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filmfann's avatar

Would it be accurate to call Donald Trump a Gonzo Politician?

Asked by filmfann (47819points) May 31st, 2016

In journalism, you try to tell the story without becoming part of the story.
Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson became media rock stars by actually becoming part of the story, and impacting the result. They made being the media involved in how it played out.
Donald Trump is now involving the media as a participant, and usually the villain, in his run for the Presidency.
Would his unorthodox approach be legitimately characterized as Gonzo?

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2 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

You can call Trump damned near anything you wish from the catalog of the absurd without fear of contradiction. He’s the big ultimate practical joke on the Republican party. Journalists don’t really know what to do with him, because he has neither shame nor cognizance of reality. Trump is a wonder. He’s a man blinded by the glare of his own persona. Trapped behind his own immense ego, all shades of reality are filtered from his perception. The absurdity of Trump stalking the country is so over the top that it is actually beyond comedy. It is impossible to make fun of the man, because nothing you can say about him is nearly as funny or ridiculous as the truth. But the fun is just beginning and it’s barely June. If Trump is Godzilla, the GOP is Tokyo, and the monster has a full 5 months in which to ravage and trample the town to powder. The spectacular carnage to come as the fire breathing megalomaniac roams at will through the wreckage of the city promises a spectacle unsurpassed.

Zaku's avatar

For what definition of Gonzo?

I don’t think Trump himself is the primary thing to be concerned about…

Yes, Trump (that is, the version I’ve seen via news media sensational stories, silly appearances & debates, and anti-Trump social media) appears to be ridiculous and horrible and in no way fit to be a leader of a country.

However, I think the real thing to worry about, is that someone behaving like Trump is accepted not only as a serious candidate, but as a very successful, possibly winning candidate. That’s not a problem with Trump himself. The world has all sorts of different people, and that’s ok and there’s nothing we can or should do about that. The problem, is everything that makes it possible for someone who is such a flawed candidate, to quite possibly win.

That is:

* What does it say about our news media, that they take him seriously and don’t criticize him to the degree that a civilized person might expect?

* What does it say about our established political parties, that the people are preferring non-establishment candidates to their mainstream offerings? (To me, one clear thing it says people are very unhappy with the established politicians – which we knew for a long time, but never to this extent.)

* What does it say about the thinking of our people, that Trump is accepted as a viable and even popular candidate despite all the inconsistent & outrageous things we’ve heard about him?

* What does it say about the state of our country & the issues we’re facing?

The many possible answers to those and other questions are severe problems to me, that won’t end even if Trump goes away.

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