society into something better is often difficult and can lead to even more corrupt and ruined societies,” said Evan Woods, President Elect of the BYU College Democrats.
The Trump campaign focuses on taking the United States back to the glory days. Many Americans support this idea because it’s what they have loved about their lives and the past, making them resistant to change. This is an unpopular media view in the ever changing and progressing USA.
“Unfortunately, this has also brought out the xenophobic and bigoted side of human nature,” said Woods, a 22 year old BYU senior from Hampton New Jersey. “As American’s face new threats to the societal norms, such as increase in the Hispanic population, increased exposure to religions different from theirs, the threat of terrorism, economic instability … this can often make people accept scapegoats as the blame for problems.”
Donald Trump’s strong ideas battling with the media has made him out to be one of the most unpopular presidential candidates to run for president in the history of the United States in the minds of many. The media’s progressive agenda has helped to shape this negative view of the businessman turned politician.
“Hillary Clinton would be the most unpopular candidate ever to run for the presidency since they’ve started measuring, except for Trump,” said Tim Hawkes of the Utah House of Representatives. “So you literally have the two most unpopular people ever to be nominated running against each other, and it’s kind of bizarre.”
Trump has figured out how to be unpopular with so many people, yet stay relevant and receive support from so many others. He uses his unpopularity to his advantage and draws in those that disagree with liberal ideals. The real test will be if he can continue to do the same in the general election this November.