To The Editor:
This year marks the centenary of the birth of John F. Kennedy, a president who came to power at the start of the Age of Television in politics—the Nixon-Kennedy debates were the first televised presidential debates. This age has ushered in politics as entertainment and politicians as sources of entertainment. And who is the master political entertainer? Donald Trump.
With his outrageous tweets and bizarre speeches at rallies, Trump has shown himself to be a captivating performing artist—and not only to those who support him. Independents and those on the left may be repelled by what he is saying, but they watch Trump on television and follow him on the internet. That works in Trump’s favor because it increases coverage—and negative publicity is still publicity.
In the Age of Television, publicity rules. If you’re a star you must be doing something right and even if you’re not, you are providing distraction from the mundane world of everyday existence. Sadly, enough people subscribe to this philosophy that Trump’s base is still loyal to the POTUS. Don’t expect that to change any time soon.
Martin H. Levinson,